Monday, July 04, 2005

The Progress of Mailart Denied

Back on the ides of June, I decided to spend too much money and create and order some PhotoStamp postage stamps. These are not artist's stamps; they are legal US postage stamps that bear images submitted by people willing to pay far more than the face value of postage stamps. I uploaded one of my small visual poems, ordered a couple of sheets, and was set to go. The result was attractive enough, though I would have preferred to have had more control over the final design.

Geof Huth, "oface," Stamp Design Rejected by (15 Jun 2005)

Five days later, I received a message from "The PhotoStamps Team." In it, they told me that they had canceled my order because they could not "accept" the image I had submitted. I was dumbfounded and wondered what was wrong with my image. I didn't submit a pornographic image or an image that I didn't hold the copyright for, so I was stumped.

The PhotoStamps Team explained itself:

Please note that currently we are unable to accept images that may be construed as business advertising or notices. Additionally, PhotoStamps will not accept images that may be considered objectionable (e.g.- sexually explicit, obscene, violent, etc.), controversial (e.g.- political, etc.), or newsworthy or notorious (celebrities, politicians, world leaders, etc.). All images must meet our Content Restrictions shown here.

Could they, I wondered, somehow have thoguht my image was somehow business advertising for myself? I read on.

Examples of images that we accept include babies, individuals, couples, families, pets, landscapes, artistic items, and other similar types of images. Any person in a picture should be wearing modest clothing. We are very conservative in our acceptance of images (think of things that were considered appropriate in the 1950s and you are probably safe).

At first, I thought this paragraph was explaining that "artistic items" were not allowed, but this was a misreading on my part, so I was still stumped.

Remember, you must own the rights to the photograph, image, graphic, or logo that you submit and if it is unclear to us that this is the case, we cannot accept your image. Also, if we think your submission will result in a low quality PhotoStamps product (e.g. the image is too dark), we may choose not to process the order.

So maybe they think that I couldn't own the rights to the image. That must be the answer, since the image wasn't too dark. But they won't even tell me the reason:

Please note that owing to privacy concerns, our customer support representatives do not have access to the image(s) that you submitted. As such, they cannot provide details on why your submission did not meet our content guidelines.

So it might be a while before I use my own images on a postage stamp on a piece of mailart. Or maybe I should just try again!

un violon d'ingres

1 comment:

David Jackson said...

Interesting info; thank you! Thought you might want to know that there's more about how PhotoStamps is doing at The Internet Stock Blog here: