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Company bans stamp images of adults, teens

You can still get your baby, your dog, even your prized '65 Mustang on a sheet of postage stamps and immortalize them in letters to your friends.

But plastering your own mug on the 37-cent stamps is off limits. Same goes for that picture of your teenager you wanted to put on a stamp and attach to graduation announcements.

Stamps.com, the Santa Monica company that began offering people the opportunity last month to put pictures of themselves on postage stamps, has suddenly declared photos of adults and teenagers off-limits.

Company officials did not return repeated calls or e-mails asking for an explanation.

It has not gone unnoticed, however, that pranksters at the Web site The Smoking Gun have claimed some success in getting pictures of notorious adults past the company's censors.

The result has been a postage-stamp rogues' gallery that has grown to include Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Communist spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and ousted Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

The dress former White House intern Monica Lewinsky made famous also got by, according to The Smoking Gun.

When Stamps.com began offering sheets of 20 stamps for $16.99 last month, its PhotoStamps service banned anything its censors considered political, offensive or pornographic.

Still allowed are images of babies, preteens, pets, landscapes, wildlife, vehicles, and graphics representing businesses or charities.

The service is available at www.photostamps.com.

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