A Look At 4th Circ.'s Take On Architectural Copyrights

Law360, New York (February 11, 2013, 1:30 PM EST) -- Copyright protection for architectural works has been available for a generation, but until late last year the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, sitting in Richmond, Va., had never ruled in a case involving architectural works, leaving open questions like: What constitutes infringement, and what measures can a prudent architect or contractor, knowing the law, take to avoid liability?

The recent decision in Charles W. Ross Builder Inc. v. Olsen Fine Home Building[1] is somewhat equivocal: The appeals court chastised a lower court in Virginia for applying the wrong test for infringement and vacated its judgment. In so doing, however,...

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