The stamp of authority

The IPKat came across this curiosity in the Daily Record last month. The item mentions that Police and the Royal Mail thought they had solved the problem of letters with bogus first class postage stamps after a load surfaced in the Midlands area - but some also turned up in Scottish Christmas mail. The fake postage stamps are similar to normal gold first class stamps, only duller in colour and lacking a security mark. Anyone who receives mail bearing such a stamp will be surcharged the stamp's value and a handling fee.

Below: a postman demands the postal surcharge from an innocent householder

The IPKat thinks this is most unkind. It's not the recipients' fault that they have received letters bearing fake stamps, so why make them pay a surcharge for the privilege?

Merpel thinks it's only fair that people should use fake first class postage stamps when the Post Office has been offering a fake first class service for so many years.

Both kats wonder what arrangements the Post Office makes with regard to the copyright in its postage stamps, particularly where it may be a licensee of pre-existing art works. Might the counterfeiters face infringement actions both from the Post Office and from the originator of the stamp's design?

Postwatch here
Postal criminals here
How the play Postman's Knock here
The Postman Always Rings Twice here and here (once in 1946 and again in 1981, if you can wait that long ...)
THE STAMP OF AUTHORITY THE STAMP OF AUTHORITY Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 Rating: 5

1 comment:

Guy said...

The Post Office can have copyright problems. Remember the picture of the prince of Wales and his fiancee in matchung finery? I believe that the owner of the copyright in the picture had to be compensated in the end.

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