Copyright for drawings
Current time: 01-20-2018, 05:35 PM
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Author: LiviuM
Last Post: jfjdm
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Copyright for drawings
#1
Hello,

I'm seeing more frequently copyright notice on buildings architectural and engineering drawings.
What's the whole point of that?
I'm not thinking about the concept which might be innovative e.g. solar panels supports.

In some parts of Europe the law requires that the whole design & execution papers (drawings + documents) are to be provided to the building owner and to a an official office (like city hall).

The building owner must (according to law) pass this package of documents to the new owner if any. Mainly this package stays with the building until the building is completely demolished.

During the life time of the building further documents must be attached to the initial package in case changes are applied to it.

From time to time design codes change and so the owner wishes to reevaluate the building performance or even safety.
In doing so is he required by the copyright law to request the author to copy the drawings?
What if the author rejects?
In time by using low quality paper and ink the drawings become difficult to read.
So for making backup of the drawings does the owner has to require permission to copy the documents and eventually pay for that?

Moreover some laws allow anyone to retrieve the documents or copies from the official office (city hall) in case the building owners package was lost.

If the copyright agreement is in the contract between the first owner and the author (designer) what happens if the building is sold.

Is it art to draw a lines in autocad? Something like a painting?

So if you work for the erection contractor do you pay copyright for copies of drawings?
Do you copy them without permission?
If you do technical surveys / rehabilitation do you wait for permission from the original designers to work with their drawings?

Regards

An example of copyright:
2. DOCUMENTS REVIEWED BY THE NBS INVESTIGATIVE TEAM

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What if the access to documents was denied by copyright holders?
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#2
In most of the "white countries" the client of the project (the one who pays for the project) gets the copyrights too after the payment.

There is another thing too, the same project documentation can't be used for another project, but this is obvious (that's why the drawings have titles ;) )
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#3
Copyright issues are money makers for lawyers. In a broad expression anything produced on a piece of paper, even using industry standard / acceptable details/drawings can be copyrighted by the person who put them together, re-arranged/re-ordered them and/or re-sized them and put new style of titles on them.

The matter is faced by practicing people all the time. Say, half way of the job, or at some point your client decides to work with another engineering company.

Your copyright is what you produced on the paper. Somebody else can re-produce the same thing on their computer , re-arranges them changes text fonts, title names and tweaks the order of the items with new verbiage. And adds some new even unnecessary things.

Here you have another copyright.

We as engineers, have to respect somebody else's work the same way we want ours to be respected.

When we are in these situations we have to always check with the original engineer, get written permission to re-use their work. Sometimes we find out that the new client of ours did not honor their agreement or they have a law-suit going on.

So, we have to be careful, and judge the situation with fairness.

Always check with the governmental authority to see how they want to handle the situation in hand. And have this in writing.

If you are using somebody else's work by copying exactly and charging for it , it is not fair use

I think suing for copyright goes a long way and the one with a deeper pocket and more lawyers win.Happy

Bottom line is FAIR USE

Regards
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#4
Thank you for replies.

I believe the copyright marks and text placed on every sheet Happy are meant to scare or give confidence in authors professionalism.
In the busy world of practicing engineers I guess copyright is not what is meant. At least for a small company or individual.
Obviously big players like Arup, Alstom, Veritas... have an army of lawyers to protect their sheets Happy. And even make money in this fashion.

My common issue:

I do some technical surveys/reports of existing structures.
I use only the existing drawings provided by the client (client doesn't pay for on site survey).
Most buildings with problems have messy drawings, what a surprise.
My report is based on what I believe is the latest edition so it can be denied/questioned if not.
After I play detective, I attach to my report (disclaimer) the relevant existing drawings.
Some don't have drawing number or title or revision, but have copyright claims like: don't store, copy, photograph, borrow, modify, transmit, transfer, adapt... bla bla bla.
For the disclaimer to work I make an exact copy (including the copyright notice Grin), at smaller scale though.
So am I doing something legal or not?
Europe interests me, but write about your region too. At first look it's illegal I should redraw the "work of art".
If the client and initial designer end up in court my report gets there tooHappy.


My second not so common issue:
If a contractor receives drawings with don't copy claims, he has to request more copies from the designer?

Recently I found the opposite:
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I also found these but where to read for free, the European law, or some sort of guide, is it like free beerHappy:
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Quote:Whilst copyright law protects original architectural drawings and plans as literary works, it does not protect the ideas and concepts embodied in them. This is known as the ‘idea/expression dichotomy’.
So the drawing is protected as a painting but not it's contents.

Quote:The copyright owner has the exclusive right to copy the work, issue copies of the work to the public, perform show or play the work in public and make an adaptation of the work, or do any of the former in relation to an adaptation

Also here:
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Some process:
The [18] appeal is dismissed with costs. means appellant lost, which means that copyright process was lost by the those who started it.
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There was some nice article about US laws but I can't find it.

Regards
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#5
Copyright in planes should only be valid in original works or procedures not in common processes or specifications, which are copied from project to project, which is an abuse to the owners of the work and the states.
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