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TxDOT Copyright Protection

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I have a little insight into why TxDOT is requiring the copyright notice on all drawings, although I am not speaking as a representative of TxDOT.

Recently, TxDOT made all of their CADD generated drawings (500 plus) available on the Internet, free of charge. There were several concerns about this, one of which was the possibility of someone else copyrighting the drawings, then reselling them or trying to get TxDOT to pay for them. Similar things have happened with patents being created for special types of crash barriers that were researched and fabricated with TxDOT research money, then sold back to TxDOT on construction projects at a greatly inflated price. I believe this has also happened to TxDOT on some software that they paid to develop. The solution was to copyright the drawings before making them available on the internet. Indeed, when you log onto the web site, one of the things you must agree to is "The design files standards are copyrighted by the Texas  Department of Transportation and may not be resold". I am not sure how the process carried through to copyrighting *all* drawings produced by or for TxDOT. I suppose the complete answer to this could be found from the TxDOT Office of General Counsel.

To access this excellent library of standard drawings go to 
"http://www.dot.state.tx.us";
then "Business", then "TxDOT CAD Standard Plan Files".

Patrick Bachman, P.E.
Carter and Burgess
Austin, TX