Intellectual Property and Disability poster
presented at AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 2010
Text and graphic design by Eric E. Johnson
Photograph by Carol M. Highsmith
The text of the poster:
Intellectual Property & Disability
IP law implicitly relies on abstract conceptions of “ordinary” people. What does this mean for people with disabilities?
An architectural achievement that can’t be touched . . .
The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990 exempts from infringement “pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations” of copyrighted buildings. This safe harbor protects the interests of the public in being able to perceive great works of architecture. But the exemptions do not embrace three-dimensional models, which can be perceived by the visually impaired.
Thus, under the current state of copyright law, blind persons do not have the same rights as others to appreciate the curves of Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. Rights that you are exercising right now.
Eric E. Johnson
Assistant Professor of Law
University of North Dakota
Copyright 2010 Eric E. Johnson. All rights reserved. Konomark: Most rights sharable.
Photograph of Walt Disney Concert Hall by Carol M. Highsmith released into the public domain. Available from the Carol M. Highsmith Archives
at the Library of Congress.