The publisher made a startling discovery moments before 3 million copies of Teddy Roosevelt’s 1900 full convention speech were to be printed. It seems permission had not been obtained to use a picture of him and his running mate, Governor Hiram Johnson, of California. Under copyright laws the photographer would have been entitled to one dollar per printed copy.
The chairman of the campaign committee knew they needed an immediate release so decided to try little creativity. He sent a telegram to photographer’s Chicago studio that read, “Planning to issue 3 million copies Roosevelt speech with pictures Roosevelt and Johnson on cover. Great publicity opportunity for photographer. Will you pay us to use your photographs?”
To see what how the photographer replied, click here.