Some people say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, under architectural copyright law, imitation could be a very costly endeavor. Here are ten tips to help contractors, owners and architects protect themselves from architectural copyright disputes.
1. CONSTRUCTING A SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR BUILDING WITHOUT PERMISSION MAY INFRINGE THE COPYRIGHT OWNER'S RIGHTS.
In 1990, Congress passed the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act which explicitly provides copyright protection to original designs of architecture in virtually any form, including architectural plans, drawings and buildings themselves. This means that a builder may be liable for copyright infringement if the building itself infringes another's plans or building regardless of whether the plans themselves were copied. Therefore, builders, architects and owners should not attempt to mimic other architectural works in any form.
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