Friday, April 5, 2013

Wants to Modify Copyright-Protected Home

Dear Rich: We're friends with the architect for our house -- built in 1992. It's kind of a unique house and has been featured in an architectural blog. The architect has mentioned a few times that she has the copyright for our house. She brings it up in a friendly way. But we wondered what that really means. She seems to be implying that we can't make any major changes without her permission. We're hesitant to bring up the fact that we're contemplating a major renovation. So before we talk to her, we wanted to know what the law says. The law says you're fine to make major renovations or revisions to copyright-protected architecture without the copyright owner's permission. Section 17 U.S.C. 120(b) states that: "Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106(2), the owners of a building embodying an architectural work may, without the consent of the author or copyright owner of the architectural work, make or authorize the making of alterations to such building, and destroy or authorize the destruction of such building."

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