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Steven T. Lawrey, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 12:24 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

For several years now, AIA has has been selling electronic licenses to their contract document forms. The license allows the user to enter required information, such as dates, the Owner's name, etc., as well as edit some of the text. Deleted text is indicated with a strike-through font and new text is indicated by a bold-faced font, thereby preserving the original document text. I have received edited A201's (quite lengthy edits, I might add) from a few owners for inclusion in the project manual. I wonder what everyone thinks about this practice which amounts to incorporating the Supplementary Conditions directly into the Form of General Conditions. Could this be the beginning of the end of a separate document describing Supplementary Conditions? How should this be handled in the project manual?
David R. Combs, CSI, CCS, CCCA (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 08:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We have the same arrangement with many of our clients as well. I just list it in the Table of Contents as 00700 - General Conditions.

What I have more of a problem with is this scenario I heard of from another firm: They have one client out there that continues to send the Architect a hard copy of their 1987 General Conditions. Theoretically, they should be printing out and sending the Architect one original per Project Manual, so the electronic meter can keep track of number of copies printed, and they can be billed by the AIA accordingly. However, their license expired in 10/2000, so they are no longer able to do this. Since they only have one original (presumably locked up in a vault somewhere), the Architect only gets one hard copy (per project), which he, in turn, uses as the original and sends to the printers in the stack of Project Manual originals. The printer, in turn, runs numerous copies accordingly. So the Owner is violating the federal copyright law, the Architect is a party to the crime, and the printer is violating the federal copyright law.

And, so the story goes, nobody cares. Principals included.

Have others experienced this practice as well? I'm just wondering how common it is to disregard the copyright when printing Project Manuals.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 159
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 08:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

To Steven's comment:
I think that it would be fantastic if we saw the end of supplementary conditions. By making the changes directly as the AIA software does, there is less chance of poorly coordinated language. More importantly, it makes finding the proper provisions--in their most current edited form--during construction substantially easier. The worst scenario I experience is clients who have cobbled together two or three "boiler plate" general conditions, and then tacked on two or three supplementary conditions. No effort is made to coordinate any of this. Yuch! What a mess! (By the way, since we're the architect, we're supposed to offer interpretations of this when issues arise!)

To David's comment:
The firm where I currently work with has public clients who do not use AIA contracts. Except one, who uses a 1987 version with edits that they give us a copy of, and another consultant prints. For many other clients in the past, the copyright has been obeyed. We have printers in the area who stock the AIA forms, and will insert them in the location where instructed during binding. The printing bill simply includes the cost of the forms. Works very well.
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 09:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In part, as I see it, the problem is two-fold, and not likely to be resolved soon. First, the AIA delights in creating the documents [good for them-- they are good documents] but then they try to "strangle hold" them by using a ridiculous licensing program, which is unrealiztic and unenforcible-- just as the federal copyright law is!. Surely there are some astute "wizards" around who can create a reasonable and better way of handling this, other than merely creating the illustion of "copy-police" being about. The use of AIA documents, by one firm is not rampant and abusive, and of such magnitude as to bankrupt the AIA [they can do that well by themselves!} Seems a little far-fetched to create good works, offer and ballyhoo/advertise them as viable instruments, and then inhibit how they can be used. Heard one stroy of an author trying to use portions of AIA documents, who had to "buy" full copies of them, have them stamped "SAMPLE", and then have a one-year license issued. What book has a life of one year? Not worth the effort to write them. And besides, the AIA benefits over and over as each new book reader sees their documents [read that as "advertising"] Maybe the AIA needs to realize that their primary function is not that of a publsihing house [the same trap the old model code groups fell into] which generates and supports its other efforts.
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 09:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How wide spread is the practice of incorporating AIA 201 as General Conditions by reference? Saves the hassle of printing, inventorying, and distributing. I have never once seen a contractor ask for a copy.
Robert E. Woodburn, RA, CCS, CCCA,CSI
Senior Member
Username: bob_woodburn

Post Number: 27
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 10:26 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In this part of the country, I would guess that incorporation by reference is the overwhelming practice, with a percentage in the high 90's - close to universal - the result, perhaps, of AIA's pricing policy. I'm not aware of any recent unlicensed copying, though; I would guess it's insignificant. (Years ago, as a volunteer on a spec competition judging panel, I remember seeing an entry with an apparent unlicensed A201 copy...!)

I like the concept of amending A201 with underline/strikeout, but I'd prefer bold italics for additions, to distinguish them from deletions. I tried the new AIA Document software years ago when it was new, but gave up in disgust. Had to be the world's slowest, most frustrating software. I understand the current version is better, but that bad experience had an effect...

Has anybody thought of (or heard of) an ad-hoc joint effort to come up with a "Linux-like" open-source alternative, perhaps starting with an editable master for a supplementary conditions document, filling an existing void?
Steven T. Lawrey, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 10:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Supplementary Conditions was a wonderful solution to the problem of editing a preprinted document in a time when the printing and electronic technologies we are beginning to take for granted, simply didn't exist. Another benefit to using the electronic contract document forms is that they may be e-mailed between Owner and A/E (assuming both have the software). Both parties then have the opportunity to perform editing prior to publishing the document, thereby eliminating the need to include separate Owner and A/E amendments. The contractor is spared the agonizing task of making sense of multiple documents.

I like the idea of simply including Document 00700 - General Conditions and eliminating any reference to Supplementary Conditions. Up to now I've included 00800 - Supplementary Conditions. The document basically says that an electronic copy of the General Conditions is included and that ammendments are shown thus:
***Deletions: Shown in strikout font.
***Additions: Shown in bold face font.
However, I feel this practice will be short lived as more and more contractors and CM's get familiar with the electronic format (EF) documents.

As for photocopying contract forms, our printer will not copy AIA documents. Instead, we provide them with the number of legal copies needed for the number of project manuals required. AIA's policy on photocopying electronic format (EF) documents is as follows:
***Category I: May be copied not more than 10 times. Most AIA contracts and forms fall into this category.
***Category II: May be copied no more than 25 times. This category includes A201, A201/CMa, A271, A701 and A771.
***Category III: Unlimited copies may be made. This category includes A501, A511, A511/CMa, A521, A571 and B511.

One way to limit the number of points on the electroinic meter is to edit the document and print it as a "DRAFT" copy and bind into the project manual. AIA does not deduct points for printing a "DRAFT". Include a statement that a fully executed original document will be provided to the Owner, sucessful Bidder/CM, and A/E at the conclusion of negotiations. At that point late amendments are made and the "DRAFT" can be printed as an "original". The process of producing project manuals therefore does not deplete the license holder of valuable points.

Perhaps EJCDC and various government departments have developed or are developing similar EF documents.
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 10:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Except for internal/prelim/draft/reading copies, referencing A201 is also violating the copyright.
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 11:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

>>Except for internal/prelim/draft/reading copies, referencing A201 is also violating the copyright.<<

Yeah, right. Does that also mean we are violating ASTM's copyright by referencing several of their standards in each Section? Should we buy one copy of each referenced standard per project manual and bind them in?

Are we violating the copyright on this forum just by talking about A201?
Tomas Mejia
New member
Username: tmejia

Post Number: 1
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 11:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

>>Except for internal/prelim/draft/reading copies, referencing A201 is also violating the copyright.<<

Can you explain how the copyright is violated?
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: wpegues

Post Number: 233
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 12:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

To whichever Anon posted the following...

Except for internal/prelim/draft/reading copies, referencing A201 is also violating the copyright.

When you make a pronouncement like that, sometimes its best to reference or quote a reference that supports it.

As it is, that statement flies in the face of all known means and methods of dealing with quoted material.

It is legally permitted to reference a copyrighted document, and you don't even need permissions to do so. In fact, it is legally permitted to reference a copyrighted document by title and name for the purpoes of using it as a bad example of what the document is stating. That is, you don't need permissions to reference something even for the purpose of debating its point of view.

Additionally, its permitted to provide limited quotes from a copyrighted document so long as you correctly reference it. This is a bit more foggy - what is limited, what is too much. There is a fine line there. I legally quote text of a few lines from a copyrighted document - and again, it could be used in a hostile manner where I am being particularly critical to the point of view expressed.

Quoting, or a title reference, to a copyrighted document such as common occurs in specifications writing is totally legal.

Perhaps you are confusing copyright law with the various 'good/bad' practice in writing specifications. Indeed, it is considered 'not good form' to specify something by stating it is included as though written out. But it is not a violation of copyright law to do so.
Posted on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 11:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

From the Anon that said >>>>Except for internal/prelim/draft/reading copies, referencing A201 is also violating the copyright.

Years ago, I was told (or at least thought so) by AIA that one cannot use A201 by reference in project manuals. I stand corrected (after just speaking with AIA). I apologize for misleading statement. I guess the years have taken its toll on my memory?
Phil Kabza
Senior Member
Username: phil_kabza

Post Number: 28
Registered: 12-2002
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 10:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

First of all: Please read your AIA electronic documents license. It discusses the licensee's right to print a copy of a metered document and include it in a project manual for reproduction for a single project. A copy is on the AIA's website.

Then: Go to the AIA website and see the information on the new AIA electronic documents version due to be released in the next few weeks. Several colleagues have been beta testing it, with rave reviews. A flash demo gives a good introduction.

Then, come back and take up this conversation.

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