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The Rights Stuff

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

You may wonder why some of your favorite historical figures or entertainment stars
haven’t yet been honored on a U-S stamp. Of course, the Postal Service gets many
requests, and can’t fulfill them all. Or perhaps someone doesn’t quite make the cut
for being a stamp subject.

But sometimes it’s a question of the intellectual property rights: Who owns — and
controls — the name and likeness of a historical person. Even Mark Twain and the Wright
Brothers have agents these days. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe admits getting
permission can be a challenge.

PMG: “We have to be very careful with rights.  The copyright issues today with photographs
and whatnot … we are very careful with.    It probably wasn’t something of concern in the
past, but it definitely is going forward.”

LdeV: “Just the honor of  being on a stamp isn’t sufficient now.”

PMG: “We always thought that, but I guess for some people that’s not sufficient.”  RUNS :17

They want payment… and the Postal Service doesn’t do that.

If a photograph is involved, the U-S-P-S has to get the photographer’s permission. A scene
from a play or movie….yup, more rights.

And in some cases, a celebrity has had more than one heir, and they can’t agree with each

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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