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FW: Copyright of calcs

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-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Hill [mailto:ronhill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 3:49 PM
To: ronhill(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Copyright of calcs

Second try

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Hill [mailto:ronhill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 2:27 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Copyright of calcs

This message is too long to be posted to this list.

I can't understand why calcs can not be copyrighted.
See the following from  :

Copyright protection is available only for "original" works that are "fixed"
in a "tangible medium of expression".

Copyright protection is not limited to works of artistic merit or those that
receive critical acclaim; you can obtain the benefits of copyright
protection for an "original" work regardless of its quality. However, in
order to qualify for copyright protection, the work must have involved some
minimal level of creativity.

The courts have not precisely defined how much creativity is "enough" of a
creative spark to warrant copyright protection. Generally, courts have held
that blank forms and alphabetical lists do not possess sufficient
originality to constitute copyrightable works. Courts have also held that
lists which are arranged, selected or organized in an original manner are
subject to copyright protection.

All that it takes for a work to be regarded as "fixed" is that it must be
able to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly
or with the aid of a machine or device.

As to the need for a "tangible medium of expression", almost any form of
expression will qualify, including jottings on a napkin, an E-mail message,
and a self-recorded dictating tape. However, a speech that you deliver from
memory or song that you blurt out would not be a tangible medium of
expression, unless recorded.

More info is located on the web page.  If you want ot go thru the trouble of
doing it, go for it.  I typically use the poorman's copyright method.  That
is , say it is copyrighted, date it and store it in a manner that the date
can be proved (ie. sealed envelope that you mail to yourself)

Ron Hill, P.E.
HILL Consulting Engineering
Birmingham, Alabama  USA
Phone: 205.823.4784
FAX: 205.823.4145
Email: ronhill(--nospam--at)
Efax: 509.275.8095

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Allen [mailto:Bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 8:09 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Copyright of calcs

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.


Bill Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
Laguna Niguel, CA

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