Monday, October 29, 2007

An a-bridge-ment of his rights?

Bill Patry posts about a lawsuit brought by architect Santiago Calatrava against the city of Bilbao over changes to his famous bridge there, including the addition of an extension by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. He claims that the new link "breaks the symmetry of the bridge, clumsily distorts the design... and damages the integrity of his work" and is "demanding €250,000 compensation and the dismantling of Isozaki's extension, or, if the new link remains, - €3m for 'moral damages.'" Bilbao's mayor responds: "If it's his intellectual property, let him take his intellectual property. We've had enough of the dictatorship of Calatrava saying we can't touch his little bridge. We've had enough of this superstar."

As Patry points out, under U.S. law bridges are not protected by the 1990 Architectural Works Protection Act "based on a concern that they and related transportation structures are too essential to the public to be tied up in copyright disputes. Moreover, even those works of architecture that were included were denied moral rights."