BradAtHarmony

Sharing DWG or DXF files

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Hi all, I guess this isn't really a CA issue, but more a business related question.... We have always made it a policy not to share our .plan or .layout files with clients. Same goes for DWG or DWF files.  We provide printed and PDF copies of our drawings only. The rationale is that someone with these work files could take our design, modify them and either submit them for permit with information we didn't provide or modify them and use them (incorrectly) for another build.   We have a client that we designed a major renovation - a complete gut and rebuild.  Their HVAC engineer is asking for the drawings in DXF format... I have said no repeatedly.  Am I wrong to decline to send these files?  What are the thoughts of those in the business?

 

Thanks all

Brad

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He really only needs the floor plan, I would share it with him, he is your guy, He is not in the design business he's in the HVAC business. Anyway anyone can steel your designs if they want to, and you may never know about it.  Try not to think about someone stealing your designs until it happens, then you may try to do something about it, but until then think forward not backward. I have been copying home  designs for 45 years, to remodel them (new and old plans). Never been a problem. All someone has to do is change a few things     , then it's fair game.

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I share, and expect the same in return, whether it's for MEP, civil, whatever. It's a low-risk way of cultivating good relationships and making everyone's life easier. Sharing doesn't negate your copyright.

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1 hour ago, BradAtHarmony said:

Hi all, I guess this isn't really a CA issue, but more a business related question.... We have always made it a policy not to share our .plan or .layout files with clients. Same goes for DWG or DWF files.  We provide printed and PDF copies of our drawings only. The rationale is that someone with these work files could take our design, modify them and either submit them for permit with information we didn't provide or modify them and use them (incorrectly) for another build.   We have a client that we designed a major renovation - a complete gut and rebuild.  Their HVAC engineer is asking for the drawings in DXF format... I have said no repeatedly.  Am I wrong to decline to send these files?  What are the thoughts of those in the business?

 

Thanks all

Brad

One additional item we use when sending files out this way is a "release and indemnification" for the Client or engineer or whomever to sign. It can be simple, but basically holds you the designer harmless if the files are used and say you updated your back grounds because the client changes something but the Engineer isn't aware of it, then he turns around and wants to charge the customer add fees for correcting his plans, and the customer wants you to pay for it. 

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we collected an upfront retainer fee and then worked it towards $0

then collected more as needed

 

that way we could share with them whenever they wanted too

 

Lew

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