Architects Upset About Copyright Infringement?

from the make-it-stop dept

Please, please, make it stop. Copyfight points out that architects are the latest bunch to get all worked up about people “infringing” on their copyrights. While building design has only been included under copyright protection for about fifteen years, one of the first lawsuits over similarities in design is starting to move forward. The whole idea is pointless for a few reasons. First, it’s tough to tell where the inspiration for a building came from — and even when an architect is inspired by a particular design or building, the end result is often an adjustment on the original design that fits more with the new architect’s style. Second, architects are selling a lot more than the design — but also the ability to implement the design. Also, can an architect really suggest that they’re losing business because someone else has a similar design to something they’ve done in the past? If the same architect was competing for the same job, you’d figure they’d have created something new and that would win out over someone copying one of their older ideas. However, where it gets really silly is when you start to question where does this stop? I live in a house that probably isn’t all that different than plenty of other houses across the globe. Should the architect who built my house be liable for infringing on the copyright of a house?

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Comments on “Architects Upset About Copyright Infringement?”

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Sean (user link) says:

No Subject Given

That is a bit stupid. I consider architects artist, and as artist, they get inspiration from other architects. Where would we be today if artist were suing each other for finding inspiration in the work of others? “Hey, I’m suing your band because you took inspiration from my band.” “Hey, I’m suing you because you obviously took inspiration from my writing style when you wrote your new book!” Come ‘on. A line really needs to be drawn somewhere.
– Sean

Mousky (user link) says:

Another Nail In The Coffin

“Should the architect who built my house be liable for infringing on the copyright of a house?”

I think you mean builder not architect. And to answer your question, no. We are entering a new era where invention and innovation will be stifled because of government-sanctioned monopolies such as copyright and patents. Established companies are seeing their business model turned on it’s head and they cry to the government to do something, you know, the whole “save these jobs” mantra.

DV Henkel-Wallace says:

Architechts have crazy attitudes towards copyright

The standard AIA contract between the architect and client assigns all the rights to the architect (and lots more besides — lots of authority but little responsibility). When we designed our house we required that the architect sign an NDA and also assign all ownership and rights of all the drawings etc to us. Woah! Some big-name guys really kicked up a fuss.

They basically consider the owner to be someone they just need to get their wonderful creations made. No wonder Ayn Rand used an architect as the hero of one of her stupid books.

Mousky (user link) says:

Re: Re: Architechts have crazy attitudes towards copyr

I think it is more along the lines of ‘I don’t want you profiting from something that I paid for”. And that makes sense. If the architect keeps the rights, he can then sell the same design over and over, all at a profit, since all the design costs were borne by the original client.

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