Is the proposed BNHS Convention Center design a copy of the SM Mall of Asia Arena?

Is the design of the proposed BNHS Convention Center a copy of the famous SM Mall of Asia Arena? A viral post on social media platform Facebook has garnered more than 1,300 reactions and more than 1,100 shares after numerous people claimed that the design was allegedly very similar to the existing SM Mall of Asia Arena. Based on the post comments, the BNHS Convention Center merely had additional “eyelashes,” pertaining to the “7 hill tribes of Bukidnon.” Can you see them?

Under Philippine laws, a design for a certain structure can be considered as copied from a famous structure if it is substantially similar to the original design. This means that the copied design must have the same overall look and feel as the original design, even if there are some minor differences.

As of this writing, the Facebook post has already garnered more than 1,300 reactions, almost 970 of which are laugh or “haha” reactions. There were only 122 “hearts” while 27 reacted with “sad” and 3 reacted with angry emoticons. The post has also garnered more than 1,100 shares.

According to the BNHS Convention Center perspective, the design was courtesy of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) architects.

Meanwhile, the SM Mall of Asia Arena, which can seat up to 20,000 people and is located inside the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City, was designed by two architectural firms: Arquitectonica and Jose Siao Ling & Associates.

Arquitectonica is an international firm with offices in Miami, New York, and Barcelona. They have designed a wide range of projects, including the American Airlines Arena in Miami, the World Trade Center in Barcelona, and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

Jose Siao Ling & Associates, meanwhile, is a Filipino firm with offices in Manila. They have designed a number of notable buildings in the Philippines, including the SM Mall of Asia, the SM Aura Premier, and the SM Megamall.

According to online research, there are copyright laws involved in the design of structures. Copyright law protects original works of authorship, including architectural works. This means that the owner of the copyright in a structure has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and create derivative works from the structure.

If someone copies a structure without the permission of the copyright owner, they may be liable for copyright infringement. Copyright infringement can result in civil and criminal penalties.

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