Personalised stamp

Personalised stamp

A personalised stamp is a postage stamp where a picture or photograph can be added to the stamp by a member of the public, some non-governmental entity, or a governmental entity that is not in an official stamp-issuing capacity; it is obviously to be distinguished from personalised rubber stamps [ [http://www.logiprint.co.uk/en/personalised_stamp_uk.html Personalised stamp uk from logiprint.co.uk - the internet printing factory! ] ] as well as "Postal Pal," a label with picture on which a regular postage-stamp can be placed. (In Austria the denomination of personalised stamps can now be changed as well.) [ [http://www.stampnews.com/raw/1175193358_506043.html StampNews.com : Austria: Personalised Stamps - Blue border ] ] In addition to mere personal expression the designs of personalized stamps have served a number of other purposes such as the attempt to find missing persons. [ [http://www.zazzle.com/product/172406206386525353?idx=2&dt=orlando&request=productSearch&term=orlando&page=1&numRecsPerpage=20&sortBy=date_created&sortOrder=desc&sortPeriod=0&zidCategoryId=0&maturity=2&zidContributorId=0&zcdProductType=172 Jennkesse, Missing - Help bring her home] ] Some stamp-issuing entities have in turn used their personalised stamp systems to issue "personalised" stamps personalised "by" the stamp issuing entity. [ [http://www.auspost.com.au/philatelic/stamps/stampshop_2.asp?category_id=481&product_type=3 Australian Stamps] ]

What is or possibly could be characterised as advocacy has also given rise to controversy; see below.

Dispensing methods

Personalised stamps can be obtained by the public or would-be purchasers or designers in a number of ways.

tamp-issuing Entities

Åland

Åland Post offers personalised stamps. [ [http://www.posten.ax/text2.con?iPage=157&sParent=247&iLan=3] ]

Austria

The Austrian Postal Service [ [http://www.meine-marke.at/ MeineMarke.at | personalisierte Marke | persönliche Briefmarke | eigene Briefmarke | selber Marken erstellen und designen | Die Geschenkidee der Österreichischen Post AG ] ] has permitted personalisation of postage stamps.

Australia

Australia Post has permitted personalisation of labels adjoining its stamps. [ [http://pstamps.auspost.com.au/ Welcome to Australia Post Personalised Stamps ] ]

Canada

Canada Post [ [http://www.picturepostage.ca/ Picture Postage TM ] ] has permitted personalisation of postage stamps.

Finland

Personalised stamps are available in Finland in sheets of 20 and eight-stamp booklets. [ [http://www.filahome-stamps.com/stamps/0605-personalized-stamp.htm Personalized stamp ] ]

France

La Poste offers personalised stamps. [ [http://montimbramoi.laposte.fr/ La poste: Le timbre personnalisé ] ]

Germany

Deutsche Post offers personalised stamps. [ [https://www.plusbrief-individuell.de/ Deutsche Post | Plusbrief Individuell ] ]

Japan

Japan Post offers personalised postage stamps. [ [http://www.di2.nu/200608/22a.htm L'Ombre de l'Olivier ] ]

Luxembourg

In Luxembourg one may personalise a label beside the stamp. [ [http://www.filahome-stamps.com/stamps/0605-personalized-luxembourg-stamps.htm Personalized Luxembourg stamps ] ]

Malaysia

Malaysia Post offers personalised stamps, though apparently purchasing is restricted to certain entities. [http://www.pos.com.my/v1/?c=/v1/philately/guidelines.htm]


=The Netherlands=

Royal TGP Post has permitted personalisation of postage stamps. [ [http://www.tpgpost.nl/voorthuis/postzegels_en_kaarten/persoonlijk_postzegels_maken/index.jsp Maak nu uw eigen postzegel - Nu 2 nieuwe varianten! ] ]

Ukraine

Ukraine has permitted personalisation of labels adjoining its stamps. [ [http://www.stamp.kiev.ua/eng/vlasna/ Publishing house "Marka Ukrainy" : PERSONALISED STAMP ] ]

United Kingdom

Royal Mail [ [http://www.royalmail.com/ Royal Mail] ] has permitted personalisation of labels adjoining their stamps.

United Nations

The United Nations [ [http://www.un.org/Depts/UNPA/person/person.jpgUnited Nations UNPA] ] has permitted personalisation of labels adjoining its stamps.

United States

In the United States, personalized stamps – also known as customized postage – are technically a form of meter labels and are governed by the United States Postal Service. As meter labels, they are not supposed to be cancelled.

While consumers may find that customized postage is available in a number of retail and online outlets, the USPS has authorized different companies to handle select aspects of the program.

Providers, including Pitney Bowes, Endicia and Stamps.com, are authorized to generate, transmit and print the indicia barcodes, ensure that images conform to USPS standards, market and sell customized postage and fulfill customer orders.

Partners such as Zazzle can approve imagery, market, sell and fulfill orders, but they must be associated with an authorized provider who creates the indicia using an approved postage evidencing system.

Affiliates like Fuji can market, sell and fulfill orders, but are not authorized to approve imagery or print postage and must be associated with an authorized provider who creates the indicia using an approved postage evidencing system.

Pitney Bowes, [ [http://www.pcom Pitney Bowes] ] , Stamps.com, [ [http://www.stamps.com/ Stamps.com] ] Zazzle.com and Fuji offer United States Postal Service-approved personalised postage via Stamp Expressions [ [http://www.stampexpressions.com Stamp Expressions Personal Postage] ] , PhotoStamps [ [http://photo.stamps.com/ Photo Stamps] ] and ZazzleStamps and Yourstamps.com respectively.

Some customers order the postage online and it is mailed to the recipient at a premium over the cost of postage; there has been some criticism of how much this premium is. [ [http://www.epinions.com/content_292311305860 epionions] ] Somewhat different is PremierPostage.com, which offers licensed U.S. postage of a similar type (outside the regular U.S. stamp programme and with similar indica), but issued by the company, not personalised by the individual.

Consumers and businesses can also print their own postage using a small, specialized printer, such as the Pitney Bowes Stamp Expressions® Printer. [ [http://www.stampexpressions.com Pitney Bowes Stamp Expressions Printer] ] Recent innovations include postal kiosks, where consumers can download an image at their local convenience store.

While initially considered a consumer application, Pitney Bowes offers a Customized Postage Partnership Program [ [http://www.pb.com/cgi-bin/pb.dll/jsp/ProductDetail.do?lang=en&country=US&prodOID=81893&catOID=-20470 Customized Postage Partnerships] ] that provides corporations and small business owners with an opportunity to take advantage of this business opportunity. Commercial applications include:

*Merchandising, where companies can promote sales and market collectibles, either in postage format or as a framed premium.
*Photographers and Greeting Card companies can sell customized postage to customers to commemorate special moments or upcoming events.
*Nonprofit Organizations and Universities use customized postage to capture the attention of potential and existing donors.
*Marketers and advertising agencies can add customized postage to envelopes to boost brand and image awareness for their clients.

Although most postal regulations permit the exclusion of "objectionable" pictures on the stamps, The Smoking Gun in its investigation managed to create American postage stamps featuring the Rosenbergs, Jimmy Hoffa, Ted Kaczynski, Monica Lewinsky's dress, Slobodan Milošević and Nicolae Ceauşescu. [ [http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0831041_photostamps_1.html The Smoking Gun, Photo Stamps] ]

Within a few weeks of the article detailing this abuse, PhotoStamps revised its policies, and as of September 2004 the company no longer accepted images that included adults or teenagers. They have since allowed these images again, under more stringent terms of service. [ [http://photo.stamps.com/PhotoStamps/conditions/crPopup.jsp Photo Stamps] ]

At least some Yourstamps sheets come with a bonus of free stickers. [ [http://www.pnc3.com/images/yourstamps20070210sheetver.jpgYourstamps] ]

Humane Society of the United States controversy

REACT Consulting Group filed a lawsuit against Zazzle for allowing Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) ZazzleStamps it alleged promoted or could promote an anti-hunting agenda while rejecting designs claiming "sportsmen" were conservationists. Some of the HSUS ZazzleStamps were later removed from sale (on August 31, 2006), an action preceded by calls from SuperVegan blog to "BUY TONS NOW!". [ [http://supervegan.com/?c=19 Super Vegan] ] [ [http://www.ussportsmen.org/interactive/features/Read.cfm?ID=1841 US Sportsmen] ] However, there have been questions about why stamps which appear to promote hunting have been permitted. [ [http://www.zazzle.com/product/172579849074566803?idx=16&dt=hunting&request=productSearch&term=hunting&page=1&numRecsPerpage=20&sortBy=date_created&sortOrder=desc&sortPeriod=0&zidCategoryId=0&maturity=1&zidContributorId=0&zcdProductType=172 Zazzle.com] ]

Copyright

In some cases certain aspects of copyright law relating to personalised postage are unclear. [ [http://www.ourmedia.org/node/44248 Our Media] ] However, Canada Post claims sole copyright in Canadian personalised stamps. [ [https://www.picturepostage.ca/picpostageprod/DispatcherServlet?op=about#ABOUT_4 Picture Postage, Canada] ]

References

External links

* [http://www.boostdam.net/stories/personalizedstamps-20040821.jpg"Personalized postage off to big start" by Jessica Wehrman]
* [http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?IA=US1996016369&DISPLAY=HISTORY Patent for System and Method for Generating Personalized Postage Indica]
* [http://postagestampsource.com/postage-stamp-ideas.move Personalized Postage Stamp Ideas]


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