Equated the two? Did I say that copyright infringement is a crime
and murder is a crime, thus copyright infringement is murder
(equality would make this true)? Some here were stating that
copyright infringement was not a crime, when it certainly can be.
You didn't correct squat. You were trying to be as coy as possible
with your wording. I asked for clarification and you decided to
pounce. You really need to grow up a bit.
Nonsense. You can't copyright architectural designs. The plans
themselves, in some respects can be copyrighted, but anyone can draw up new
plans for the exact same structure.
If defy you to show me a house with a copyright symbol on it.
This doctrine is as old as copyright itself.
He is "photocopying" the floorplan. I don't know of a copy machine that
will fit a house in it so obviously he is talking about photocopying the
plans which can indeed be copyrighted. If he has someone work from that
photocopied plan it is a copyright infringement.
That's the key point. What is copyrighted is the artwork of the blueprint
not the layout of the house its arrangement of rooms or construction
practices. As long as he uses those plans as a guide for drawing his own
detailed build plans, he will be fine legally. An exact photocopy would be
a copyright infringement if it were used to build a house, he is usually
allowed one for "fair use" practices (i.e. an example while drawing his
Reading an infringing copy is not another infringement. Making copies on
your retinas doesn't count.
It is impossible to build something structural that is a copyright
Again, I defy you to show me a house with a circle-C on it.
Copying the plans is a black and white violation. Taking the plans to an
architect and saying "I like this, make me something that I'd like using
this layout" will put you into some gray to light gray areas. Take a good
look at the plans. There is probably something you'd do different that will
move you to a very white area now.
If the plans were copied in detail there is a violation, but to make a set
of plans that has the living room on the left, the kitchen in the corner and
a bathroom above it can have thousands of variations in construction detail,
materials, plumbing and electrical that there would be clearly no violation.
Would I be in violation of copyright? Yes. But hmm, there is probably a
of those houses built, sooo who is going to notice?
And even if your builder does, how he can prove that this is they
For most builders floorplans you can find very very similar. I have
not seen unique track home design.
If your architect any good, he can make very similar plan in no time.
Most people don't come to architects saying i want you to draw
house with 4 bedrooms, etc. They go and ask for a house similiar to
floor plan, and ask to address they concerns, make some changes.
I recall seeing a television segment about a year ago, possibly on
CNBC, about copyright owners filing suit against a builder. It seems
an architect's staff member was simply driving around somewhere and saw
"their" house being built somewhere else. The piece also mentioned
other similar instances.
A licensed architect, if he is aware that they are plans from a McBuilder or
otherwise copyrighted, will NOT take the work as a straight copy job. The
downside if anyone notices is simply too high. He loses his AIA stamp, it
costs him bigtime. In many (most?) areas, residential construction does not
require an expen$ive architect- a freelance designer can do the work as
well, at a much lower price point. (How do I know?- my father has been in
that field for close to 50 years, and always has more work than he can
handle.) But while you can copyright the working blueprints and spec sheets,
there is no way to copyright a basic room layout, and many houses end up
being very similar, simply because that is the best and cheapest way to lay
a house out.
I agree with the other poster- hire a designer or architect, show him that
plan, and say you like it. He'll still spend a couple hours with you anyway,
over several sessions, defining and fine-tuning your requirements. He will
also want to see the lot, since a lot of design, especially the engineering
parts, is site-dependent. An experienced designer can do a cookie-cutter
house in their sleep. The most expensive part will be the material take-offs
and any variations needed to meet local conditions and codes. If you want
him to stay involved during construction, to handle QC and any needed
changes (there are always some), that will, of course, cost more.
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