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Pay Per Lick | by Pranksky
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Pay Per Lick

It’s bad enough that the U.S. Postal Service released a so-called “Forever” stamp that it claimed contained the image of Mao Tse-tung - the one that stands in The Whitney Museum of Art - when it was actually, and mistakenly, the image of the version that stands outside the Red Gallery in London.


But now the post office is being sued by the artist of the image known as Pranksky, who says the US government never obtained permission to use his piece as the basis of the stamp’s image.The Washington Post said the postal service released only a yellow version of its “Forever” stamp, claiming that the image was of the original in the Whitney.


A stamp collector subsequently noticed the discrepancy and alerted the federal agency. The postal service has admitted its error and agreed to “re-examine” selection processes for stamps, The Post said.


The artist of the London piece (titled "Meowsy tongue") says that’s not good enough and has come forward to sue. He's since made modifications to his London piece in order to increase the publicity around his protest. The New York Post said it’s not clear why he’s suing now and not when the stamp was originally released. Apparently though, the discrepancies between the two images are marked - one is yellow in colour and the Post Office's version is blue.


One attorney for the artist, said in The New York Post that the replica image is much more “fresh-faced” and “sultry” than the real one - and that it’s these differences that actually led the post office to prefer the London piece. The artist's attorney is proposing that the US government could pay on a Pay Per Lick basis, to ensure that the remuneration is fair to the artist. But the government who neglected to obtain permission to portray the printed mimic are claiming fair use.The postal service have not made any further public comments, The New York Post stated.


Others have reported major differences between the images: the London version has a different colour tongue and touts a smirk.


With thanks, as always, to Vandalog for his snap of the original London piece and not forgetting the CEA, Rocky Mountain Rescue and Mr Aitch.


Dave, Prank Sky Media, Hackney, London

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Taken on December 5, 2013