Mint Tells Singer to Pay for Using Photo of Pennies

But Canadian government backs down as he launches penny drive
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2012 5:00 AM CDT
Singer Dave Gunning was told that this photo violated the Canadian government's copyright on its currency.   (Handout photo)

(Newser) – A folk singer was stunned when penny-pinchers at the Royal Canadian Mint told him he would have to pay for using pennies in a photo on the cover of his new album. Nova Scotia singer Dave Gunning was told that there would be no charge for the first 2,000 copies of No More Pennies sold, but there would be a copyright charge of $1,200 for every subsequent 2,000 sales, reports the National Post. The mint backed down, however, after the struggling artist's story made the news across Canada, the Globe and Mail reports.

The Canadian government, unlike the American one, places all its works under copyright for 50 years. "They were just trying to do their jobs and my case was an odd one that fell between the cracks," Gunning says. He had planned to use pennies donated by fans to pay the fee, and will now donate the pennies to a children's hospital instead. Gunning says the album is a tribute to the Canadian penny, which is being phased out this fall. (Read more Canada stories.)

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