Monday, July 9, 2018

U.S. Postal Service must pay millions for Statue of Liberty mistake

From The Washington Post.

A federal judge ordered the Postal Service to pay $3.5 million to Robert S. Davidson, after admitting it had confused an image of his plaster sculpture replica in Las Vegas for the 19th-century stone-and-copper behemoth off the New York shore.

Photo Angela Weiss, AFP

A bad caption on an online photo of Davidson’s sculpture led to the initial confusion but the mail service knew within a few months that it had used the wrong Lady Liberty.

But the Postal Service simply admitted the mistake, praised the design’s beauty and went on to sell nearly 5 billion stamps for more than $2 billion before retiring it in early 2014, a few weeks after Davidson sued for copyright infringement.

“The Postal Service offered neither public attribution nor apology,” the judge wrote in last week’s ruling and even with the Postal Service’s thin profit margins, the government earned $70 million in profit during the stamp’s four-year run.

He decided that Davidson should get a 5% royalty on that, and so ordered the government to pay the artist $3.5 million plus interest.

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