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RE: Duplication of others work.

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I don't know what kind of ATTYs you have been talking to, but they may have
been thinking more along the lines of patents instead of copyrights. As soon
as you put something in print and make it available for viewing for others,
you are published and you own the copyrights to that work. Technically,
someone can't even trace over your drawings or have a blue line pinned up
next to the monitor allowing someone to copy it. Of course, you may extend
those copyrights to your client so that they can actually implement the
plans (after you've been paid, of course), but that's totally your
discretion. Additionally, the Federal Government recently (last five years
or so?) additional protection called intellectual copyrights. You just have
to think it for it to be protected under these rules.

Of course, the extent of your protection depends on how you register your
copyright and its value is entirely dependent on whether you believe the
cost of litigation is worth it.

Bill Allen

-----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