bartering to survive

Several years ago, two musicians, one from Seattle and one from Los Angeles started writing music together, using the mail to send each other the pieces of the bits of music each had created. After several months, they had jointly composed an album. They decided to call themselves “Postal Service” after their method of working together.
Then they heard from the real Postal Service with a cease-and-desist letter.
The outcome was as unusual as the band itself. This week the real U.S. Postal Service signed an agreement with the band’s label granting a free license to use the name in exchange for working to promote using the mail. Future copies of of the album will have a notice about copyright, while the federal Postal Poster Service will sell the band CDs on its website.
According to an article about this win/win compromise in the NY Times:
Gary Thuro, a manager of communications for the United States Postal Service who handles licensing and promotion, said the publicity would be valuable.
“We’re always looking for ways to extend our brand and reach into areas we don’t typically reach,” he said, “like teens and people in their 20’s, who are typically doing business online and are not familiar with the Postal Service.”

When my kids were little, I used to cut my neighbor’s kids’ and husband’s hair in return for fresh vegetables from her garden. I bartered my friend’s hand-made jewelry and batik for Barbie clothes that I knitted for her daughters.
I predict that rough economic times are coming for us have-lesses under Bush’s delusionary “mandate.” Maybe we can do some creative bartering to keep our personal costs down. Hell, if the federal Post Office can do it to avoid spending money and time on litigation, why can’t we barter to keep our own expenses down.
Hair cut, anyone?

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