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RE: Duplication of others work.

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I don't agree with Lynn on this UNLESS the other engineer redrew the details
from scratch - even copying what he saw you do. However, if he earned
compensation by pasting on work that was generated by your office you would
be covered by copyright. As I mentioned before, proving it in court is
another problem.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lynn [mailto:lhoward(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 1998 7:01 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Duplication of others work.

I do not believe that "legally" your drawings have any kind of copywright
protection.  You are not publishing a literary piece for publishing or sale.
You need to contact a copyright lawyer if you want to have that kind of
protection, but from my understanding it will not be possible given the use
the documents.

You can protect yourself from having someone use the identical design on
site.  But protecting your general notes, specifications, and typical
details is
nearly impossible.  At least that is my understanding from the limited
conversations I have had with attorneys on this subject.

If you want to be protected, put all this stuf in a book and publish it for
to your competitors.


"Dennis S. Wish PE" wrote:

> John,
> Litigation would probably be an expensive effort, however, I believe you
> protected by an implicit copyright for intellectual property. You need to
> prove ownership, but it sounds like you have the witnesses to testify to
> this. Another form of proof might be to track the details that are being
> used (if a dwg file for example) back to it's creation date. You might
> copies on tape or maybe embedded in other projects that you worked on or
> created the details for. Go back into your records as far as you can to
> electronic documentation that indicates the date the file was created (or
> the vellums from the project that indicate a date of creation).
> None of this is fool-proof but should cause the other party to cease using
> your details.
> John, I'm sensitive to this as well. I have used details created by others
> but not without their knowledge and approval. However, I use only a few
> details that are generic (residential construction generally requires the
> detail to be modified for the unique condition for which it is used).
> Therefore, the majority of my details are essentially new for each
> However, when worked with URM retrofits, a number of the details were used
> over and over again since the conditions were typical.
> If all you wish to do is stop the culprit from using the details, I
> you accumulate your case against him and let him know that you intend to
> persue the issue into court if he does not stop.
> Good Luck
> Dennis