California Environmental Nonprofit Says State Redesigned License Plate To Cut It Out Of Royalties

The California Coastal Commission unveiled a new license plate design featuring a whale’s tale tweaked slightly from the previous design, and an environmental nonprofit said the state did so because the artist who created the previous design asked for royalties to help fund the organization.

The Redondo Beach Patch reports the artist and organization loaned the previous plate design to the state for 20 years, but recently asked for 20 percent royalties of sales, spurring the redesign.

The state has used proceeds from the plates to raise 60.2 million for other environmental and conservation efforts, as well as to fund grants in each coastal county.

According to a California Coastal Commission spokesperson, the state has moved on from the issue:

“We really appreciate the donation of the original whale tail. It has served us really well. We’re nothing but appreciative at this point.”

A representative from the nonprofit is unimpressed with the new design, saying “whether we, like many others, think the new image is a poor imitation of a Wyland artwork is beside the point.”

Whale Tail License Plate Stirs Debate [Redondo Beach Patch]