Copyright law, case II SA/Gd 529/10

October 10th, 2011, Tomasz Rychlicki

The Mayor of Gdańsk city received a request to disclose an architectural project of the building. The Mayor refused and explained that this request could not be executed because it concerns the copyrighted work. By issuing certified copies the Mayor creates new documents, that may be used in different situations. The applicant argued that he needs a copy, not a certified one. The case was dismissed by the Voivode in its order of 25 May 2010 no. WI.I/EK/7111-121/10. The Voivode is the administration body that hears complaints against such decisions, and the applicant decided to bring his case before the court.

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Gdańsk in its judgment of 26 January 2011 case file II SA/Gd 529/10 overturned both decisions. The Court held, that although the architectural project of a building is a work covered by copyright protection, according to the provisions of Article 332 of the Polish Act of 4 February 1994 on Authors Rights and Neighbouring Rights – ARNR – (in Polish: ustawa o prawie autorskim i prawach pokrewnych), published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 24, item 83, consolidated text of 16 May 2006, Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) No 90, item 631, with subsequent amendments, it is permitted to use copyrighted works for the purposes of public security or for the purposes of administrative, court or legislative proceedings and any reports thereof.

See also “Polish regulations on copyright” and “Polish case law on copyright“.