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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations April 26-27, 2003:

Pretty as a picture.

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

Postage stamps are often called miniature works of art, and, in fact, they
frequently are: Postal agencies commission paintings or, more and more,
photographs specifically for use as stamp designs. The challenge for the
artist or photographer, of course, is to come up with something that will be
recognizable in such a small print.

Many of the designs of U-S stamps are so well done that people with an
interest in the subject often want to do more with the picture than just
stick it on an envelope. 

[KNLS only: Two of the most-frequently reproduced stamp designs are from
just after the Post Office Department became the Postal Service: The
Pharmacy stamp and the first Love stamp, based on a painting by Robert
Indiana. You'll find those designs on everything from electric warming trays
to bookends to clothing.]

But wait - before you copy that stamp design to a sweatshirt or keychain,
you'd better know that it's copyrighted by the U-S Postal Service.

Government AGENCIES can't hold copyrights, but the Postal Service is now a
government-owned CORPORATION -- and every stamp design in the past thirty
years is copyrighted.

The Postal Service will be glad to sell you a LICENSE to use the
design...which is what it does for the people who make the shirts and

And that's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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