We are able to safely assume that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) felt relatively happy with its Statue of Liberty Eternally stamp when it launched it in 2010.

However three months after its launch, the USPS found that as a substitute of exhibiting the Statue of Liberty in New York Metropolis, the stamp truly featured a photograph of a half-size duplicate in Las Vegas (above). Three billion of the stamps had been printed earlier than the error was observed.

As a substitute of trashing the stamps, the USPS continued to promote them, with an official insisting on the time that even when they’d realized it wasn’t the precise statue, it “would have chosen this {photograph} anyway” as a result of it match the specified stamp design completely.

The stamp was lastly retired in 2014, however solely as a result of the creator of the Las Vegas statue, Robert Davidson, determined to sue the USPS over copyright infringement. The authorized battle has simply ended with the USPS being hit with a $3.5 million judgment.photo error postal service fined for lady liberty stamp blunder

In keeping with the Related Press, Davidson’s attorneys argued that his Girl Liberty was unmistakably completely different from the unique because it was extra “fresh-faced,” ″sultry,” and in addition “sexier.”

Combating again, attorneys for the USPS insisted Davidson’s design was too comparable for him to have the ability to declare copyright infringement.

Bringing the case to an in depth final week, Federal Choose Eric Bruggink sided with Davidson and ordered the USPS to pay him $3.5 million, which it may well comfortably take from the $70 million revenue that the stamp reportedly generated from practically 5 billion gross sales.

Todd Bice, representing Davidson, instructed the Related Press that his consumer was pleased with the end result, including, “Because the court docket famous, Mr. Davidson’s inventive creation of the Las Vegas Girl Liberty is extremely distinctive and enticing, which is what prompted the U.S. Postal Service to pick out a photograph of his work … over lots of of different pictures.”

The USPS mentioned it’s nonetheless reviewing the choose’s resolution and will remark later.

So how precisely did the USPS discover the picture of Davidson’s statue, and the way did the mix-up happen?

Nicely, it purchased a license to make use of the picture after discovering it on Getty Photographs, a photograph library that represents lots of of 1000’s of photographers all over the world.

The picture of Davidson’s statue was taken by Raimund Linke. Whereas the picture was titled “Statue of Liberty,” the accompanying key phrases famous that it was a “Statue of Liberty duplicate” in “Las Vegas.” However the USPS failed to note, leading to an error that’s ended up costing it tens of millions of {dollars}.

Shop Amazon