Just like books, songs and movies, federal law protects the intellectual property of architects and home designers by giving copyright protections to home plans, renovation plans, working contract plans and designs. These protections exist as soon as Built By Designs, LLC puts the home design on paper (or computer) and prevents anyone from using the design without permission from Built By Designs, LLC.
All home plans sold or designed include a copyright release or license to cover the construction of a single dwelling. This is an exclusive license whereby the blueprints cannot be used or resold to any other person or copied in any way without prior written consent of Built By Designs, LLC.
The plan purchaser may customize the design to suit personal preferences and accepts the full responsibility and liability for such changes. However, it is critical to understand that Built By Designs, LLC still retains the copyright to such changes. The revised design may not be resold.
All parties including designers, draftsmen, owners, builders, realtors, copy/blue print shops may be responsible if a copyright is violated.
Any and All portions of Plans submitted by Built By Designs for bidding or for contract approval falls under this copyright protection. All parties which use the plans or the designs in the plans including designers, draftsmen, owners, builders, realtors, copy/blue print shops may be responsible if a copyright is violated.
Penalties for violating a copyright may be very severe. The responsible parties are required to pay the designer's actual damages (which may be substantial) plus any profits made. The copyright law also allows the designer to recover statutory damages which can be as high as $150,000. Finally, the infringer can be required to pay the designer's reasonable attorney fees which often exceed the damages. Copyright and licensing of home plans for construction exists to protect all parties. It respects and supports the intellectual property of the original architect or designer.