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Las Vegas Statue of Liberty at center of copyright violation case

For some individuals in Las Vegas, creating art is not only something that they feel inspired to do, but it is also a business venture. When photographs and likenesses of artistic works are used without authorization by a third party, it can affect an artist’s potential earnings.

According to sources, a sculptor is suing the U.S Postal Service for illegally using an image of the Statue of Liberty that was created for the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. However, this is not the first time that the government’s Postal Service has been sued for copyright infringement. Earlier this year they were ordered to pay over $500,000 in a similar case that involved the individual who constructed Washington, D.C.’s Korean War Veterans Memorial.

In 2011, the Postal Service released a stamp depicting the Las Vegas Lady Liberty who has an unquestionably distinct look when compared to the original statue that is on display in the New York Harbor. By the end of that same year, over 5 billion stamps containing the copyrighted image were purportedly printed. When the post office found out about the issue after a stamp magazine published a story about it, they allegedly decided to move forward with the stamp anyway.

Some are questioning why the artist waited so long to file an intellectual property dispute; attorneys for the sculptor have not commented on such. The post office claims that they got the image of the Las Vegas statue from a photography service; however, it is unclear if that service has been named in this highly publicized suit.

Those who believe that their exclusive rights to assets such as music, art, literary works, and inventions have been violated should turn to a commercial litigation lawyer for assistance.

Source: Fox News, “Artist suing government over USPS' Statue of Liberty stamp mix-up,” Dec. 3, 2013

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