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Thread: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

  1. #1
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    Default OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    FIRST: I have plans for a "WARATAH TWIN BILGE KEEL MASTHEAD SLOOP"-21ft long. I have these plans 'cause my grandfather purchased them in about 1971 and built his own version. It was designed by DENNIS KNIGHT of Gosford in the late 60's. Unfortunately I placed these plans under my bed when I was a teen and my then dog chewed up 3 of the 7 sheets (beyond repair= confetti)-(Hello animal shelter!). Fortunately I still have the spec's sheet. SECOND: I have 3/3 sheets being blueprints (included is the spec's sheet) for a "CLIONE" 37ft 7 inch DOUBLE ENDED KETCH". Build no: 430. December 1938. Designed by William Atkin & sons, naval architects & engineers, in Darien conn' (not sure where this is?). THIRD: RESTRICTED RAINBOW CLASS YACHT/ AUSTRALIAN RAINBOW COUNCIL. (small 1 to 2 person open cockpit yacht-12ft) Designed by RJ HILL, plans drawn by JR GLUSKIE, may 1957. Plans issued by Jock Campbell feb 17/1962 in Hobart, Tasmania. ALL plans were passed to me from my now deceased grandfather. Can someone give me info' on copyright laws or what restrictions apply to producing copies of the 3 designs in order to sell said copies. Now I know these threads can run wild with thoughts and "maybe's" but I would like firm and specific info' please.
    Last edited by djaustralia; 03-20-2013 at 05:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    You need to sort out intellectual property rights issues with the designer who produced the materiel. If he has passed away, you need to contact the heirs of his estate. The Copywright legislation of your country will set out what you have to do, Google is your friend here.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    To give you an idea, copyright in the UK persists for 70 years after first publication, or the death of any one of the authors, whichever is the later. This applies to any work of art, literature or design. The US has more complex laws (which Google will tell you about) which amount to less stringency in some cases. I suspect Australia follows the UK's model.

    In books, there is a limit to how much time and effort a small publisher can afford to expend locating the copyright-holder for an old work worthy of reproduction, and you sometimes see in a re-issued book that "reasonable effort has been made", etc. In such a case, I suspect the publisher's legal liability is limited to a normal royalty on any sales made, so it would be wise to set this aside, or perhaps, as I sometimes do, donate the royalty to a cause of which the author might have approved.

    Boat plans are qualitatively very different to books, which should be obvious, and I can imagine no situation in which their reproduction for the purpose of building, if in copyright and without the agreement of the copyright holder, whether or not they are accessible, could be condoned. The designer or their estate is entitled to the sometimes significant royalty fee, determined by them not you, and you may expose yourself to claims from that quarter, as well as from any frustrated builder in need of consultancy, or declaring a design flaw in a finished boat. A claim from a builder may not be legally supportable, but it's noise I expect you could do without. I normally detest "counsels of perfection" as they don't take much account of reality, but in this case I am inclined to issue one...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    Many plans are sold with the license to build one boat. If that one boat has been built, the designer is owed another royalty to build another boat.

    Cheers,

    Bobby

  5. #5
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    Atkin's company is still around, so you definitely can't reproduce and sell those. I think that if you inherited these plans and your grandfather did not build from them, then you are well within your rights to build a boat from each of these plans, but I don't think you have any rights at all beyond that to resell them.
    If this post did not meet all of your needs, please consult this thread for more options.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    +1 James.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    Il colore del cielo, la forza del mare.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    Would you make copies of a artist's CD and try to sell it? Would you make copies of a book and try to sell it? A yacht designers work is no different. Yacht designers grant the right to build one boat from the plans they sell, not the right to go into business selling bootleg copies of their plans.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    You can try to game the system for a few dollars and take the risks noted above, but why add to that sort of grief in an already difficult world?
    If no boat was built, build one if you like. If you don't want to do that, give (free of charge) the plans to someone who will.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    Thanks for your opinions, they are appropriate. NO...I would not knowingly copy another persons copyrighted material and distribute for profit, we all know that's a NO NO. It was a nice thought though. I know my opa bought the plans and built a WARATAH and I can be sure the RAINBOW yacht has been built many times by many people. As for the ATKINS ketch, I can't be sure if that yacht was built from the plans I have inherited. I havn't researched the company but if they're still in operation then it's obvious I can't reproduce the plans at this point in time unless that 70 year period mentioned has passed. I will look into it. My assumption was if the plans are really old and the designer has passed on, that I may be able to reproduce them. My goal would obviously be to make some money BUT also to share these beautiful designs.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: OLD YACHT PLANS.What are they worth, can I sell copies to the public?

    ***
    Last edited by djaustralia; 03-28-2013 at 12:42 AM.

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