Fake money used in photographs ...

Fake money used in photographps …

 On the December 6, 1999 (Y2K complaint) issue (on sale now) of People Magazine, is your friend and mine, 31-year-old IRS employee du jour, John Carpenter from the great state of CT.

 He won one million dollars on that quazy game show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

 The People cover shows John and his wife tossing a bunch of dollar bills into the air.

 The follow URL, sometime during the week of 12/06/1999, should be updated and show this cover (right now the Brady Bunch

[last week’s cover]) is displayed.

      [url ["]http://www.pathfinder.com/people/index.html](http://www.pathfinder.com/people/index.html[/url)

 Q) Why do they use fake money in photographs?


Terence in Marietta, GA

“… Be someone’s hero …”

It’s a lot cheaper to get a whole stack of play money for someone to pose for a picture with. Also, you don’t have to worry about anyone stealing any of it.

I doubt a professional photographer is going to want to show up for a magazine cover shoot with a giant stack of one dollar bills.

At one time it was illegal to duplicate any part of any US paper currency. That included photographs of any type, and when Television came along, it was extended to that as well. In one case of ultimate absurdity, the Secret Service advised it’s own boss, the Secretary of the Treasury that he must surrender the hand made rug donated to his office. It was a fairly good room sized representation of a Dollar Bill.

I am not sure when the law changed. Now days you will see a flash of real money, now and again, on television, and lots of partial shots in magazines. I suppose the existence of photocopiers turned the whole “any duplication” thing into a moot point. Originally, it was done to make the creation of photographs in preparation for printing processes the same crime as counterfeiting. That way the Secret Service didn’t have to actually catch you with phony money, to nail you for counterfeiting.


In the USA you can copy money on ONE side legally. Thats often what you see on tv.

You can legally copy both sides of a bill, so long as it’s either less than 1/2 the original size or more than 1 1/2 times the original size. Also, you cannot copy bills in color (although exceptions are made for most bills < 1921). Oh and you can’t skirt the laws by simply writing “COPY” or “SPECIMEN” on it either.

In some cases, it makes sense to use fake money, particularly if you’re going to be tossing it all over the place. When you’re done, you just sweep it up.

United States postage stamps may be reproduced, in color, for illustration purposes, as long as they are not at 100% in size.

The must be either 150%+ or 50%- of the original size.

Linns Stamps News does that all the time (adhering to postal regulations).

They also have a diagonal line in the corner of the illustration (representing / indicating a canceled stamp).

Now I can understand the liability issue of bringing money into the studio on the day of the photo shoot.

Q) How about authenticity / believability?

Maybe the obviously fake bills “captures” more attention from the potentional buyer.

Especially at the grocery store checkout (Impulse City, USA).

I think the People Magazine cover (it turns out it was the previous week’s cover), utilized oversized bills (like at 150%).

If one had stacks of bills on a table top (look … here is one million dollars), I would place real twenty dollar bills as the top bill on each wad of bills (giving the illusion of the whole was being “of twenties”).

Après the photo shoot, I would quickly (and accurately), return the “borrowed bills” to the safety of one’s bank account.

For you cannot spend it if you do not have it.


Terence in Marietta, GA

“… Be someone’s hero …”

Sheep, but the money on tv is actual size, or so it appears to be.

Any truth to the rumor that if you put a dollar on a color copy machine at Kinkos it’ll print just a black rectangle? How would the machine know what it is?

I’d guess all the color copiers are digital, and they’re probably smart enough to do some basic pattern-matching. Anything too much like currency gets blacked out.

<Milhouse voice>
The Rand Corporation, in association with the Saucer People (and the Reverse Vampires) have conspired to thwart counterfeiting attempts which do not suit their own nefarious ends.
</Milhouse voice>