You got a confirmation on that? Because if not, you can't rule anything out. If I took a bunch of metal and welded it into a bunch of shapes, and subsequently had Rockstar imitate the art with their media, I'd be pretty f*cking honored. I wouldn't call my lawyers and say that a structure inside their fictional world looks too similar to something i made in the real world and demand payment.
Some Buildings in Los Santos are almost exactly the same as real world buildings. Are architects calling R* bitching about it?
I understand the differences between art and architecture, obviously, but in a lot of ways this argument makes sense. Does the artist get paid regularly for their work? I doubt it. If it doesnt bring in revenue, it really isn't an intellectual property, its just a part of the city.
I have been searching for some conformation of why they changed the sculpture, and I have not found it. The one thing for sure is that, as stated above, it used to exactly match the real world sculpture, and then it was changed.
I hope they continue to make dynamic changes like this, just for the purpose of keeping the world interesting. Clearly they cannot structurally change areas where there are story missions, and probably not do structural changes in most places, since they could upset user content races and missions. But I would like to see billboards, signs, locations and types of spawned vehicles, and storefronts occasionally change.