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Copyright Considerations

The United States Postal Service has copyrights on their stamp designs. In addition to USPS stamp image rights, you must be concerned about the subject of the stamp itself.

Many stamps feature famous celebrities, cartoon characters, movie titles, or other copyrighted subjects. This means that before you use such material in your cachet, you should ask for permission and pay a license fee to the owner. Learn more about this subject from the government.

To avoid long licensing delays, fee expense, or penalties, many cachet makers use generic designs, public domain photos, and alternate descriptive phrases in their cachets.

Examples of Generic Subjects

Lloyd de Vries used a photo taken at the New York Comic-Con on his Dragon Card cachet, having fun without needing to ask permission for use of the real Wonder Woman licensed image.

Four Wonder Woman wannabees.

This cachet has no image of Bob Hope and does not even mention his name. It shows a movie camera, top hat and cane, a sponsoring brand of toothpaste, a radio microphone, and a road to many places named in his movies. The stamp and postmark identify him.

Recognizable icons from Bob Hope's career.

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