In 1709 the Statute of Anne created the first purpose-built copyright law. This blog, founded just 300 short and unextended years later, is dedicated to all things copyright, warts and all. To contact the 1709 Blog, email Eleonora at eleonorarosati[at]gmail.com
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Thursday, 5 December 2013
US Post Office Sued Over Statute of Liberty Stamp
Blog readers will remember, the US Post Office was recently ordered to pay $685,000 in damages to sculptor Frank Gaylord after using a photograph of his
work as the design on a new stamp. Last week, another copyright suit was filed
against the Post Office in similar circumstances.
Bartholdi's version (left) and Davidson's version (right)
Davidson is the author of a sculpture called Lady Liberty of the Las Vegas
Strip that sits outside the New York-New York Casino in Las Vegas.
The sculpture is a half-sized replica of the more famous Lady Liberty statute
in the New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and designated to the US in 1886.
In 2011, the
Post Office printed three billion new postage stamps incorporating a photograph
of the Lady Liberty statute. Unfortunately,
the photograph used as the basis of the design was not of the original, public
domain, Lady Liberty statute, as the Post Office had intended. Instead, the
photograph was of Davidson’s Las Vegas Replica.
has now filed a case against the Post Office. He alleges that his statue is
more feminine, more fresh faced, and more sultry than the Bartholdi version,
and therefore sufficiently original to qualify for copyright protection.According to Davidson’s lawyers, the original
was simply “inspiration” that provided “loose height, width and depth
requirements”. Additionally, Davidson’s version has more stylish hair, appears
to be smirking slightly, and displays a plaque that reads “This One’s For You