When will the Justin Bieber house become an asset in Cities Skylines?
It looks like a high tech industry in Simcity 4
Last month Justin Bieber's old house went viral for its architectural audacity.
Some compared it to a community college, others compared it to a CD spindle, but discerning mayors noticed it looks kinda like a Simcity 4 asset when it's scaled just right.
Enterprising twitter mayor @igorbnunes plugged it into a Simcity mock-up and got 61k likes, proving it would make a great asset.
Why don't we have Bieber's pad in Skylines?
Firstly, it's a lot of effort to model a building! It takes time for asset builders to model, texture, test and package their assets (If you're curious there's a good overview on cslmodding.info).
But secondly might also come down to copyright. The architectural design of the building has its own copyright, and might cause a legal headache in-game!
Constructed “architectural works” first obtained copyright protection when they were added to the [US copyright] Act in 1990. Original buildings […] are subject to protection. This includes certain types of constructed buildings, and architectural plans, models and drawings.
Which means that however unlikely, the architect could send you a cease and desist letter, or ultimately take you to court for distributing an unlicensed duplicate of their work.
Copyright, trade mark, licensing oh my!
The world of architectural intellectual property is a confounding one, and it's not just copyright to look out for.
Older buildings such as the Taj Mahal, Empire State Building and Sydney Opera House have trade mark protection, which means they can't be copied (sometimes even just photographed) without permission.
This article in The Register from 2008 involves Grand Theft Auto and a lawsuit about copying characteristics of certain buildings in Los Angeles, which ultimately wasn't successful but certainly raises questions about using more famous buildings.
It's unclear how Maxis went about getting these landmarks in their various Simcity games, but it's likely they struck a licensing deal with the owners, possibly paying a sum of simoleons for the privilege.
Which isn't to say you'll never see the Bieber building in Cities Skylines, just that modern IP law makes it a bit of a dubious prospect.
The salad spinner house
The $10.5 million six-bedroom, 6.5-bath estate was designed by Ed Niles and built in 2010.
There's not much more info about the house online, but if you've been inspired to model something similar you can find it on Google Maps or check out a video tour below.