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Photographing Portland’s iconic White Stag sign now costs money

Photographing Portland’s iconic White Stag sign now costs money

The Portland, Oregon iconic city sign, also known as the White Stag sign, just got harder to immortalize.

The White Stag sign is one of the most photographed landmarks in the United States and the sign is officially recognized as an American historic landmark, thanks to a decision from 1977.

Additionally, the sign was purchased by the city of Portland in 2010, which is now paying about $2,000 for its monthly maintenance, and this is why the local officials are looking to get some of the money back.

White Stag sign in Portland, Oregon is no longer free to use in commercial projects
White Stag sign in Portland, Oregon now costs at least $100 if photographers want to use it in a commercial project.

Portland, Oregon now charging photographers using the city sign for commercial purposes

Photographing the sign just got harder as Portland has officially updated its website in order to let potential photographers know that they need to license the sign if they want to use it in any kind of commercial-related project.

Small business owners or photographers who want to use the sign in a single, minor project will have to pay a one-time fee of $100. Furthermore, bigger businesses involved in bigger projects will be forced to pay $1,100.

What is certain now, is that the White Stag sign located near the Burnside Bridge, Portland, can no longer be considered a public place since you have to pay money to photograph it and to use the images in any kind of commercial projects.

The announcement on the Portland website strictly refers to commercial purposes, which means that people can upload images of the sign on Facebook, Instagram or any other photo sharing website.

Think of breaking the rules? Think again!

The sign, located in the Old Town Historic District, is still listed in the National Register of Historic Places and remains an icon for the citizens of Portland. However, if the sign is used in any commercial projects without paying licensing fees, then the City of Portland will send an “Infringement of Intellectual Property” warning to any rule-breakers.

Another iconic sign in the US is the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign. It was created by designer Betty Willis and using it for commercial purposes does not cost a thing. On the other hand, the Hollywood sign, most likely the most popular city landmark in the world, needs to be licensed if one wants to use it for commercial purposes.

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Photographing Portland’s iconic White Stag sign now costs money