Last week, a judge ruled that the US Postal Service must pay the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty replica in Las Vegas $3.5m after they mistakenly used a photo of the statue on their “forever” stamp, thinking it was the real thing.
Court documents show that Terry McCaffrey (a member of a volunteer coalition that helps the postmaster general select artwork for stamps) purchased the image from Getty Images for $1.5k because it “was very different” from the 23 other Statue of Liberty stamps before it.
No sh*t, sherlock…
The USPS released their new Lady Liberty stamps in December 2010.
3 months later, when a good Samaritan from another stock photo company made them aware that they were using an image of the replica, they issued an internal memo that they would continue to use the stamp until “supplies were exhausted,” as it was “very popular.”
By June 2011, the USPS had printed 10.5B of the stamps, and in 2014, it was finally retired.
Layne Owens, manager of stamp development, noted that, had he known the origin of the photo, he would’ve attributed it, but “would still have used this photo.”
And sure, $3.5m isn’t a massive payout, but the USPS also lost $2.7B in 2017, so they don’t exactly have money to burn.
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