It is legal to make a simple photocopy of a dollar bill, right? Not necessarily. There are strict laws concerning the reproduction of United States paper currency. Dollars can be illustrated or copied only under certain circumstances and only in certain ways. Here are the guidelines for reproducing dollars.
It is legal to create color illustrations of dollars, but certain restrictions apply. The illustration of the dollar cannot be the same size as an actual dollar. It should be less than three-quarters or over 1 ½ times the actual size, even if it is a portion of the bill.
Illustrations must only be printed on one side. Any negatives, plates, optical files, or digital images used to base the illustration on must be deleted or destroyed when the illustration is complete.
The same rules apply for photographs and printed copies of dollars, and other foreign currency, checks, securities, bonds, and stamps.
Reproduced bills can be used for motion pictures and videos. Movies, television shows and commercial advertisements can use them. They need to be reproduced in black and white. Anything used to create them must be destroyed after the production of the needed mock bills is complete.
For projection purposes, like movies, slides, and microfilm, actual money can be used. No prints can be made based on these materials unless they are black and white, and meet the above mentioned size requirements.
Make sure that you follow the law if you plan to make copies of actual money. Failure to abide by the law in this regard could result in a fine, a prison sentence, or both. Be careful about printing scanned color copies of dollar bills. Counterfeiting is a serious offense, and it would be terrible if you were charged for it just because of an innocent copy.
It is interesting how particular the guidelines are about these things, isn’t it? I just thought I would share that with you.