A judge ordered the US Postal Service to pay sculptor Robert Davidson $3.5 million in compensation after the government agency accidentally printed an image of his rendition of the Statue of Liberty—which stands outside a New York-themed hotel in Las Vegas—on more than three billion stamps since 2010.
Davidson sued the government for copyright infringement in 2013 for using his work without permission. While the original 1886 statue is in the public domain and can be legally photographed and replicated, the artist said that he made some key changes to his version of Lady Liberty, which differentiate it from the New York statue.
Key thing for me here is not that the USPS had to pay out to an artist, but that the Statue of Liberty on millions of US stamps isn’t the NYC original, but the Las Vegas simulacrum.
(Also: Getty Images is full of lies, and should be liable?)