Floor Plans are Protected
When you’re ready to purchase a floor plan from a log home company or designer, be aware that you won’t own the actual plan — just a one-time right to build the home. This is necessary to protect both the company and you from copyright infringement. A reputable designer will never knowingly use a copyrighted plan from another company. If you do plan to build or alter an existing floor plan from a designer other than your own, make sure to get permission.
To protect yourself from copyright violations, remember the following tips:
■ Under U.S. copyright law, a floor plan is protected the moment it is created, regardless of whether or not the creator has registered the plan with the U.S. Copyright Office.
■ Copyright applies to the interior layout of a home as well as the elevations and exterior design.
■ When you buy construction documents, you are actually buying a one-time license to build that house.
■ Copyright law also protects derivations of the original plan. You cannot change a wall or roofline and consider it your own plan.