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The Nation

June 20, 1989

The U.S. Copyright Office recommended that the same copyright protections guaranteed by other nations for their architects' creations be extended to works of architecture in the United States. U.S. copyright law prohibits unauthorized copying of architectural plans, sketches and models but does not prevent "copycat" construction of actual buildings. The law includes buildings in the same legal category of "useful articles" as alarm clocks and automobiles, which are not afforded copyright protection. The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress published a report of a 14-month study of the issue, conducted at the request of Rep. Robert W. Kastenmeier (D-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.). Kastenmeier said he soon would introduce legislation on the subject.

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