Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Who owns CAD files?


#1

Hello, Occasionaly I use a couple of companys to help with CAD Design
and was wondering who owns the CAD file ? I havent signed any type
of contract and havent discussed this issue with the company’s who
have my CAD files from preveious designs.

Im in Australia so not sure the laws at this time regarding this,
although will be looking into it soon, if anyone has some feedback
regarding this issue would be kindly appreciated.

Anthony Galea Designer Jeweller


#2

Hi Anthony,

I’m in Australia also, maybe Mr Cruickshank would have some insight?

I’ll do a little assuming, but I’ll have a look around.

Without a contract or documentation it can be fought, but personally
I wouldn’t have the money to fight something like that.

When the companies help with the design, do you mean you supply a
file and they re-work it so they can wax print it?

Okay had a cursory look, and this may apply :-

"If you are a freelance artist, you will usually own copyright in
the work you produce. It the work is produced for a client, the
client may own copyright if:

  • you agreed, in writing, the the client would own copyright, or
  • the client is a Commonwealth, State or Territory government of
    agency.

If you are a salaried employee, copyright in artworks produced as
part of your job are likely to be owned by your employer."

If the company makes a CAD from your work, then it’s still your
work, but you have given them permission to do it. I don’t think they
have permission to use your work.

Regards Charles A. (Sydney)


#3

Anthony,

You should get a no compete contract with your cad designers. I
don’t know the international laws to that but that is what I do. I
contract out for the cad designs and all files go to the designer.

Russ Hyder
The Jewelry CAD Institute


#4

I do CAD designs and have never even been close to Australia, or a
lawyer :slight_smile: The customer owns their designs. No question ever. I do keep
a copy, if I can re-use pieces of it for another of their jobs they
save $$. Anyone else pays to recreate a design I already have.

Cad work with 1/2 a brain and their are many incremental saves of a
work in progress.

Amazing how much will fit on a hard drive or CD. Hitting ‘Delete’ is
just hard to do.

Not quite a legal interpretation of your question just my ethics.
Some one else holding and re-selling your design files and you might
be up a shit creek without a paddle.

If you can’t trust in this business find some one else whom you can.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#5

In most countries drawings, which is what CAD files are, fall into
one of two classes. Works for hire are drawings someone else paid you
to do. You made the drawings handed them over to the person who gave
you the order and you get paid. For you, a work for hire has no
residual rights because you were paid by someone for having done the
work. On the other hand, there is another class, I forget what it is
called now, wherein you do the designs for your own work. You own
these and anyone who wishes to use them must pay you for their use.
If you are thinking that there are free designs out there just
floating around, think again. The only ones that will not have rights
attached are the ones for which the copyrights or patents or both
have run out. The details vary from one country to the next so
consult a lawyer license to provide services in your locale.


#6
Works for hire are drawings someone else paid you to do. 

Only if you are actually an employee of that person. Otherwise, the
rights still belong to you, unless you agree on a contract
(preferably written) that says otherwise.

Please, go to the web site for the Copyright Office and look up the
definition of “work for hire.” This is readily
available, and need not be gotten by hearsay.

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY


#7
Please, go to the web site for the Copyright Office and look up
the definition of "work for hire." This is readily
available, and need not be gotten by hearsay. 

Good advice for someone living in the states, but the original
poster lives in Australia :slight_smile: CIA


#8
Good advice for someone living in the states, but the original
poster lives in Australia :-) 
  1. I was not replying to the original poster, but to someone who
    offered imprecise

  2. Australia is not that backward :slight_smile: They have equivalent
    available (perhaps even the same name for the office).

  3. The definition is likely to be pretty much the same, since both
    the US and Australia, in common with 162 other countries, base their
    copyright law on the Berne Convention.

  4. The basic point is the same for anyone of any citizenship - trust
    the people who write the rules, not the impressions of folks on a
    mail list.

Sorry, but this is an issue that presses my buttons. I spent many
years as an independent contractor writing custom software, and ran
across misunderstanding of copyright law regularly. The best
protection for all concerned is a written contract.

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY


#9

I have been doing CAD work for over 10 years. One thing has been VERY
constant for me. When I run into a customer who has had a bad
experience with another CAD person regarding this subject “Who owns
the files”, I easily turn them into a good, and loyal customer when I
try and help them reconstruct the project the other CAD guy will not
give them,or wants to charge them an outrageous price, for the files.

You seriously need to decide if that “hill” is worth dying for. It’s
going to cost you money and grief, as I have yet to meet a
disgruntled former CAD customer that doesn’t think THEY own the file.

It’s all a matter of perception, as well as perspective. I work the
other side of the street, and if they want the file, I give it to
them…and thereby retain their business, and recommendations to
other potential customers.

I have two very good customers that feed me generous amounts of
work, that had the “who owns the files” argument with the same local
CAD guy. I have gained a very good percentage of his former
customers. Sure, he owns the files…I’m earning the income.

It’s your choice.
David


#10

I have been doing CAD work for over 10 years. One thing has been VERY
constant for me. When I run into a customer who has had a bad
experience with another CAD person regarding this subject “Who owns
the files”, I easily turn them into a good, and loyal customer when I
try and help them reconstruct the project the other CAD guy will not
give them, or wants to charge them an outrageous price, for the
files.

You seriously need to decide if that “hill” is worth dying for. It’s
going to cost you money and grief, as I have yet to meet a
disgruntled former CAD customer that doesn’t think THEY own the
file.

It’s all a matter of perception, as well as perspective. I work the
other side of the street, and if they want the file, I give it to
them…and thereby retain their business, and recommendations to
other potential customers.

I have two very good customers that feed me generous amounts of
work, that had the “who owns the files” argument with the same local
CAD guy. (He’s a real hard head and slow learner.) I have now gained
a very good percentage of HIS former customers. Sure, he owns the
files…I’m earning the income.

It’s your choice.
David


#11

Hi Al,

  1. Always a good thing to do, and always appreciated

  2. I don’t think Australia is backwards either (maybe a little
    coarse sometimes)… but I’m biased, I live there.

  3. Depending on where CAD images fit within Australian copyright
    law, the law seems to be a bit loose regards CAD. I did offer a few
    tid bits for one of our governing bodies.

  4. Absolutely, I always quote from government sources (even though I
    may not credit them sometimes).

I hear you, I had many arguments with marketing managers about
breaching copyright. Contracts are difficult to argue with.

Regards Charles A.