US Postal Service to Pay $3.5M for Using Wrong Statue of Liberty in Stamp Design

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
July 6, 2018US News
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US Postal Service to Pay $3.5M for Using Wrong Statue of Liberty in Stamp Design
New York New York hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip. (lindsayascott/Pixabay)

A stamp that mistakenly featured the image of a Statue of Liberty replica in Las Vegas instead of the original New York statue will cost the U.S. Postal Service $3.5 million in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Las Vegas sculptor Robert Davidson sued the Postal Service five years ago over its 2011 “forever” stamp design.

His Lady Liberty replica is located in the facade at the New-York-New-York casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Attorneys for the Postal Service said Davidson’s design was too similar to the original statue for him to claim copyright. However, Davidson’s lawyers maintained that his version of Lady Liberty was more “fresh-faced” and “sultry” compared to the original New York statue, Fox News reported.

According to court documents, Davidson said he wanted his replica to provide the feel of New York’s iconic skyline without duplicating it, Fox News reported.

Federal Judge Eric Bruggink agreed that his work was an original design with a more “modern”, “feminine” and contemporary face. Bruggink ordered the Postal Service to pay $3.5 million to Davidson.

Davidson originally earned $233,000, after manufacturing costs, for the replica statue, according to The New York Times.

The Postal Service took in $70 million profit from the forever stamp and had been releasing the stamps for at least three months before finding out it was not the New York statue, the Times reported. The post office discontinued the design in 2014, and had amassed some $2.1 billion from the sale of 4.9 billion stamps by then, the report said.

“As the court noted, Mr. Davidson’s artistic creation of the Las Vegas Lady Liberty is highly unique and attractive, which is what prompted the U.S. Postal Service to select a photo of his work for the second ever Forever Stamp, over hundreds of other images,” Davidson’s attorney Todd Bice said, according to Fox News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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