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Lawyer Sheng Bang from the Legal System | Meng Xu: Guangzhou Xiaomanyao VS Huangshi Time and Space Tunnel, Talking about Intellectual Property Protection of Architectural Works

According to media reports, Huangshi City, Hubei Province has recently started lighting up the Guangzhou Road Cross Line Landscape Bridge. The bridge, with a total length of 100 meters, is located at the intersection of Guangzhou Road and Baima Road in Huangshi City, officially known as the "Time and Space Tunnel". The building adopts a steel mesh structure as a whole, with a total investment of approximately 22.282 million yuan and an engineering cost of approximately 18.7496 million yuan. It is a key urban construction project in Huangshi City. Due to its resemblance to the "Little Man Waist" in Guangzhou, the "Time and Space Tunnel" is also referred to by locals as the "Huangshi Little Man Waist". Some netizens expressed doubts about this.


According to media reports, Huangshi City, Hubei Province has recently started lighting up the Guangzhou Road Cross Line Landscape Bridge. The bridge, with a total length of 100 meters, is located at the intersection of Guangzhou Road and Baima Road in Huangshi City, officially known as the "Time and Space Tunnel". The building adopts a steel mesh structure as a whole, with a total investment of approximately 22.282 million yuan and an engineering cost of approximately 18.7496 million yuan. It is a key urban construction project in Huangshi City. Due to its resemblance to the "Little Man Waist" in Guangzhou, the "Time and Space Tunnel" is also referred to by locals as the "Huangshi Little Man Waist". Some netizens expressed doubts about this.

Lawyer Meng Xu from the Intellectual Property Department of Guangdong Legal Shengbang Law Firm made a brief comment on this issue from the perspective of intellectual property:

 

Firstly, determine whether Xiaomanyao enjoys legal rights. According to current laws, architectural works are one of the types of works protected by copyright law, which means "architectural works refer to works with aesthetic significance expressed in the form of buildings or structures." Therefore, architectural works enjoy copyright. The Guangzhou Tower, also known as the Guangzhou New TV Tower, nicknamed Xiaomanyao, is located in Haizhu District, Guangzhou City. The main body of the tower is 454 meters high, and the antenna mast is 146 meters high, with a total height of 600 meters. It is a landmark project in Guangzhou and won the National Architectural Design Gold Award in June 2012. The architectural works of Guangzhou Tower have a unique appearance and shape, rich in beauty and originality, and belong to the architectural works protected by China's copyright law. Therefore, the architectural works of Guangzhou Tower are protected by copyright law in accordance with the law.

 

Secondly, does the "time and space tunnel" in Huangshi City constitute a "plagiarism" against Guangzhou's small barbarians. According to judicial practice and the guiding points of the Supreme People's Court's case judgment, determining whether a work constitutes infringement should be based on whether the author of the accused infringing work has had contact with the work of the right holder, and whether the accused infringing work constitutes substantial similarity to the work of the right holder. When determining whether it constitutes substantial similarity, the author's choices, arrangements, designs, etc. in the expression of the work should be compared to see if they are the same or similar, and should not be compared in terms of ideas, emotions, creativity, objects, etc. If the above judgment elements are confirmed, the "time and space tunnel" in Huangshi City may constitute infringement; Otherwise, it does not constitute infringement.

 

Furthermore, under the premise of the above two points being established, it is also necessary to consider whether the "tilting" of Xiaomanyao infringes on the integrity of Xiaomanyao's works. According to the current copyright law, "the right to protect the integrity of a work, that is, the right to protect the work from distortion or tampering." Distorted or tampered works are generally understood as modifications to the work that substantially alter the author's intended thoughts and emotions in the work. Some Guangzhou citizens expressed that the design of the "Time and Space Tunnel" is easy to associate with the "falling" of the Guangzhou Tower. Therefore, whether the act of 'putting down' constitutes an infringement of the integrity of Xiao Manyao's works is also a question worth exploring.

 

The above are preliminary analyses based on media reports. If this case enters the litigation process, the final judgment of the court should also prevail.

 

In short, architectural works also have intellectual property rights, and everyone should respect the author's creation, respect the rights of rights holders, promote cultural prosperity, and protect intellectual property rights.