US Postal Service ordered to pay $3.5m after using photo of Statue of Liberty replica
|Robert Davidson's replica Statue of Liberty sculpture in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by ADTeasdale, used under CC license 2.0.|
The US Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to sculptor Robert Davidson after a mixup resulted in the issuance of a Forever Stamp featuring the wrong Statue of Liberty. According to the lawsuit, USPS issued a new Forever Stamp design in December 2010 that features the Liberty Statue replica in Las Vegas created by Davidson rather than the original statue in New York.
The lawsuit explains that an official with the Postal Service began work on creating a new Forever Stamp design by acquiring stock images of the Liberty Statue. Options were narrowed down to three images, two featuring the original statue and one featuring the replica, though officials were unaware of the difference.
PhotoAssist was utilized to acquire digital files of the three final images, and the image of the replica statue was ultimately selected for the stamp design. USPS acquired a license to use the image from Getty Images for $1,500. Unaware that it was an image of the replica, the Postal Service failed to get Davidson's permission or to attribute the work to him.
Davidson became aware of the issue after his wife purchased a book of stamps featuring the new design
Another stock photo agency informed USPS in March 2011 that its Forever Stamp featured an image of the replica statue rather than the original work. According to the lawsuit, the revelation started an internal evaluation at USPS as it determined how to respond. The Forever Stamp design remained in use until it was phased out in 2014.
Davidson became aware of the issue after his wife purchased a book of stamps featuring the new design. A copyright application for the replica statue was filed in January 2012 and issued in November 2013. That same month, Davidson sued USPS for its use of the image.
Though the government argued that the replica was too similar to the original to warrant protection, the court sided with Davidson, finding his statue was sufficiently original enough for copyright protections. The court stated:
We are satisfied that plaintiff succeeded in making the statue his own creation, particularly the face. A comparison of the two faces unmistakably shows that they are different. Although the record does not contain many pictures of the original, the magazine cover provided by plaintiff which bears a picture of the original Statue of Liberty’s face is sufficient. The differences are plainly visually observable, can be articulated, and are not merely "ideas." ... Mr. Davidson’s statue, although invoking an existing world-famous statue, is an original, creative work, and as such is the subject of a valid copyright registration.
The Postal Service sold 4.9 billion stamps, bringing in $2.1 billion in revenue and more than $70 million in profits. In its ruling, the court determined that Davidson is owed $3,554,946.95 in actual damages for the unauthorized use. USPS has not issued a statement on the ruling.
Dials and sliders and buttons, oh my! This modular set of editing controls hopes to improve your photo editing workflow – for a price.
The UK's recent heatwave has provided a glimpse into Britain's history, revealing the outlines of ancient structures and buried features in the grounds of historical buildings.
The iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS), was founded in 2007, making it the longest running iPhone photo competition in the world. Now in its 11th year, the winners of the IPPAWARDS have just been announced.
Our technical evaluation of the Panasonic GX9 has included a trip to the studio, where we put its 20MP Four Thirds sensor in front of our standard test scene.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI earned high marks in our recent review, and we've revisited our collection of buying guides to reflect our final conclusions. Click through for links to our updated guides covering the best pocketable and long zoom compacts as well as the best choices for travel, which has a new winner (hint, hint).
Fujifilm has announced the XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR telephoto lens along with a matching 1.4x teleconverter. This weather-sealed lens - 'matte silver' in color with a bold green hood - has a total of 19 elements, a nine-blade aperture and five stops of shake reduction according to Fujifilm. The lens and teleconverter kit will be available in late October for $6000.
Fujifilm has updated its X-mount lens roadmap with three intriguing new models, which include 33mm F1.0 and 16mm F2.8 primes and a 16-80 F4 zoom.
Fujifilm's widest X-series zoom lens to-date, the XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR, will hit the market in late November for $2000. The weather-sealed lens features ED, Super ED and aspherical elements along with a Nano GI coating.
We've seen different flavors of 360° cameras over the past couple of years, but the Vuze XR may be the first one that's designed to shoot both 360° spherical and 180° stereoscopic video in a single unit.
Huawei has launched the world's first photography contest with both AI and human judges. The contest began on July 12 and will run for 8 weeks. During this time, photographers can submit their images via a Facebook Messenger chatbot.
Fujifilm has announced the XF10, a premium compact camera with a fast 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens and 24MP APS-C sensor. This replacement for the X70 will ship in August for $500.
It won't come as a surprise to anyone that there are some unpleasant, predatory men within the photography industry. However, a long-form, extensively researched special report in the Columbia Journalism Review about sexual harassment is still a depressing, eye-opening read.
Is this the end? Nikon's UK and Japanese websites now list some of its KeyMission action cameras as discontinued.
Leica Camera AG is now an investor in Light, the makers of the innovative L16 camera. According to the company, the funding will allow Light to 'expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography'
YouTuber ZY Productions has a video wherein he provides a succinct summary of how phase detection autofocus systems work, their benefits and their shortcomings.
The X-U is Leica's first ruggedized compact camera and is still the only waterproof camera on the market with a large APS-C sensor. That sensor sits behind a 35mm-equivalent, F1.7 lens, and we've taken it to the mountains and back to see just what it's capable of.
Gitzo and Sony have teamed up to launch a new tripod and L-bracket designed specifically for Sony α-series cameras.
There have now been seven variants of the Sony RX100 series, and at least six of them are still current models. Confused? Here's an updated look at their differences, and our recommendations among them now that we've tested the Mark VI.
The Kodak-branded 'Kashminer' Bitcoin mining scheme announced at CES has apparently collapsed, with Eastman Kodak distancing itself from the company behind it.
The software uses computational imaging techniques to boost detail and dynamic range in your images, and reduce noise levels.
As part of a promotional giveaway, Fujifilm Korea has released kimchi-flavored instant noodles wrapped in branding inspired by Fujifilm Provia 100 color reversal film.
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH is a fast, high-quality and decidedly heavyweight short telephoto prime lens, designed for use with Leica's digital M-series rangefinders. We've been grappling with it for a little while - take a look at our sample images.
70-200mm F4 zoom lenses may not get as much attention as their faster F2.8 siblings, but for many photographers these lenses hit the perfect sweet spot of price, performance, and weight. This week, we shoot the new Tamron 70-210mm F4 alongside the equivalent Canon and Nikon models to see how they stack up.
Blackmagic recently worked with Apple to develop Blackmagic eGPU, an external GPU that brings "desktop-class graphics performance" to the new MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lightroom alternative Luminar has received numerous updates across both its Mac and Windows versions, primarily improvements to existing features, as well as support for additional cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, and Pentax.
Sony has quietly updated its RX100 V, bringing a couple of the goodies from the RX100 VI travel zoom. The updated RX100 VA gains a new processor and various firmware tweaks but misses out on the VI's other hardware improvements.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro series of notebooks with 15in and 13in models that are claimed to be better for intense image and video editing. The company says the new models are the most advanced ever, and that they feature 8th generation Intel Core processors for faster performance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Adobe will announce a full-fledged Photoshop version for the iPad at its annual conference in October.
The last day to place an order for Apple photo prints and related products is September 30th.
Manfrotto has launched its new Noreg camera bag series with the Backpack-30 and Messenger-30 models. Both bags are designed for premium mirrorless camera systems, each featuring internal camera units that can be removed and used independently of the larger bags.