The only information I am able to find on this topic is under the assumption that the duplication would be in print format:

Some of the most common conditions are (not all apply to every country):

  • Size - smaller or larger than original, the amount varies by country
  • Color - black & white reproductions only or the use of distinctly different colors from original
  • One-side - reproductions cannot be double-sided
  • Surface Area - only a certain percentage of the overall surface of one side of the bill may be depicted
  • Orientation - currency must be at an angle within the illustration
  • Labeling - placing the word "Specimen" or "Sample" across the illustration
  • Material - some types of reproductions can only be placed on materials that are not paper or paper-like
  • Permission - in some countries you must request permission in writing before reproducing banknotes in advertising or for educational purposes
  • Creative Materials - disposal of scans, negatives, plates, or other materials used in creating the currency reproductions

I'm just looking to use elements of currency as part of a mobile website theme; there's a very obvious lack of the possibility of mistaking anything as counterfeit. But, I'm aware of the sensitivity of this, so I want to make sure I'm not taking any chances on getting caught up on a technicality; the prison industrial complex is booming business now.

I suppose just using portions of a US dollar bill might be the safest route, but I just need to know what my limitations are before heading down this path.

Lastly, where's a great place to find this type of information without risking a tour of Guantanamo?

  • 1
    The copyright tag is misplaced; works of the US government are in the public domain. The laws you have to worry about are those regarding counterfeiting. – phoog Jan 20 '16 at 5:27
  • 1
    Yes, I know. It was a little frustrating because there isn't a counterfeit tag and I had to put at least one. There was strong discouragement of making a new tag. :( – stagl Jan 20 '16 at 22:50

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