Monday, 16 November 2009

Architectural Copyright : Architect Sues David Childs and SOM Over Freedom Tower Design

Shine, 40, in a lawsuit filed on Nov. 8 that Childs copied a project Shine had produced while studying for his Master's at Yale University School of Architecture. Shine claims to have presented the project to Childs in the Autumn of 1999.

The project, named “Olympic Tower,” is a twisting tower with a symmetrical diagonal column grid, expressed on the exterior of the building, following the twisting surface created by the floor plates’ geometry. Shine copyrighted the idea last spring, and is suing for copyright infringement under the U.S. Copyright Act.

Shine, who says he has always been fascinated by the twisting forms in ceramics, says he came up with the idea while attending a studio course with architect Cesar Pelli. Childs was one of the reviewers criting the final projects.

SOM quickly responded to the suit’s filing with a statement, claiming, among other things, that the components of the Freedom Tower had been in development by the firm long before Shine's project.

Given that the lawsuit doesn't deal with the current version of Freedom Tower (it was extensively redesigned after the NYPD and NYFD contributed to the discussion). Regardless, the trial will be very important in what it says about the application of intellectual copyright to architectural designs.

Architectural works in the US have been protected by the U.S Copyright office since 1990. The governmental body defines architectural works as "the design of a building embodied in any tangible medium of expression, including a building, architectural plans, or drawings." That's fine, but judging if an architectural work copies a previous design, as in this case, is a very gray matter. Here it pertains to the diamond-shaped facade.

No comments:

Post a Comment