There's a Battle in Long Island Over a Copyrighted Mansion - Atlas Obscura
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There’s a Battle in Long Island Over a Copyrighted Mansion

A pair of couples are going to court.

In what might be the snootiest case of copyright infringement ever recorded, a Long Island couple is suing another wealthy Long Island couple for allegedly copying the design of their custom mansion, according to the New York Daily News.

The original mansion, located in the village of Lawrence, was designed and built by home designer Rivka Fortgang, according to plans she herself created, and copyrighted. The facade of the home consists of a pair of outset banks of windows that straddle the front door and another set of windows above it, beneath a gabled roof that has a trio of peaked attic windows. There are some Art Deco flourishes as well, giving the building a modern look and feel, while invoking more traditional home design. It’s a good looking home, which is why the Schwartzes of nearby village Cedarhurst may have copied it.

According to the lawsuit filed by the Fortgangs, the Schwartz couple accessed the architectural plans for the Fortgang house from the Lawrence Building Department to help design their new home. The Schwartzes’ prospective mansion does seem to share a number of features with the Fortgang home including the window and gable placement. A lawyer defending the Schwartz couple argued that those design aspects just aren’t that special, according to the Daily News. Quite the burn.

But Rivka Fortgang claims that the copied building is hurting her reputation, and the Schwartz family has agreed to postpone construction on the home until the matter can be settled.