How the Postal Service paid $3.5 million for the Lady Liberty Forever Stamp

Imagine you are the “manager of stamp development” at the United States Postal Service. You are tasked with selecting the image for the next Forever stamp, a stamp that allows the sending of a first-class mailpiece domestically FOREVER, even if the price of the service increases after purchase.

Because the public was tiring of the previous Liberty Bell image, you were looking for something fresh and new, something that would be meaningful inasmuch as a stamp can be.

You want to choose a patriotic icon. You pour over dozens of patriotic scenes, ultimately selecting an image of Lady Liberty. This image seems to stand out: the perspective makes the face of “La Liberté éclairant le monde” seem more “fresh-faced,” ″sultry,” even “sexier.”

Little do you know, you have not selected an image of the Statue of Liberty but rather started an eight-year legal battle that will end with you owing millions to the bona fide author of the underlying work.

Let’s see what happened.

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Bizarre California Copyright Law Upheld – from 1977?!

Federal Law normally “preempts” State Law, so how did Chuck Close win Resale Royalties in California from all the way back in 1977?
We discuss how Federal Preemption works, remind everyone about copyright first-sale, cover a bit of Dormant Commerce Clause, and wonder how this would apply to a digital work of art.

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Not Settled: Monkey Selfie

A judge in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has made a request for a vote on whether to rehear the Naruto v. David Slater opinion dated April 23, 2018. This was the case where PETA tried to stand-in on behalf of the Celebes crested macaque to establish that animals could own copyrights. Let’s review the parties’ responses and see what they think.

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Exhausted: Lexmark v. Impression Products

This video is brought to you by Patreon supporter DJ Gilcrease. Thank you, DJ!

Lexmark has a history of locking-down its ink and toner cartridges and suing those who try to bypass their technology.

Let’s discuss how Lexmark earned themselves multiple benchslaps and made patent history in the process.

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