Would it go against copyright to build floor-plans from privately owned house/ architectural plan websites?

I was thinking about recreating this house from this site.

Considering the designs are from a private website, with this being their policy, it would in fact fall under reproduction of the design if I were to build it, correct? Or is the policy purely referring to the graphics themselves? The reason I’m asking this is because its worded with reproduction of “plan images”- so is it referring to reproducing the house itself or simply the graphics hosted and sold on the site? Feel as if I’m doubting myself/ overthinking this

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I wouldn’t recreate it, as it’s a slippery slope and could violate copyright laws, although I’m unsure. Just use your own design, or piece multiple together into your own unique house.

It’s a design that you aren’t authorised to use. That would infringe on their intellectual property. So no, you can’t use that plan or reproduce it.

You should be fine as long as someone doesn’t have it copyrighted but you can mimic it under the parody law as long as it isn’t more than 80% you should be fine. More info here. https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/

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The policy states “plan images” that cant be reproduced- which I believe refers to the graphics themselves given architectural copyright law gives protection under floor plans themselves which the website holds.

17 U.S. Code § 120 - Scope of exclusive rights in architectural works

(a)Pictorial Representations Permitted.— The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.

Considering this law and the fact its been depicted in a public place, given the public picture of the house on the website, a recreation of the building on roblox could in fact fall under “pictorial representation.” But I’m not entirely sure; I have no legal certification.

And it could be argued that there could be no such thing as direct scaling to the real floor plans given roblox works in studs- not feet. I’d make the building in proportion to roblox characters with the increment given to me on the medium. So I assume you could see the actual floor plans as inspiration.

I feel as if there are too many layers to this question to get a concrete answer…

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Where the legal/copyright is important to you (read bold)

All house plans listed on this site are protected by U.S. copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction, sale, or transfer of plan images contained on this site or any other work produced herein is a violation of these laws. These laws allow the copyright holder to recover damages of up to $100,000 per offense.

All content, graphics, and other data stored on this website expressly stated as being from another source are hereby designated original material, and is the intellectual property of the owner. This material may not be reused in any form, or for any purpose, without the consent of the owner.

The content of this website may not be reproduced in any form without the express written permission from the owner. It may not be sold for profit or included in any type of archive (commercial or private) without the consent of the owner. Failure to abide by these rules may result in legal action by the owner. Permission is hereby granted to download and view any material for personal, non-commercial purposes and to create hyperlinks to the top level (home page) of this website.

Solution


All plan images are not allowed for reuse under any circumstances. To use the plan images (publicly or privately) consent from the rightful owner is required. No, you wouldn’t be allowed to use the images.


If you design the texture(s) itself however, you would be fine; an idea is an idea. As long as you use no assets from the website’s graphics, plan images, and other properties, you should be fine.


As far as I’m aware of, reproducing any website graphics (even <80%) is still infringing the website’s rights. The website has a legal statement to back up the fact that all graphics and plan images are not allowed for private or public reproduction. There is probably a catch like ‘by using this website you agree to our terms’, so you would be held liable for infringement.

So, directly taking the images from the site and uploading them to roblox would be infringing, but what about using the floor plans as the basis for my build? There is no direct scaling from actual feet to roblox studs- so it could be argued as inspiration, correct? I’d make the scaling in proportion to the roblox character- not to IRL.

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How would you argue it out as inspiration? Under no circumstances are you allowed to directly use any website properties (wether or not they’re modified).


If you’re using the floor plan directly from the website you would still be infringing.


This would be known as modification and would still be infringement.
To my understanding you’re saying, “well Roblox studs changes the image”; this would be considered modification and may even subject to more copyright (unless the images have a free-to-modify license).


Edit: It isn’t an idea if it’s a directly stolen image with modification (unless the image is free for modification).

I think you should do this with that house and a couple of other similar houses. Use a couple of unique things from each one, but use the house you want to use mainly.
Sorry if this doesn’t make sense, just say it doesn’t and ill try to clarify what I mean

I’m not referring to the images themselves to be modifying, but rather creating a 3D build essentially using those floor plans as inspiration. That’s where the issue lays. Taking someone’s graphics of floor plans and modifying to a small extent would be infringing (considering the limitations of architectural copyright law in the US, for my case), but what about simply using them as inspiration to creating a 3D pictorial representation? The thing is that there’s no way to have my 3D representation be exact to IRL increments- and I could create them in proportion to the roblox avatar.

My model would not be a scale model to real life, so it could be argued that it’s not a direct copy of the prints. Copyright of designs of buildings only refer to the production of exact blueprints if I’m correct.

Already stated in my first post:


By using the image of an inspiration, you are completely fine. However, if you use even the smallest bit of assets from the image, I can’t guarantee you’ll be fine—as long as you make all the assets on your own you’ll be good.


However, I am very confused. :grimacing:

Even if it was scaled to real life, it’s still inspiration. Your image does not contain anything from that website, so you are fine.

…But then you say, “so it could be argued that it’s not a direct copy of the prints.” It was not a direct copy of the prints to start with, if your image didn’t contain anything from that website. It was instead an inspiration.


I get even more confused from my first point—its inspiration so you aren’t using anything from the website directly. If you download the image, and get your inspiration from there, that can be argued as infringement (even though the download was for private use).

Get the inspiration from the images on the website, but don’t download them.


It would be amazing if you broke down exactly what you desire.

I’m not looking to steal others images or assets from the website, specifically: floor plan graphics or photography of the building itself; you are correct in that aspect of copyright. To use the floor plan assets directly (such as uploading to the roblox website) without permission would be infringing.

My question is more with architectural copyright law in the united states, where these ideas are hosted. Exact designs- being a exact in real life replica- of the blueprints would be infringement if used unlicensed.

Copyright protection can be extend to general drawings and blueprints, preliminary plans, sections, elevations, floor plans, construction plans, rough models, models of internal support, models of external appearance, photomontages of the building against backdrops, computer-generated images of a design, and constructed buildings.The designs embodied in any of these types of works need not be capable of construction to be protected.

But, would it still be the same design if not in proportion to the actual blueprints? The general ideas and assets that compose the actual house are not subject to copyright- such as the roof’s projecting window, but the exact layout and composition is. I’d use the floor plans as the basis to make my own based off this, being in proportion to the roblox character. Perhaps I’m using the term “inspiration” loosely: I mean directly basing off the floor plans but in different proportion instead of borrowing design elements of this house to create my own.

This will be my final input into this topic (continue in DMs if there are more concerns)


  • Using the blueprints, images, or anything else the website has to offer as inspiration should be alright

  • Directly using the websites assets does infringe to copyright


I blame myself for all the misunderstandings, not you; I didn’t even read the copyright rule. :sweat_smile: (Sorry!)

To my understanding, the rule does not allow general inspiration, so I guess get your inspiration from somewhere else. :man_shrugging:

Copyright protection can be extend to general drawings and blueprints, preliminary plans, sections, elevations, floor plans, construction plans, rough models, models of internal support, models of external appearance, photomontages of the building against backdrops, computer-generated images of a design, and constructed buildings.The designs embodied in any of these types of works need not be capable of construction to be protected.

If you need inspiration from blueprints, use Ruski’s tutorial.

Possible Solution (?)


I wouldn’t use the website as an inspiration, due to the US architectural rule.

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It depends, if you are making changes to the build, then yes, if you are directly copying it from the website then no.

Where the major legalities come in is when you’re taking blueprint plans & constructing them to the tee in real life. That’s not the full construction plan, it’s only showing you the preview of the basic shapes and rooms. I built & drafted dozens of houses & trust me when I say that a home designer will never go after you for a similar looking house made on Roblox lol

Though as said, don’t rip them off completely. Use blueprints and photos of houses as a reference point and you shouldn’t have any problems.

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This is, actually not true… sorry! :wink:

As I stated before, taking the base and modifying it is modification, and is not allowed. So, making changes would still be infringing. It’s kind of complicated - we all make mistakes. :smile:

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