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Author Topic: Architect Wants Trump Buildings Destroyed  (Read 4954 times)

George

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Architect Wants Trump Buildings Destroyed
« on: 11-09-04 at 10:57 pm »

An architect is suing Trump, the corporation, claiming certain towers being built infringe on his copyright and is requesting destruction of the buildings as a remedy.  

See http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,137788,00.html

An interesting note: in Canada there is a specific exemption from injunctive and  destruction remedies where a building infringes copyright.  Section 40 (1) of the Copyright Act states: Where the construction of a building or other structure that infringes or that, if completed, would infringe the copyright in some other work has been commenced, the owner of the copyright is not entitled to obtain an injunction in respect of the construction of that building or structure or to order its demolition.
« Last Edit: 11-10-04 at 10:01 pm by george »
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eric stasik

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Re: Architech Wants Trump Buildings Destroyed
« Reply #1 on: 11-10-04 at 09:49 am »

Thanks George, interesting post!

Well I can maybe see some sense in not knocking it down, but injunctive relief could be something as simple as barring occupancy until the infringer comes to his or her senses.

If the builder/owner failed to install proper fire protection equipment, or did not include a sufficient number of wheel chair ramps, or fulfill the hundreds of other building regulations, the city would not hesitate for a moment to deny issuing an occupancy permit. Why should copyright infringement be afforded a less comprehensive "injunctive" remedy?

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JimIvey

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Re: Architech Wants Trump Buildings Destroyed
« Reply #2 on: 11-11-04 at 01:49 am »

Quote
If the builder/owner failed to install proper fire protection equipment, or did not include a sufficient number of wheel chair ramps, or fulfill the hundreds of other building regulations, the city would not hesitate for a moment to deny issuing an occupancy permit. Why should copyright infringement be afforded a less comprehensive "injunctive" remedy?

Well, because copyright infringement doesn't kill anybody.  Fires and lack of wheelchair ramps (especially when combined with the afore-mentioned fire) do.

Why isn't monetary damages a sufficient remedy?

Regards.
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eric stasik

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Re: Architech Wants Trump Buildings Destroyed
« Reply #3 on: 11-11-04 at 05:33 am »

Quote
Well, because copyright infringement doesn't kill anybody.  Fires and lack of wheelchair ramps (especially when combined with the afore-mentioned fire) do.

Why isn't monetary damages a sufficient remedy?

Regards.


Well, as bizarre as it may seem, not everyone is out after money.

The purpose of an injunction is to prevent the copyright owner from suffering irreparable harm.

If Mr. Trump has constructed a building after the architect's design, then it seems to me that the architect's design would no longer be of any value to him.

The value of a building design has a lot to do with how unique it is. Once this is gone, it cannot be replaced. This seems like irreparable harm to me.

It is also an artistic expression. It may well cause the architect irreparable harm to see his design perverted by its use, location, or manner of construction. This too seems like harm that cannot be repaired once it is done.

My earlier point was that there are many reasons why the city would withhold a certificate of occupancy - not all of them having to do with safety. In some places, the use of non-union labor where required by local ordnance or contract, is reason enough for the city to halt construction.

Why should a copyright owner be given less regard?

Canada is an enlightened country so there may be more to this than I am seeing, but thier law seems to me just another extension of the cancerous ideology that intangible property just isn't worth protecting as much as all other kinds of property.

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JimIvey

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Re: Architech Wants Trump Buildings Destroyed
« Reply #4 on: 11-11-04 at 05:48 pm »

Quote
The purpose of an injunction is to prevent the copyright owner from suffering irreparable harm.

If I read the facts correctly, the plaintiff tried to sell his design to Mr. Trump and was unsuccessful.  Mr. Trump instead purchased a similar design from someone else.

So, the plaintiff wanted money and didn't get it.  Now he's suffering harm as a result of not getting money.  If money can't repair that harm, then all harm is "irreparable" and money damages should immediately be abandoned as a form of compensation for all lawsuits.  

Personally, I think it's remarkable that anyone would even consider destruction of a building as a remedy.  I can see melting down a piece of infringing jewelry because the cost of melting it down is likely to be insignificant to the amount of potential damages for copyright infringement.  The same can be said for destroying CDs or DVDs.  Here, the cost of tearing down a partially completed building and starting over is likely to be huge relative to the amount at stake.  

Personally, I doubt there's much hope for an actual court order to destroy a building.  I suspect it's more of a ploy to get a quick and large settlement from the Trump group by raising the stakes.

Of course, I don't do real estate law, so this is mere speculation on my part.

Regards.
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