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If not, what is required from the owner of the building to have the rights to sell scale models of their buildings?

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    Another interesting question: What if you were to use the trademarked name of the building to advertise your models? – Peter Mar 17 '17 at 10:57
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    A trademark refers to goods and services to, inter alia, distinguish them from other goods and services. Therefore I don't think the building itself can have a trademark. Goods and services connected with the building, however, can. For example, if the building is a hotel called "The Decent Knockingshop", this name can be registered as a trademark for hospitality services. When you sell your model under this trademark this would fall under a different class as hospitality and you therefore would not infringe the trademark. – Singulaere Entitaet Mar 17 '17 at 11:18
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For the US:

I believe 17 U.S. Code § 120 applies here:

17 U.S. Code § 120 - Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works

(a)Pictorial Representations Permitted.— The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.

So long as the building is located in or visible from a public place, anyone should be allowed to distribute models of the building

Edit (more information, but I believe original answer still suffices):

So we know from 17 U.S.C. § 102(a)(8), that architectural works are copyrightable, and the extent of this copyright protection extends to copyright over the blueprint itself and/or the right to produce the building.

This seems to only mean that an architect would own copyright in a model of a building if he specifically creates a sculpture of the building and then copyrights it. It doesn't appear that designing a building or having blueprints of it grants the creator rights over a sculpture of the building, the rights to such a sculpture would have to be obtained seperately.

TL;DR You should be allowed to sell models of a building so long as they are not models based off the actual blueprints of the building, and that these models haven't been manually copyrighted by the architect beforehand. (i.e making the building hasn't granted a copyright over models of the building beforehand)

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    I don't think a model is a pictorial representation. – Singulaere Entitaet Mar 16 '17 at 22:21
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    I've done some searching and I can't find anything saying one way or another whether a model counts as a pictorial representation or not. However I have found some more information and will edit into my answer – Shazamo Morebucks Mar 16 '17 at 22:30
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    @ShazamoMorebucks A model is not a pictoral representation. If the model could be a pictoral representation, so could the actual building it is based on. – DepressedDaniel Mar 17 '17 at 5:51
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Assuming US (copyright) law, it depends in part when the building was designed and built. There is no protection for buildings constructed before December 1, 1990, or where the plans were published before then, or were "unconstructed and created in unpublished plans or drawings on December 1, 1990, and were not constructed on or before December 31, 2002". In case the building is under copyright protection, you would have to determine who holds the copyright. That could be the architect, or the construction company (the architect might design as a work for hire, for the constructors, or it could be whoever hired the construction firm. The current owners might be the rights-holder, but they might not (and they might not even know). Once you determine who holds the right, you can ask for a license.

That said, I think that the external appearance of a public building is not protected. 17 USC 120(a) says

The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place

A scale model is reasonably interpret as a pictorial representation of the work. The wording "if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place" is a bit hard to parse, but the idea is that "the work" is the thing that the architect made, and the final building is the embodiment of the work, so then the question is whether the building is ordinarily publicly visible. However, I do not think this means that you can create any old derivative work off of the original drawings. Assuming you can't get your design from the visually evident (i.e. computing distances between windows, other dimensions), you have to refer to the (protected) design.

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    A scale model is reasonably interpret as a pictorial representation of the work. Define reasonable. Everything I've head called a "picture" is a two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional reality. – DepressedDaniel Mar 17 '17 at 5:56
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    A model is a representation, but not a pictorial one. A pictorial representation is two-dimensional, a model not, even if it is unlimited flat. Furthermore, 17 USC 120(a) provides examples of specific pictorial representations. These vary only in the technique or method employed to make the representation. A painting is color applied to a surface, a photograph captures streams of light through a lens a stores them on a medium. As the section limits the scope of an otherwise existing copyright, it calls for a narrow interpretation. The section therefore does not apply to a model. – Singulaere Entitaet Mar 17 '17 at 10:08

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