Real Property Law

Cal. Real. Prop. Journal VOL. 40, NO. 2, 2022



The Risks of Preparing Your Own Floor Plan For A Real Estate Listing. By Frantz Farreau, Esq. May ENews:

On August 16, 2021, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Issued an Opinion Holding That Floor Plans Do Not Constitute "Pictures, Paintings, Photographs, or Other Pictoral Representations" of an Architectural Work Under 17 U.S.C. §120(a). Currently, the Supreme Court Is Reviewing a Petition for a Write Certiorari, Filed on March 4, 2022.

The Case Presents an Interesting Statutory Interpretation Question, Coupled with a Real Estate Question. The Plaintiff Was an Architect Who Built Homes with a Unique Stair Design. Two Owners of Homes That Plaintiff Designed Hired Real Estate Agents to List Their Homes for Sale. The Agents Both Created Floorplans of These Houses, One Agent Hired a Contractor to Create Designs on the Computer, and the Other Agent Simply Measured the Different Rooms and Created a Sketch on Graph Paper. The Agents Then Displayed These Floorplans for Buyers to See. Upon Seeing These Designs, the Plaintiff Sued the Agents for Copyright Infringement. The Agents Filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, Claiming That They Could Not Be Liable for Copyright Infringement Because 17 U.S.C. §120(a) Protected Them from Liability for Infringing on the Copyright. …

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