Cobb on Stamps? Maybe not, but your puppy will work fine

So I'm watching BBC America and I see an ad for Photo Stamps with the catch phrase: "Real Postage. Really You."

Yes! You can now print out U.S. out postage stamps with your own photos on them.

Right away I'm thinking great, I can make stamps that express my political opinions through the use of carefully chosen images. And right after that I'm thinking, "No way! They would never let you do that."

A quick trip to the web site confirms it. Here are some of the things you can't put on these stamps that they advertise as "Real Postage. Really You."

"Material that is obscene, offensive, blasphemous, pornographic, sexually suggestive, deceptive, threatening, menacing, abusive, harmful, an invasion of privacy, supportive of unlawful action, defamatory, libelous, vulgar, violent, or otherwise objectionable..."

Most of that is fair enough but "otherwise objectionable" is very broad. What about the photo of the nasty spider bite I got--I'd like to raise awareness of the dangers posed by spiders. Is that objectionable? And wait, there's more that won't be allowed on "your" stamps...

"Material that depicts celebrities or celebrity likenesses, regional, national or international leaders or politicians, current or former world leaders, convicted criminals, newsworthy, notorious or infamous images and individuals, or any material that is vintage in appearance or depicts images from an older era."

What if I myself am notorious? Does that include notorious for always leaving the bar before I buy a round? And what's this opposition to all things "vintage"? Some people think I'm vintage. And it doesn't stop there. Any attempt to push this vague but very tight envelope could cost you:

"If, in its sole discretion, determines that any material you upload may not meet these content requirements, may reject your order without explanation. reserves the right to charge a processing fee of $10.00 for each image, graphic or photograph that you submit as an order which violates our content restrictions."

And don't even think about complaining:

"In addition, in the event you violate these Content Restrictions and you intentionally publicize such violation, you acknowledge that will suffer substantial damage to its reputation and goodwill and that you can be liable for causing such substantial damage."

So, go ahead, express yourself on stamps. With just the right amount of flair. Or else.

p.s. Feel free to use the above photo on your stamps. We're pretty sure it meets the requirements and we hereby release it to the public domain.

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