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sonnyamorales

Client wants DWG files...

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sonnyamorales

Ok so I have a client who wants the DWG files of our project, but my boss is hesitant about sending them it as he does not want them to be able to just manipulate it and use for their own stuff. What is the best way to bind/block each individual sheet, including the xrefs, so that they would have a harder time using them if they wanted to? Make sense?

 

thanks

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f700es

Well you can bind them up but you're still sending the DWGs so I don't think it will make any difference. Do they need the DWGs for their part of the job? Would DWF's work for them?

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tzframpton
Ok so I have a client who wants the DWG files of our project, but my boss is hesitant about sending them it as he does not want them to be able to just manipulate it and use for their own stuff.
Manipulate what exactly? What harm can that do? They're not the ones submitting a sign and sealed set so it doesn't really matter. It's for their internal use only.

 

The only time your boss' hesitations become valid is if they have direct access to the DWG files on your company's internal domain network. THAT'S when it becomes an issue and I'm pretty sure that's not happening.

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sonnyamorales

He is worried that they will use the drawings to do similar work on their own, as they currently do not do the type of work we do. Does that make sense? I am trying to get him to just send DWFs but he is stating the client wants the DWGs.

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tzframpton

Doesn't make any sense at all. What does "similar work" mean? Can you elaborate?

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sonnyamorales

So basically they contracted us to do a booster pump station and some well sites. They have never done this kind of work, so he does not want them to be able to use our drawings to do up future sites like these, internally, without doing some kind of work on their own. I know it sounds far fetch, but its what he is telling me.

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ReMark

The client could just as easily take paper drawings and ship them off to India or China and have them reproduced at a fraction of the cost they would pay you then use those drawings as the basis of any new design. There is nothing to stop them EXCEPT they won't be signed and stamped.

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Glen1980

Are you worried they may reuse your blocks or use the drawings and tweak the layouts?

 

If its blocks you are worried about you could explode then purge the drawings if you wanted to be unpopular with thier cad team!

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tzframpton

/slaps forehead

 

#1 - There is no difference in a PDF drawing vs a CAD drawing other than one you can author and one you cannot. The "design intent" is exactly the same so it doesn't stop this same company from taking your company's "design intent" and recreating it, regardless of CAD file. $20/hr CAD designers can recreate any sheet lickity split. I've done it on several occasions.

 

#2 - They've never done this type of work before so what is your boss so worried about? People who just have "never done this type of work before" have to go through the same growing pains as everyone else, regardless of some petty authoring file. Designs go way beyond linework.

 

#3 - If they contracted your company then why are they not allowed to take what's rightfully theirs? They're paying your company for services but... oh wait... they can't have "my" CAD file? Ridiculous. It's "their" CAD file because they paid for it unless that was contractually defined prior to signatures landing on paperwork.

 

I remember years back an engineer wouldn't hand over a CAD file, claiming authoring files are "proprietary". So I had to recreate their drawing, which I did in 5 hours, and when they got their hands on it they swore we got a hold of their file somehow. So petty in my opinion.

 

So to answer your question there's no way to lock down a DWG file. If you send them a DWG file you're sending them the authoring file - period. But your boss is being very unrealistic and worst, very unprofessional. Seems to me he's insecure in an area he needs not be. He's a professional and I'm sure handing over an authoring file that is the same file in which produced the drawing will cause zero harm to his future opportunities.

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f700es

Is your company legally contracted to send DWG files? If so not much you can do about it. If not then you don't have to.

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sonnyamorales

Thank you for the replies. I was simply asked by my boss to see what is the best way to send the drawings to them that they would not be able to easily use and recreate. I know it is not hard to recreat drawings from even pdfs, but this is what i was asked, so i just asked here seeing if anyone knew a good way to do it. I appreciate all the responses

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f700es

Yeah, alas there is no read only DWG. Closest thing would be a DWF but even those are not 100%. :(

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tzframpton
Thank you for the replies. I was simply asked by my boss to see what is the best way to send the drawings to them that they would not be able to easily use and recreate. I know it is not hard to recreat drawings from even pdfs, but this is what i was asked, so i just asked here seeing if anyone knew a good way to do it. I appreciate all the responses
Also note that if your boss is "that" worried about it, then don't create vector PDF's but raster. There are freebie PDF to DWG conversion software applications that exist which does a fairly decent job at creating a scaled DWG from a PDF. Again, no way to lock down a DWG, and would defeat the purpose of the client asking for it anyways. They're not asking for the "DWG" as much as they're asking for the "authoring file". Sending a DWG that is not able to be authored is not why they are asking for it.

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Glen1980
/slaps foreheadThey're paying your company for services but... oh wait... they can't have "my" CAD file? Ridiculous. It's "their" CAD file because they paid for it unless that was contractually defined prior to signatures landing on paperwork.

 

This might all depend on geographical location, intellectual property laws are different country to country. I'm fairly certain in the UK the drawing remain the property of whoever drew it and the person who paid has basically got a licence to use it. That said no sub contractor has ever refused to send me a drawing and I've never been told to withold a drawing from anyone, so it would all depend on keeping the goodwill of your client.

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tzframpton

I.P. is ridiculous on all facets and I refuse to even discuss such an absurd topic. :)

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f700es

Agreed Glen, that is why I asked about what was in the contract. Just because I am hired to draw something does not automatically make the design file theirs. It has to be stipulated in the contract and then agreed upon. This could also lead to people losing bids due to their unwillingness to agree to certain terms.

Ran into this when I worked at (doughnut chain based in NC). A local architect had written into his contract that he retained all right to the design of this one store. The VP at the time had no experience in this matter (he was only in position because of who his family was and how much stock he owned) and agreed to this.

So the company decided to replicate this design in other locations and he sued them. There was a settlement and sour feelings from that point on. This was before I was there and I found about about when we were doing a remodel and I requested the CAD files for the store. After a long story I started work on creating the CAD file from the printed files as this was all I was getting.

From that point the company had written in the contract that they retain ALL rights to said designs.

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tzframpton
Just because I am hired to draw something does not automatically make the design file theirs.
Oh yes it does. It's "automatically" theirs unless the hired party says otherwise and it's signed off by the paying party. Any entity that pays money for a design file should have the right to own, store and protect that design file if they paid for it. What happens if the original company goes under? Or if they didn't properly archive and protect the original authoring files? What then, if years later those authoring files are needed for future expansion or ANY reason?

 

How is that even considered the correct way of doing things? Boggles my mind...

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f700es

Up to the contract and the parties involved is all I can say. That was one "excuse" I was given about the store in question. I was told that design was on a older system (versacad) they no longer maintained and that I was out of luck. He also had the legal contract where it was stated that he maintained control of that store design and all aspects within that were not direct company logos.

There was a curved glass wall in this store that was used up against the doughnut production line that was be replicated in another store (along with other design elements). He found out and pitched a fit. He produced a contract and obviously had them with it. This was in the early 90's iirc.

There are LOTS of business/political practices that can boggle the mind that go on everyday (and have for decades).

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RobDraw
He is worried that they will use the drawings to do similar work on their own.

 

He should have thought of that before accepting the project. If you don't trust the client, don't work for them.

 

I'm fairly certain that there is nothing ground breaking about the design and that any competent firm similar to the one you work for could design something that would work. If it is a design that "could" establish a new way of getting the job done, then he definitely should have done something to protect it before even thinking about letting anyone else see it.

 

A drawing is just a representation of the design and it is abundantly clear that it can be reproduced in CAD with minimal effort. I think at some point we all have thought of trying to protect our hard work and it is hard to come to the realization that it can be reproduced in a variety of ways. After all, it's just ink on paper that represents a design, which is where the real work is done.

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ReMark

Didn't some company come up with a program (lisp, VBA, C++?) that can effectively lock a drawing so basically all one can do with it is view/print it? Maybe it was DotSoft or ManuSoft? I can't recall at the moment.

 

Seems TF abandoned the debate. I think his throat was scratchy.

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