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  • Understanding House Plan Copyright Law

    Are house plans copyrighted?

    Yes. Like any other creative form, house plans are protected under federal and international copyright laws. This comprehensive legal framework covers every aspect of Rocky Mountain Plan Company plans, including 2D and 3D artwork, floor plan illustrations, and technical drawings. This means that without obtaining written consent from Rocky Mountain Plan Company, any attempt to reproduce, modify, or reuse our plans is a violation of federal copyright laws.

    If I change a plan, am I still violating copyright?

    It's a common misconception that making changes to or redrawing a plan found online or in a plan book is permissible. However, the right to modify plans is an exclusive privilege granted by copyright law. Even if you find a constructed home protected by copyright and haven't seen the original plans, copying or redrawing plans is illegal. If you find a plan that you like, you must purchase a set of plans from an authorized source.

    Can I build from the same plan more than once?

    By default, our licensing model provides a single-use license, allowing you to construct from a set of plans once. Building the same plan more than once without the appropriate license constitutes a breach of copyright laws. However, if you’d like to build multiple dwellings using the same design, we offer an unlimited-build license. Contact us for more information.

    Can I make copies of the plan I purchase?

    Absolutely. Upon purchase, you’ll receive a digital PDF of your plan set, along with permission to print copies of the plan set, which you can do at any printer.

    How do customizations affect copyright?

    Modifications to your purchased plans allow you to put your personal stamp on your home, comply with building code and site requirements, and change materials to suit your needs. While using CAD or PDF files to make modifications and customizations is permitted, the copyright remains with the original designer. Altered or modified plans cannot be repurposed or resold without securing explicit permission from Rocky Mountain Plan Company. Also note that any modifications made to a plan absolves Rocky Mountain Plan Company from all liability and annuls any warranties, whether expressed or implied.

    Who is responsible for copyright infringement?

    In the realm of copyright infringement, accountability extends to all parties involved – purchasers, designers, architects, engineers, drafters, homeowners, builders, contractors, sub-contractors, copy shops, developers, and real estate agencies. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. We urge you to refrain from participating in any unauthorized copying or use of designs, derivative works, prints, design features, or homes.

    What are the penalties of copyright infringement?

    Penalties for copyright infringement are substantial. Those found culpable may be required to compensate for actual damages, including substantial profits reaped by the infringer. Statutory damages, potentially reaching $150,000 per infringement, can be sought. Additionally, legal fees, often surpassing the damages, may be imposed on the infringing party.