Is it Illegal to Do this?

by art72
62 replies
Bare with me a minute here, but my kid suggested something sooooo left field, I almost think he might be right.

But first, I wanna know if it's legal?

While I respect there are several different countries and currencies used by and within WF...this pertains to US Dollars or USD.

Every Christmas Publix sells dollar bills for "X" amount more with a sticker of Santa Claus covering Dear Ol' George. (*Funny cause I have never seen one in circulation...only being sold...LOL)

But...what if you put a small sticker on the back of a bill with your web URL?

My kid suggested just writing the web URL, but I'm pretty sure that is illegal...should action ever be taken.

But when reading up on what constitutes the "Defacing of US Currency" it implies that a fine or jail sentence can be imposed if the currency is defaced in such a way that it is rendered "unfit" for recirculation.

I've seen everything from phone numbers, stamps even..."Where's George?" used on US bills, and well...though it may be 'cheesy" I had to ask if anyone really knows?

It seems risky...so I had to ask?

Thanks,

Art
#illegal
  • Profile picture of the author Will Perkins
    It's illegal to alter, or "harm" any form of U.S. currency in any form or fashion.

    The "Where's George" thing was even pushing the line but the treasury found it humorous and let it slide (since no profit was being made).
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    • Profile picture of the author VinnyBock
      Originally Posted by Will Perkins View Post

      It's illegal to alter, or "harm" any form of U.S. currency in any form or fashion.

      The "Where's George" thing was even pushing the line but the treasury found it humorous and let it slide (since no profit was being made).
      Not to mention you'd have traffic coming from people that have no interest in what your offering clouding your true conversion rates and killing your sites bounce rate...

      A clever idea though, can't take that from the kid...
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    Thanks...I probably wouldn't do it...it's just everything I have read implies "action" is only taken if the bill is rendered useless, or as the legal term states; "unfit for recirculation."
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  • Profile picture of the author VinnyBock
    Originally Posted by art72 View Post

    Bare with me a minute here, but my kid suggested something sooooo left field, I almost think he might be right.

    But first, I wanna know if it's legal?

    While I respect there are several different countries and currencies used by and within WF...this pertains to US Dollars or USD.

    Every Christmas Publix sells dollar bills for "X" amount more with a sticker of Santa Claus covering Dear Ol' George. (*Funny cause I have never seen one in circulation...only being sold...LOL)

    But...what if you put a small sticker on the back of a bill with your web URL?

    My kid suggested just writing the web URL, but I'm pretty sure that is illegal...should action ever be taken.

    But when reading up on what constitutes the "Defacing of US Currency" it implies that a fine or jail sentence can be imposed if the currency is defaced in such a way that it is rendered "unfit" for recirculation.

    I've seen everything from phone numbers, stamps even..."Where's George?" used on US bills, and well...though it may be 'cheesy" I had to ask if anyone really knows?

    It seems risky...so I had to ask?

    Thanks,

    Art
    Hey Art,

    You should check the links in your sig, the "Instant Paychecks Review", none of the links work...

    Just a heads up...
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    • Profile picture of the author art72
      Originally Posted by VinnyBock View Post

      Hey Art,

      You should check the links in your sig, the "Instant Paychecks Review", none of the links work...

      Just a heads up...
      Vinny...Thanks Man, Ewen created a ton of headache when he took the 100% commission off the front end...then changed it to a ClickBank offer. I've gotten to some of the links, but I had a ton out there...thanks for the reminder. (Actually caught a couple sales, and my reviews are completely wrong still on some site...oops!) I need to re-write them this weekend, people seem to like that offer

      EDIT: Not sure, but I had fixed those links, and it appears either Ewen took it down...or ClickBank's kicking out the non-compliant products maybe? (Either way, I probably wasted money on at least 20 domains now that will likely be removed from CB's MarketPlace due to all the new rules...dunno (sig link...removed!)

      Harrison...Yeah, that Chumlee is a frigging trip...makes the show! Didn't know he was pushing dollar bills though.

      Finally, I actually ahd a little 3-liner if I were to do it that relates to what?......Multiplication

      Plus, the site's not exactly an authority site...just a tease to an ethical work-from-home affiliate product. *I won't mention which one, but it's not a Chronic Commission or 1-click to millions BS offer.

      Being today was payday...(still schlepping a regular job momentarily) and as I thought about it, between my wife, 2 working teens, and myself...there's 1700 dollars...or ads.

      With my luck the Feds would be knocking on my door, but the "what if?" did leave to think; "Unlike business cards that cost money...people don't throw these away, and they are ever-changing hands. Screw the bounce rate...LOL

      It was just one of those moments where something unheard of screamed "Hell yeah...that'll work!"

      Art

      PS - Plus I have seen wesites and all kinds of junk written on bills, and makes one wonder, would 1000...2000....or even 5000 even scratch the surface of all the money in circulation to trigger an investigation. No disrespect intended to the US Dollar, but I think if anyone's defaced it's value it's our government...
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  • Profile picture of the author HarrisonJ
    That's a pretty good idea. I heard Chumlee from Pawn Stars was selling $1 bills for $5 with a sticker of his face over George's and making a killing.

    I doubt its illegal to put a removable sticker on money, but who knows.

    "Not to mention you'd have traffic coming from people that have no interest in what your offering clouding your true conversion rates and killing your sites bounce rate..."

    Bounce rate only matters for traffic coming from search engines. If people are coming to your site after seeing your url and manually typing in your url, I'd imagine they would be very interested.
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    • Profile picture of the author kbailey1734
      Originally Posted by HarrisonJ View Post

      That's a pretty good idea. I heard Chumlee from Pawn Stars was selling $1 bills for $5 with a sticker of his face over George's and making a killing.

      I doubt its illegal to put a removable sticker on money, but who knows.

      "Not to mention you'd have traffic coming from people that have no interest in what your offering clouding your true conversion rates and killing your sites bounce rate..."

      Bounce rate only matters for traffic coming from search engines. If people are coming to your site after seeing your url and manually typing in your url, I'd imagine they would be very interested.
      Points for mentioning Chumlee - he is one of the most entertaining people on TV.

      Anyway - IMO I wouldn't put anything on money especially something that can tracked back to me. Just my 2 cents (No pun intended).
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  • Profile picture of the author MartinBuckley
    art72,

    I have thought about this myself and had the idea of writing a headline with url on the bottom of the bill in the white area.

    I was going to try the idea and market clickbank affiliate products, but never did out of risk also.

    I think it's a good idea, but like others have said you could end up getting in trouble with it, but who really knows.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author BabyMama
    I am in the Netherlands and I have seen 1 euro coins with stickers on the back of them advertising things. Not sure how effective it is and if its illegal or not but I have seen it several times here.
    Certainly was noticible though LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
    My advice, ask a lawyer.
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  • Profile picture of the author I.M.Retired
    This might be the answer for countries experiencing economic difficulties - selling ad banner slots on their paper currencies.
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  • Profile picture of the author espe
    I've seen that in Argentine currency (only numbers ,phones and jokes) but I guess writting an URL is completely different. (I personally believe that here it would't be a problem) but maybe in the US it is. So it's not a bad idea, but don't write the bill with a pen, instead write your URL in a little paper and add it to the bill with sticky tape... I guess that would be better than altering the bill completely
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    People write on banknotes all the time in the UK. Not messages just totals after they've counted a load of notes.

    With regards to getting you in trouble - anyone could write your URL on a banknote. I suppose you'd only get in trouble if you admitted you wrote it.

    But the question is - how many visitors would you really get? Not enough to make it worth it I wouldn't have thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I think debasing the currency should be left to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department. Why? Because they're soooooo good at it. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Actually it's not illegal to stamp or write anything on U.S. Bills. I'm not saying you should or should not do it. I'm just stating the fact that it is not illegal.

    George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author clarktr2
    It may be a grey area as far as legality goes, but I highly doubt the conversion rate on such unqualified leads would be worth the trouble. You would probably have to put your link on at least 5,000 bills to generate any sales. Interesting idea - props to the kid. Probably not worth the effort though.
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Hi,

      There was a lengthly discussion on this topic a few years back. Several Ideas were given. For targeted traffic one could say "Need More Of these dollar bills?" Go To www. onlinemoney . com" considering a dollar bill is circulated among on average 10,000 people, 100 dollars mean a "hit" rate of one million. One could have thousands of bills out there simply doing 20 or 30 at a time.

      There is only one way for sure to see if this would work and that is to test it. I'm not going too and I certainly don't encourage anyone else to.

      However if anyone does it, I'd sure like to know the results.

      George Wright


      Originally Posted by clarktr2 View Post

      It may be a grey area as far as legality goes, but I highly doubt the conversion rate on such unqualified leads would be worth the trouble. You would probably have to put your link on at least 5,000 bills to generate any sales. Interesting idea - props to the kid. Probably not worth the effort though.
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  • Profile picture of the author RS3RS
    It sounds like a unique idea, but it probably won't convert well (as has been said), and this is one screwed up world when it comes to legalities, so if you're seriously going to roll it out on a large scale (which you'd have to in order to make it effective), I'd talk to an attorney first.
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrick Pretty
    Originally Posted by art72 View Post

    But...what if you put a small sticker on the back of a bill with your web URL?

    Art
    U.S. currency = U.S. Secret Service. U.S. Secret Service = President of the United States and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    IMHO, any scheme to put stickers of URLs on U.S. currency or to write URLs on U.S. currency as part of a marketing scheme is a disaster-in-waiting -- even before the potential legal ramifications are considered.

    Banks, for example, could be forced to pay employees to remove stickers, thus eroding their profitability during already-lean times. ATMs could become clogged with stickers from IM promotions, thus raising maintenance and personnel costs. Other types of automated machines used in the banking trade could get gummed up.

    One potential human consequence is that a grandmother living on Social Security could come into possession of a suspicious bill and see her already-strained purchasing power further eroded.

    The public will blame "Internet Marketers" when grandma appears on the 6 o'clock news to tell her tale of how a local grocer called the police and denied her purchase of two cans of tuna, a jar of mayo, a jar of pickles and an onion for flavoring because she tried to pay with a suspicious bill.

    It is a sad reality that some IMers simply care more about what "works" or "may work" and less about what's smart over the long haul. Lots of harebrained ideas that sounded good have been pushed along and made viral by IMers, but later exposed as gimmicks and headline-grabbing, wretched excesses that wasted the resources of consumers, law enforcement and the courts.

    A few years ago a brainiac IMer in Florida got the bright idea of using the name of the President of the United States and the White House in promos to sanitize an MLM scheme.

    Guess who showed up unannounced at 6:30 in the morning with seizure warrants for bank accounts. You'd be right if the Secret Service was your guess. If you guessed that millions of dollars in civil and criminal litigation ensued, you'd be right about that, too.

    Reporters and TV cameras showed up during the raid to capture the IM-related event for posterity, and the worst of the worst IMers -- as they so often do -- appeared on marketing forums to reflexively boo the government before they even understood the facts of the case.

    Patrick
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Nothing like that has ever happened with money and people have been "defaceing" money for years.

      George Wright

      Originally Posted by Patrick Pretty View Post

      U.S. currency = U.S. Secret Service. U.S. Secret Service = President of the United States and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

      IMHO, any scheme to put stickers of URLs on U.S. currency or to write URLs on U.S. currency as part of a marketing scheme is a disaster-in-waiting -- even before the potential legal ramifications are considered.

      Banks, for example, could be forced to pay employees to remove stickers, thus eroding their profitability during already-lean times. ATMs could become clogged with stickers from IM promotions, thus raising maintenance and personnel costs. Other types of automated machines used in the banking trade could get gummed up.

      One potential human consequence is that a grandmother living on Social Security could come into possession of a suspicious bill and see her already-strained purchasing power further eroded.

      The public will blame "Internet Marketers" when grandma appears on the 6 o'clock news to tell her tale of how a local grocer called the police and denied her purchase of two cans of tuna, a jar of mayo, a jar of pickles and an onion for flavoring because she tried to pay with a suspicious bill.

      It is a sad reality that some IMers simply care more about what "works" or "may work" and less about what's smart over the long haul. Lots of harebrained ideas that sounded good have been pushed along and made viral by IMers, but later exposed as gimmicks and headline-grabbing, wretched excesses that wasted the resources of consumers, law enforcement and the courts.

      A few years ago a brainiac IMer in Florida got the bright idea of using the name of the President of the United States and the White House in promos to sanitize an MLM scheme.

      Guess who showed up unannounced at 6:30 in the morning with seizure warrants for bank accounts. You'd be right if the Secret Service was your guess. If you guessed that millions of dollars in civil and criminal litigation ensued, you'd be right about that, too.

      Reporters and TV cameras showed up during the raid to capture the IM-related event for posterity, and the worst of the worst IMers -- as they so often do -- appeared on marketing forums to reflexively boo the government before they even understood the facts of the case.

      Patrick
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      • Profile picture of the author Patrick Pretty
        Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

        Nothing like that has ever happened with money and people have been "defaceing" money for years.

        George Wright
        I agree that people have been defacing money for years. I disagree if you're asserting that my post above speaks to outcomes that are improbable.

        I think it is probable that, if IMers use U.S. currency to try to make URL sticky schemes go viral even on a local scale, they will meet swift and stiff resistance from the government.

        It wouldn't surprise me if someone actually "tests" a URL sticky scheme, reports favorable results -- and a bunch of IMers congratulate him (or her) for the purported achievement and then adopt it.

        Patrick
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        • Profile picture of the author George Wright
          Originally Posted by Patrick Pretty View Post

          I agree that people have been defacing money for years. I disagree if you're asserting that my post above speaks to outcomes that are improbable.

          I think it is probable that, if IMers use U.S. currency to try to make URL sticky schemes go viral even on a local scale, they will meet swift and stiff resistance from the government.

          It wouldn't surprise me if someone actually "tests" a URL sticky scheme, reports favorable results -- and a bunch of IMers congratulate him (or her) for the purported achievement and then adopt it.

          Patrick
          Sorry Patrick, I'm Wright, You're just Pretty.

          George wRight
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        • Profile picture of the author George Wright
          Originally Posted by Patrick Pretty View Post

          I agree that people have been defacing money for years. I disagree if you're asserting that my post above speaks to outcomes that are improbable.

          I think it is probable that, if IMers use U.S. currency to try to make URL sticky schemes go viral even on a local scale, they will meet swift and stiff resistance from the government.

          It wouldn't surprise me if someone actually "tests" a URL sticky scheme, reports favorable results -- and a bunch of IMers congratulate him (or her) for the purported achievement and then adopt it.

          Patrick
          Seriously Patrick,

          People have been advertising on money for years. I see URLs on money all the time.

          There are no laws against it.

          Disneyland and all other amusement parks I've ever been to have penny press machines that completely squash a penny and make it unspendable. And many of them print or place stickers of cartoon characters over the president's face.

          As strapped as the Government is for money right now, if stamping and advertising on money were a chargeable offense, many big corporations would be paying GREAT BIG fines and they are not.

          If it were against the law to write on money every bank teller and store clerk in America should be arrested for marking up $20 with those counterfeit detector pens.

          Believe me, I'm not FOR doing this, I'm not FOR Smoking either however if someone posted it was against the law to smoke in America, I'd say "Not."

          Respectfully,

          George Wright
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          • Profile picture of the author Patrick Pretty
            Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

            Seriously Patrick,

            People have been advertising on money for years. I see URLs on money all the time.

            There are no laws against it.

            Disneyland and all other amusement parks I've ever been to have penny press machines that completely squash a penny and make it unspendable. And many of them print or place stickers of cartoon characters over the president's face.

            As strapped as the Government is for money right now, if stamping and advertising on money were a chargeable offense, many big corporations would be paying GREAT BIG fines and they are not.

            If it were against the law to write on money every bank teller and store clerk in America should be arrested for marking up $20 with those counterfeit detector pens.

            Believe me, I'm not FOR doing this, I'm not FOR Smoking either however if someone posted it was against the law to smoke in America, I'd say "Not."

            Respectfully,

            George Wright
            Hello George,

            I stand by my opinion and respect your privilege to express yours.

            The President has any number of solemn duties. None is more important than keeping the people safe. It's also a solemn duty to keep the currency safe.

            Please don't interpret these words as a political opinion. These are matters of elementary civics. All administrations must do these things as a matter of public duty. Commerce cannot flourish if people are insecure and money is infected -- either through counterfeiting, defacement or other means that create confusion and doubt about its worth and whether it is even real.

            Will a $20 bill with an IMer's URL still be worth $20. Probably, I'd venture. But the cost of keeping that $20 bill clean enough to spend easily could exceed $20. Those costs will be passed to businesses and the government.

            There will be an PR trainwreck for IM if the local grocers and druggists and hairstylists and tavern owners and places of worship and bankers have to devote resources to peeling URL stickers off the currency.

            I'm sure you remember that, a few years ago, some of the folks insisted that hidden forced continuity billing schemes should be "tested." My question -- and the question of lots of Warriors -- was "Tested for what?"

            So what if testing proves it works? It's still a trainwreck that causes the public to have even more negative thoughts about IM.

            Patrick

            P.S. Nice to see you, George.
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            • Profile picture of the author Patrick Pretty
              Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

              What if they didn't remove them?

              What then?

              Would the sky fall?

              Would the economy collapse?
              Ken,

              Unless I'm reading you wrong, you appear willing to lend at least your tacit support to schemes in which IMers would affix a sticky of their sales URL to U.S. currency and that the linchpin of your argument is that that commerce as we know it likely won't end if such a scheme gains traction -- therefore, no big deal.

              You also appear to believe that my opinion has no merit and falls into the alarmist, sky-is-falling category. Am I reading you correctly?

              If so, should the Congress meet to pass a Resolution in support of Internet Marketing URL schemes on U.S. currency or even special legislation that codifies a privilege? Should the Direct Selling Association and the National Retail Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobby Congress for such a bill on the theory that American Internet Marketers have an inalienable right to advertise their businesses on U.S. greenbacks and try to make URL stickers on currency go viral?

              As a matter of advancing the aims of IM commerce, why limit the privilege to U.S. currency? Why not extend it to the flag, perhaps especially the pristine flags that veterans' groups place at gravesites on Memorial Day weekend? My World War II vet father, for instance, gets a flag every year at his gravesite -- and has for 43 consecutive years. The IMers who place currency stickies during the day could double as the affixers of flag stickies and come to the cemeteries under cover of darkness or even in broad daylight to pursue their advertising aims.

              For the initial phase of IM testing, the stickies on the cemetery flags all could read, "Make $87,247.66 Overnight On Autopilot By Selling Our Snuff Films Online!! www.FilthyRichInternetPornMarketingGenius2011.com. "

              Based on my experience of 25 years as a reporter who often works at the intersection of government and commerce, I speculated on four potential outcomes in my first post in this thread. A fifth is in the paragraph above.

              I think anticipated outcomes such as these are predictable, probable and rational -- and that this IM Genie will meet instant and harsh resistance if it ever gets out of the bottle. And I think IM will get a black eye if that element of the herd that sanctions anything in the name of IM profits starts whipping their starry-eyed followers into a frenzy in support of URL sticky schemes.

              I would not support URL sticky schemes on U.S. currency for the same reason I wouldn't support them on the flag, notwithstanding the fact that one could advance an argument that such schemes constitute protected speech and may not be illegal because a specific prohibition against IM sticky schemes is not codified.

              It has been my experience that many IMers have a tin ear for public relations -- and that such marketers exact a penalty on the IM universe as a whole. The public paints with a very wide brush. It also has been my experience that many IMers engage in fantastic rationalizations to sanitize virtually any abuse and advance arguments from ignorance because, as a technical matter, they cannot be proven "wrong" in the short run.

              No, I cannot prove the "sky will fall" and that the "economy will collapse" if IM URL sticky schemes gain traction. Nor would I advance such an argument. Even so, I believe there will be consequences to individual IMers and IM in general if URL sticky schemes make it out of the harbor and that many good reasons exist for IMers not to board an IM URL sticky ship.

              Here's a sixth reason: They'll get caught, and it will become a great source of personal embarrassment if not costly to their finances and reputations in the communities in which they reside. I can't "prove" that these things will happen, of course. Nor can I "prove" that my long-dead father would disapprove of a porn URL sticky on the flag at his gravesite on Memorial Day.

              What I can do is encourage IMers to exercise prudence and to avoid PR landmines and things that have an obviously high potential to backfire.

              Patrick
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              • Profile picture of the author Patrick Pretty
                Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                Plain fact is that no one in their right mind would give a tinker's damn if you put a sticker on a dollar bill.
                I give a tinker's damn, Ken, and I've explained why. I think plenty of people give a tinker's damn about the nation's monetary symbols and do not want to see them become mini-billboards for IM graffiti -- and that this number only will swell if some sort of campaign to pollute U.S. currency with IM URLs gets under way and goes viral. Of course, you'd have the folks believe that only a person out of his or her "right mind" -- in other words, crazy -- would disagree with you.


                Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                Make of that what you will.
                I have. What I make of it is that you haven't presented anything that even remotely resembles a cohesive, well-reasoned argument for your position, yet cite your observation as a "plain fact" while ignoring or dismissing obvious risks.

                Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                The laws about defacing or changing bills are designed to stop counterfeiters, not some guy trying to make an honest living.
                I think an IMer who affixes a sticky of his/her URL to U.S. currency is at high risk of drawing more unwanted attention than wanted attention.

                Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                Do you honestly think that action merits the attention of the federal government?
                Yes, if it reaches a tipping point and banks and retailers begin to complain about increasing pools of IM greenback pollution. That said, it would be a shame if the government and businesses large and small had to devote resources to clean up after IMers who could not exercise even the minimal restraint required not to tape ads to the currency.

                Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                You've achieved the surreal.
                What have you achieved in this thread, Ken?

                Patrick
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              • Profile picture of the author getbizy
                It is illegal to deface the currency...and i think you would not get too much traffic if it were possible
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          • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
            Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

            Believe me, I'm not FOR doing this, I'm not FOR Smoking either however if someone posted it was against the law to smoke in America, I'd say "Not."
            Yet... Tune in again in a few years
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  • Profile picture of the author nicoledeal
    You know eventually Google will get one of those dollar bills in one of their vending machines at the corporate office. You and your site will possibly never be heard of again.

    PS: Your son is very creative, he is going to be a money machine!
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicole G
    The penny pressing machines are a good point!

    Some more answers (but some leave more questions!) Google Answers: Defacing US currency?
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Originally Posted by Nicole G View Post

      The penny pressing machines are a good point!

      Some more answers (but some leave more questions!) Google Answers: Defacing US currency?
      The person who tried to interpret the law asked a very valid question.

      "If this is the law spelled out before us in black and white then why
      doesn't the government prosecute everyone who does it??
      Your guess is as good as mine; but nevertheless, theres the law, just
      as it is written and just as you asked."
      It's been commented on in many other discussions that in the laws regarding defacing money the words "intent," "fraudulently" and "fraud" are very important to this whole discussion and they are the reasons it is not against the law to press pennies, stamp small ads on bills and cover a president's face with another face or cartoon character.

      George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author jezbiz
    might not be a good idea,
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  • Profile picture of the author robchapman
    I used to be a teller and saw all sorts of writing on money, and we still used it. I think you would be ok to write on the back on the edges. I don't think the money police will come for you. =)
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  • Profile picture of the author KarimPPC
    lol, if you want to end up in guantanomo bay you're heading in the right diction, keep on doing it.

    not only are you defacing currency, but you're also leaving behind evidence to get caught for it as well, they'll have a good hunch that its yuo whose doing it. because the notes are appearing in your area, then they'll just to a handwriting anlysis, and boom they've gotcha.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michaelvb
    Ask a lawyer if its legal or not
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    • Profile picture of the author ZachWaldman
      I regularly do magic tricks where an audience member signs a bill (to prove later it's the same bill).

      As a matter of fact, I did this trick for Vice President Al Gore and he signed it without hesitation.

      So, if you ever come across a bill with his name on it, it may really be his signature.

      I've also had federal judges and lawyers sign 'em left and right.

      The only people that ever freak out about signing the bills are people that believe the myth that it's illegal. It's not.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    I don't think the government would take kindly to having their bills used solely for advertising purposes
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  • Profile picture of the author Ducksauce
    From Wiki
    http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Where's_George%3F [space inserted in URL]

    The website does not encourage the defacement of U.S. Currency.[10] In October 1999, Eskin was interviewed for the New York Times, where he commented on why the Secret Service has not bothered the webmaster over the defacement of US Currency. Eskin replied "They've got better things to do. They want to catch counterfeiters counterfeiting billions of dollars."[4]
    In April 2000, the site was investigated by the United States Secret Service, which informed Eskin that the selling of "Where's George?" rubber stamps on the web site is considered "advertising" on United States currency, which is illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 475.[11] The website's administrators immediately ceased selling the rubber stamps and no further action against the site was taken.[3] At least one spokesperson for the US Secret Service has pointed out in print that marking US bills, even if not defacement, is still illegal for other reasons[12] under 18 U.S.C. § 475; however, the general view[weasel words] is that using Where's George? rubber stamps on currency is not illegal per se.[verification needed][13] One Secret Service spokesman in Seattle, Washington, told The Seattle Times in 2004: "Quite frankly, we wouldn't spend too much looking into this."
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    Thanks for all the insight everyone

    I too remember getting a penny pressed atop the Empire State Building when I was a kid on vacation, didn't even think about that.

    There's also a ton of artworks, antiques, and jewelry I've seen that was comprised of coins or currency out there that looked awesome, but truth of the matter is; the money was 'unfit' for recirculation as it was drilled, glued, or altered in such ways that it couldn't possibly hold any value greater than the price a person would pay for the piece.

    I have personally bought pieces at storage auctions, as my wife and I used to make great money attending those auctions...long before the tv show "Storage Wars" exposed it, and ruined it for those of us who kept it lucrative secret resource. (*We did this part-time for years and sought mostly antiques, artwork, and memorabilia.)

    Point being, I learned a lot about history, like; coins, and how putting them in necklace settings, etc...kills the collectable value.

    As a person who respects history, antiques, and artwork alike, I would never alter a coin or note in such a way that it was no longer usable.

    The irony is, I have seen those 'fake' $100 bill business cards, and even been foolish enough to pick one or two up off the ground, but never really payed much attention to the advertisement on the reverse after learning it was fake.

    With that said, the conversion rate would obviously be low, and a tracking nightmare.

    This all began when I invited the wife and kids to pass out flyers as a test to see if an "offline campaign" would generate sales.

    I still intend to give that a try, as it was a way to get my wife and kids involved, and show them 'how' tracking opt-ins, 'hits', and conversion rates work. Plus, I told them I'd pay them 50% commissions on all sales (Each with their own URL, campaign, and analytic s tracking set-up)

    I also looked at the 'break-down' of a $100 bill if I did write a one liner, and a web address, and it was interesting.

    (1) $100 Bill = 1 ad
    (5) $20 Bills = 5 ads
    (10) $10 Bills =10 ads
    (20) $5 Bills = 20 ads
    (100) $1 Bills = 100 ads

    Total if each $100 was broken down = 136 ads


    *Naturally, I skipped the $2 bill as they are rare...LOL

    But, many have brought upon some great arguments concerning the negative reflection on IM'ers, the potential local threat of a complaint being filed, and of course the fact it is 'traceable' to my domain...ME!

    I highly doubt I would do this, NOT for fear of the legalities, but in respect to comments like travilnguy's statement

    Who knows...it might've worked! Especially, if each bill hits 10,000 hands on average. Naturally, the 'product' would have to be evergreen, and have one hell of a landing page to convert 'cold' traffic.

    All the Best,

    Art

    PS - Thanks for all the compliments on my son's idea. It's rare that he shows much interest in IM'ing...so I'll pass on the 'props' his idea was given!
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  • Profile picture of the author Majon
    Don't Idea about this
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Right or wrong ... legal or illegal ... active prosecutions or not ...

      I would direct your attention to reading this short paragraph directly from the US Code which addresses advertising on US securities:

      18 USC Sec. 475 01/07/2011

      -EXPCITE-
      TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
      PART I - CRIMES
      CHAPTER 25 - COUNTERFEITING AND FORGERY

      -HEAD-
      Sec. 475. Imitating obligations or securities; advertisements

      -STATUTE-
      Whoever designs, engraves, prints, makes, or executes, or utters, issues, distributes, circulates, or uses any business or professional card, notice, placard, circular, handbill, or advertisement in the likeness or similitude of any obligation or security of the United States issued under or authorized by any Act of Congress or writes, prints, or otherwise impresses upon or attaches to any such instrument, obligation, or security, or any coin of the United States, any business or professional card, notice, or advertisement, or any notice or advertisement whatever, shall be fined under this title. Nothing in this section applies to evidence of postage payment approved by the United States Postal Service.

      Warriors: Please be very careful about trusting what you read in this thread, this forum, or anywhere else online, as authoritative or even good advice.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    I certainly wasn't recommending or encouraging anyone do this. Instead, it was conducive to knowing what has clearly been revealed in the thread above this one.

    Thought erased. Idea terminated.

    Thanks for all the feedback

    Art
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  • Profile picture of the author nbw
    It's fine.

    People scribble on notes all the time, so sticking something to a note isn't a problem as long as it's not glued on and is easily removed and doesn't damage the note.

    Paperclip would be best.
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  • Profile picture of the author Liam Swift
    I'm by no means a legal expert, but I can't imagine how writing a web address on a dollar bill would render it "defaced in such a way that it is rendered "unfit" for recirculation"

    Maybe if you obscured the dollar value of the bill with permanent marker it would be a different story, but I've seen plenty of notes with all kinds of things written on them that are still in circulation.
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  • Profile picture of the author sadiecopywriter
    I'm pretty sure it's not illegal to put a sticker on a piece of money. As long as the sticker isn't that tacky and won't harm the money when it's removed.

    I'm basing this on the fact that I get this catalog every year and one of the things they sell is a dollar bill with sticker on it. The sticker is a Santa Claus and it goes where George Washington should be.

    They charge $10 for this one dollar bill and sticker. Since it's in a real paper catalog for anyone to see, I can't imagine it's illegal. The sticker comes right off.

    I wouldn't write anything directly on the money. And most of the facing stuff is about the fact that if you melted down coins there's more money in selling the raw metals they are made from them they're actually worth. (But don't do that, coins have a special composition that can always be identified even if melted.)
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  • Profile picture of the author savvybizbuilder
    Better not to do that. Much better to label that into your product.
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  • Profile picture of the author investasap
    This is know as DeFacing Currency and i would suggest this is illegal yes as far as i know
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  • Profile picture of the author Lex Redbone
    Harrison,

    Yeah, Pawn Stars' Chumlee is a REAL TRIP, however I hope he's havin' a blast! What he's doin' is highly illegal!!! You can't "sell gov't currency for more than it's face value". Him placing his own pic over G.W.'s is also illegal & defacing gov't property. The killing he's making now won't cover his fines OR convince a JUDGE not to send him to federal prison, to hang out w/the BIG BOYS!!!!!!!

    When I was on active duty, for some unknown reason, I used to drill holes in 50 cent pieces and wear 'em around my neck. Higher ups warned I was destroying govt property...

    Enough from me on this s#*t !!!

    Lex
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Originally Posted by Lex Redbone View Post

      Harrison,

      Yeah, Pawn Stars' Chumlee is a REAL TRIP, however I hope he's havin' a blast! What he's doin' is highly illegal!!! You can't "sell gov't currency for more than it's face value". Him placing his own pic over G.W.'s is also illegal & defacing gov't property.

      When I was on active duty, for some unknown reason, I used to drill holes in 50 cent pieces and wear 'em around my neck. Higher ups warned I was destroying govt property...

      Lex
      In red above, collectors do it all the time. Even with new money.

      And (again use the disclamer, "I wouldn't do it or encourage others to) it's not illegal to put another face over G.Ws face.

      G.W.
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  • Profile picture of the author spacechimpmedia
    There's so many serious remarks on here about your conversion rate, bounce rate, targeted traffic blah blah blah. Internet marketers get so focused on technical *** and bounce rates you forget what marketing is all about.

    Unless your releasing millions of these dollars into circulation the government isn't going to care or even find out about it.

    I say go for it. Use a separate landing page for the url so you can track it and do a cool link bait article on it afterwards.

    Goog Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author EllesBelles
    This was an interesting read!

    I'm in the UK. As part of my degree, we went to court everyday for a week. We saw the case of a man who had wrote on UK money - he argued that it was okay because money is frequently written on around here. Most notes have numbers scribbled on, from when they are counted.

    He lost. He hadn't done it on a grand scale - I think they had 37 notes in the court, and he wouldn't admit to doing any more. He had done it over two years, and couldn't guess how much business it had bought in, but said it probably wasn't any. He'd only written in small letters on most, at the bottom, where people look to check a note is real.

    They classed it as advertising and he was heavily fined to the extent that his business profit was completely wiped out. I'll look for the story online later - I have the real newspaper article somewhere.

    I believe he was found out when a shop rejected the note as currency, and called the police, who seized the note. They didn't have to spend much finding the guy - they just put his URL into Google. I can't remember exactly what he was charged with, but I recall that afterwards we were taken to a tourist attraction and shown the license that it had to be allowed to 'destroy' pennies in one of those machines.

    As for not doing it in your own country - I wouldn't do it in the UK or US if you are in either country. We quite like swapping criminals at the moment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alphy3000
    Creative kid you got there Art.
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  • Profile picture of the author teepee
    It could be done easier here in Canada. Our bills are now plastic.
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