Damon Darlin at B2Day posted a note about Postal Watch being up in arms about the Postal Service using Special Cancellations of stamps with little characters from the animated movie, Robots.

I have to admit, this is one of those items that seems like an abuse of governmental powers. Actually, I don’t think it is as bad as when the commercial character is actually on the stamp, but pretty bad.

Robots.jpeg“Special Cancellations” are generally used to commemorate a ubiquitous non-commercial event but here, the Post Office is printing an Ad for the Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky movie “Robots” on billions of cards and letters.

PostalWatch points out that the mail is NOT the property of the Postal Service to deface and alter at will. The Postal Service is not free to sell, trade or otherwise barter with private for-profit business interests to piggyback commercial advertising messages onto the face of people’s cards and letters.

According to the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM):

2.0 Special Cancellations – Special cancellations are authorized only if the scheduled observance either is for a national purpose for which Congress has made an appropriation or is of general public interest and importance for a definite period and not conducted for private gain or profit.

A robot movie is an important national purpose? Postal officials claim the deal is a cross-promotional licensing arrangement and that “no money changed hands.” Great. Like the Post Office needs to advertise. I’m not going to be pacified unless I get my own cross-promotional licensing arrangement to have the Baristas put on a stamp in exchange for a Post Office Ad on patentbaristas.com!

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