The current test for determining substantial similarity for architectural works is detrimental to the utility of the United States as well as architects’ creativity. The “total concept and feel” test is ill-equipped to determine whether architectural copyright infringement has occurred, as it does take into account the value that many architectural works provide to society. Further, the “ordinary observer” is an artificial concept that cannot be used to determine whether copyright infringement has occurred with such a highly technical field as architecture. This comment breaks down the current system used to analyze copyright infringement for architectural works. Then, this comment proposes a new, hybrid test courts can use to evaluate copyright infringement and determine whether two architectural works are substantially similar.
Vaughn Drozd, The Building Blocks of Copyright Protection for Architectural Works: Roadblock or Masterpiece?, 14 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 607 (2015)