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RE: Duplication of others work.

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Yes, John, everything you put on paper is not only your property but your
"intellectual" property as well. There are several ways to register your
copyright material with varying degrees of protection. You need to consult
an attorney on the specifics of these different levels of protection, but
the lowest level of protection (i.e., do nothing but publish your work)
still affords your a significant amount of protection. The second level
(putting the "circle c", date and copyright owner) gives you more protection
and finally, formally filing a registration with the Feds gives you ultimate
protection, albeit a PITA. The difference between the last two, as I recall,
is the ability to recover atty fees.

IMO, you are AT LEAST entitled to castrate the scumbag.

Other than that, I don't have an opinion.

Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From: John Lawson [mailto:jlawson(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, October 12, 1998 9:19 PM
To: SEAOC List Server
Subject: Duplication of others work.

My office just received a tip from several sources (governmental and
industry) that my office's standard details and notes are all being used
by another Structural Engineer and contractor in almost exact duplicate
form.  When I spend countless hours fine tuning my unique presentation,
details and notes to make construction go smoothly, it irks me to see
others take advantage of my work using a simple Xerox machine.

I know "imitation is the best form of flattery" but I'm not flattered.
Has anyone else run into such a problem?  This is similar to the "tract
housing" thread earlier this year on this list server. What suggestions
does anyone have?  The plans were not copyrighted with a direct
statement.  Is there a commonlaw copyright implied?

BTW: An explicit copyright is now going to be on the plans, etc.


John Lawson SE
Kramer & Associates Structural Engineers, Inc.