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RE: Copyright of calcs

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Well, say what you will. But, if someone whacks off the title block on a set
of my calculations, puts their own on, stamps and signs it and I find out,
we are going to court (at the very least). Every beam design, every pad
footing design, every shear wall design and the assembly of such elements in
a complete package I say is unique to the universe based on loads, spans,
soil conditions, wind conditions, seismic conditions, etc. and the work is
my own. If you say the previous statement is not valid because it is based
on published codes, criteria, etc. I don't see how you can say there is
copyright protection to the drawings because they are no more (or less)
unique in creation than the calculations.

Whatever impression you may be under, I will still included the "Circle C",
date and company name at the bottom of every sheet of calculation I produce.
I still believe you are confusing copyright with patent. If so, I definitely
agree with you that the calculations  and designs based on established and
published principals and codes are not patentable.

Regards,

Bill Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
ALLEN DESIGNS
Laguna Niguel, CA
http://www.AllenDesigns.com

||-----Original Message-----
||From: Bart Kemper [mailto:bkemper(--nospam--at)bigdogz.com]
||Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2000 12:17 PM
||To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
||Subject: Re: Copyright of calcs
||
||
||Actually, I have consulted an Intellectual Property lawyer in
||regards to
||protecting engineering projects.  I say again, code-related
||calculations are NOT
||under copyright.  If the calculations are driving by a set of
||codes or standards
||that are published (let alone required), be it building codes
||or vessel codes or
||nuclear codes, and are part of "standard practice of the
||art," they are NOT
||subject to copyright protection.  I have no confusion on this
||matter.  Your end
||product, such as the drawings, are subject to copyright
||protection.  If you are
||using non-standard procedures (not part of a published code
||or standard), there
||is some posibility for copyright protection.  However, the nature of
||calculations and the standard practices of our profession is
||that we are free to
||look at other's calculations (in textbooks, articles, or the
||work of others) and
||use it as our judgement sees fit.  For example, if you find
||calculations in a
||book, you assume you can use it in your practice.  If
||calculations WERE
||copyright protected, you couldn't "lift" them from a book and
||use it anymore
||than you could lift a photo or chapter and use it as "yours."
|| I say again, you
||would have to maintain the procedures as "a trade secret" or
||earn a patent for a
||new algorithm, since the foundation of the vast majority of
||our work is
||published and open to anyone else to use.
||
||I completely understand the desire to copyright calculations,
||but like another
||engineer who posted on this list, I found out usless the work
||is a truly
||original applicaion of the art (new product, process, system,
||etc.)  it is not
||subject to copyright protection.  Code-driven design
||(buildings, vessels, etc.)
||are considered reproducable by a similarly qualified
||practioner in the art and
||another engineer is EXPECTED to be able to execute the same
||calculations.
||Conversely, I could give you or anyone else a word processor
||and NOT expect you
||to turn out a Stephen King novel...and if you did turn in a
||book "substantially
||similar" to one, it is likely to be considered plagerism.
||Engineers DO turn in
||"substantially similar" work within a given field when
||presented with, for
||example, the same architect's plans for the same local
||requirements.   I
||understand the arguement the entire set of calculations is
||"original", but
||engineers didn't write the law.  The originality lies in the
||executed product,
||in this case, the drawings.  At least, that's how the law
||looks at it.  There is
||recourse for someone taking your entire set of calculations
||and presenting it as
||their own, but it can be difficult to fight.   Similarly, the
||calculations going
||into an item being patented are typically not subject to
||copyright protection
||(and should be kept as a trade secret.)
||
||Trademarks have nothing to do with this discussion, nor does
||patents, since that
||involves specific registration issues whereas copyright is
||conferred at the
||moment of creation (although it does help to go through the
||steps to register it
||with the copyright office, but it is NOT neccesary to
||establish intellectual
||property rights.)
||
||Bart Kemper, P.E.
||
||Bill Allen wrote:
||
||> Bart-
||>
||> Although not an expert on the subject (nor any other for
||that matter), I
||> believe you are mistaken about copyright protection on
||calculations. No, you
||> cannot copyright Mc/I, but (almost) every building is
||unique and a prototype
||> and, as a collection, the set of calculations CAN be copyrighted and
||> therefore protected. Further, if you believe drawings can
||be copyrighted,
||> the calculations should be as well for the same reason.
||Maybe you are
||> confusing trademark or patent laws for the copyright laws.
||I dunno. If you
||> are still confused, maybe you should consult with a copyright atty.
||>
||> Regards,
||>
||> Bill Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
||> ALLEN DESIGNS
||> Laguna Niguel, CA
||> http://www.AllenDesigns.com
||>
||> |
||
||
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