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Copyrights and plans

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#1 Guest_Lee_*

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 02:32 PM


I have an out of state builder who sent me a hand drawn sketch of a house his client wants built. How do I know if the builder didn’t rip off a plan of another builder in the area? And if it is am I liable under copy write laws for being the draftsman / subcontractor?




#2 Kevin Rabenaldt

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Posted 26 July 2018 - 09:08 PM

Ask him where he got it.  You need to know because of copyright laws.  If he says he designed it, ask him to state in a simple letter that he created the design and send it to you.  If he does not want to do that, then beware.  Many builders have to have the copyright law explained.   May not absolve you completely but you can show the court you were acting in good faith.  You could go to an copyright attorney and get "a more legalized" letter release.  Nothing protects you completely from a lawsuit.


I am very careful when a client provides a design.  All that I work for have been advised what the copyright law is, at least how I understand it.


Best of luck to you,.

#3 Thomas Davis

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 09:49 AM

I had a clause in my "agreement" that said something like "By signing this Agreement, Client acknowledges and agrees that any drawings, sketches, printouts, ....... provided to Designer, originated with and are owned by Client, and are not copyright protected materials from another entity"

#4 Tom Rogers

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 01:21 PM

The situation happened to me about 15 years ago.  While there is no positive way of knowing, you can/should have a disclaimer on your contract that says that all information provided by the owner is original or marked of origination.  


When this happened to me I was able to show (this was during a disposition) that I had followed all known areas to make sure that I did not infringe on any copyright laws.  

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#5 Steve and Carla Farnam

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Posted 27 July 2018 - 07:49 PM

Hello Lee,  You may want to have the builder verify that he/she has a signed copyright

release for the plans before you begin work.

  Some copyright info attached.

Attached Files

#6 Guest_Lee_*

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 08:13 AM

thank you for the info- it's so difficult to know if a builder just copies a plan and then tells you he came up with the idea. I like the idea of a letter but as we all know lawyers can and will go after everyone they think are involved. 

I am downloading the files from Steve and Carla, I will red them over tonight.


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