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Shine v. Childs
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
382 F. Supp. 2d 602 (2005)
Thomas Shine (plaintiff) was an architecture student at Yale. Shine was tasked with creating a design proposal for a Manhattan skyscraper. Shine developed a preliminary model called Shine 99 that depicted a tower that tapered with two twisting facades. Shine’s second model, Olympic Tower, was more sophisticated and added a diagonal column grid to the exterior of the building that shone and looked like skin. Yale invited a panel of experts to comment on students’ designs. David Childs (defendant) was on the panel and commented favorably on Shine’s designs. Childs was later tasked with designing the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site. Shine registered his copyrights within five years of creating the designs. Shine then sued Childs because the Freedom Tower incorporated a twisting facade with diamond-like skin on the exterior. Childs moved for summary judgment, arguing Shine’s designs were not entitled to copyright protection and were not substantially similar to Childs’s Freedom Tower designs.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Mukasey, J.)
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