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Re: Allocation of Responsibilities (was: Disclaimer Notes -and- Steel connections/ fabricator

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I don't know if you were addressing your comment towards me at all (I did
say something along those lines)...

My point was that when a contractor bids a job, and is awarded the
contract, then the contractor has an obligation under the contract to
provide what s/he bid.  And for the case of an fabricator, that usuually
includes the production of shop drawings.  And I find it hard to believe
that anyone would construe "copying" the engineer's drawings as
"production" of shop drawings.  That is taking someone else's work...the
question is whether it is stealing/copy right infringement (i.e. without
the permission of the engineer's work) or done with permission of the
engineer (either with no cost or at a cost).  So, I have no problem with
a fabricator "copying" engineering drawings as long as they have
permission.  After all, would you mind if I "passed" off one of your
designs as mine and took a full fee for it?  I would think you would.

But it also comes down to a "meeting of the minds" (using "lawyer speak"
from my vaguely remembered contracts class)...if the "comman man"
definition of producing shop drawings is that the fabricator produces them
him/herself (i.e. without copying the engineer's drawings for which the
owner has likely ALREADY paid for) and such production of shop drawings
is in their contract, then the owner potentially would be owed some money
back as s/he may not be getting what they agreed to pay the fabricator
for.  I may be off point, but I suspect there is some possible truth to


Adrian, MI

On Wed, 26 May 2004, Michael L. Hemstad wrote:

> Secondly, let me talk about this business of demanding money back from a
> fabricator who wants to copy drawings.  Let's remember how this work is
> usually commissioned; the engineer (at least in theory) negotiates a fee
> to do what he feels is necessary.  Often it's set up as a not-to-exceed
> with hourly rates and a built in profit margin.  If you're working for
> an architect, it's a little more cut-throat, but you still have some
> say.  The contractors (and their subs), on the other hand, bid the job.
> If a contractor figures out a slick new way to do something, nobody gets
> to say to him "you owe us money back because you're making more than we
> think you should."  That's ludicrous.  The only control on how much he
> charges is how low he thinks he needs to bid the job to get it.  If you
> want to "level the playing field," as was suggested, by putting
> unnecessary restrictions on the job, you're only costing the owner extra
> money.  This vast difference in how each side gets paid needs to be
> recognized, because it affects every interaction between the parties
> involved.  Engineers who gripe about how much money a contractor makes
> should try bidding for work.  It sucks.  It doesn't suit our kind of
> work, because we're the ones who put enough definition on the project to
> enable it to be bid; but even if our work lent itself to open bidding,
> it's not the key to endless profits.

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