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RE: Trading of Electronic Drawing Files

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Dennis FYI:

I believe .plt files CAN be converted into editable vector files but it
takes a little work. I think even a piece of software as economical as
Hijaak Graphics Pro (~$100) can do this.

The file format for web pages is a .dwf file. .dwt files are template files
but I got your point.

Do you know what would be REALLY nice? If we could somehow make a file "read
only" and to change this attribute of the file to "off" would require a
password. Once this happens, I believe we could feel more comfortable about
distributing electronic versions of our work.

Bill Allen

P.S.-Welcome back (from where ever you were)

-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis S. Wish [mailto:wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, June 26, 1998 12:00 PM
To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Trading of Electronic Drawing Files

I agree wholeheartedly with Bill. Bill defines what every Architect and
Engineer (as well as anyone who provides a service that requires their work
to be done on some media) produces as Intellectual Properties. IP's are
protected by copyright whether stated or not. The only time that it may be
questioned is if there is a disagreement as to who originally created the
The work is actually done as part of our creative cycle. The paper drawings
(or electronic medium) are only the instrument of our creation and are
therefore the property of the creator.
This has always been my interpretation and includes all of my drawings and

Bruces idea is great if you are only distributing bluelines at the job site
which are not intended to be used for other than markups and or preliminary
design. However, as electronic medium becomes the media of choice, I would
try in every way possible to protect my work and this includes not
distributing the electronic drawings.
We discussed this once before. I routinely distribut PLT files of my work
which can not be converted (at least I don't think it can) to a editable
drawing.  DXF files can be turned into drawings very easily and are not
released from my office.
Bill Allen likes to create DWT files which can be distributed and viewed on
Internet browsers that have the appropriate plug-in.
If the client is working in an electronic format, it should not be
unreasonable to provide him with a copy of your work that can not be

Dennis Wish PE

Dennis Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From:	Bill Allen, S.E. [mailto:Bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Friday, June 26, 1998 9:35 AM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	RE: Trading of Electronic Drawing Files

I personally disagree with your point number 1). What the client pays for is
a service and any documents are instruments of that service and are still
owned by the consultant. Unless the consultant has some motivation ($) for
being more generous, the consultant owns the copyrights to the documents and
usually implied that he/she extends those copyrights for the purpose of
executing the construction of the project. Once the project is completed,
the consultant has every right to request all copies of his/her work to be
returned. Anything beyond that may be offered as part of a contract and/or
out of courtesy of the consultant. I do not release electronic forms of my
work unless extreme situations (again $) warrant it.

Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From: Edward W. Chin [mailto:echin(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, June 26, 1998 9:12 AM
To: 'seaoc(--nospam--at)'
Subject: RE: Trading of Electronic Drawing Files

There are a lot of consultant liability issues in releasing electronic
drawings of their work....

1)  The client should approve of this because they paid for it and
therefore technically own them.  In the spirit of "partnering" with other
subconsultants, the client should encourage the use of trading electronic
drawings in order to resolve interferences and get everybody on the same

2)  All title blocks should be purged from the drawings.  This will
eliminate any possibility of someone else altering the drawings and
reissueing them with the consultant title block (and sometimes the PE

3)  Contractors ask all the time to get electronic drawings in order for
them to cost effectively develop layout sheets and backgrounds (i.e. PT
Deck shop drawings).  I don't see a problem with this as long as the title
blocks are deleted and PURGED from the drawing.

From: 	Trobridge, Bruce[SMTP:Bruce.Trobridge(--nospam--at)]
Reply To: 	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Sent: 	Friday, June 26, 1998 8:21 AM
To: 	'seaoc(--nospam--at)'
Subject: 	RE: Estimating

Is it common for engineers and architects to NOT release electronic
versions of their drawings?   We have been doing this for a couple of
years.  It seems to be very helpful for take offs and interference
checking.  However my office is part of a state agency.  And perhaps
propriety is less of a concern.

From:  Rob Stevens[SMTP:engrathm(--nospam--at)]
Sent:  Friday, June 26, 1998 9:22 AM
To:  seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:  Estimating

To the List:

I am looking for a software program that will assist with quantity
Off" for Cost Estimating.

Generic CAD had a "Take Off" program that would work on CAD drawings.
Unfortunately most Architects and Engineers in my area do not want to
release CAD versions of the Bid Drawings.

So what I am looking for is a software package that will use an "E"
Digitizer and work with up to "E" size prints to help speed up the
of taking measurements and developing quantities.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Robert W. Stevens, Jr., P.E.
Senior Engineer
Independent Enterprises, Inc.
Ph.:	1-412-221-3435
Fax:	1-412-221-4430
Email:	engrathm(--nospam--at)