Governor Brown has signed Assemblymember Chris Holden’s (D-Pasadena) bill to end disputes over architects’ designs.
AB 630 safeguards an architect’s work such as architectural drawings or plans, by clarifying that a person can only use the plans or drawings if they have written permission. Architects currently face a challenge preventing those who are not authorized to use their work from using it again and again.
“All of the remarkable buildings in our community began with an architects’ work product,” said Assemblymember Holden. “Under this legislation, architects have a tool to ensure only the appropriate people use their work. It should also help to resolve misunderstandings about who can use an architect’s work before it becomes a costly lawsuit.”
Just like a piece of music or literature, plans created by an architect are copyrighted because these plans become functional works of art. Whether it is a landmark like the Walt Disney Concert Hall or a common office building, the architect should know who is constructing his or her design and ensure it is being done correctly.
Mark Christian, Director of Legislative Affairs for the American Institute of Architects, California Council notes, “The federal and state laws that govern who can use the work of an architect can be difficult to understand. AB 630 explains those laws in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Consumers will benefit from Mr. Holden’s leadership on this issue, as the clarity in the law will help avoid unnecessary and expensive conflicts.”
AB 630 received unanimous, bi-partisan support throughout the legislative process.