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Ques re AIA contracts and modifying them and copyrights

Posted by la_koala (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 13, 11 at 22:40


I'm a homeowner and doing a kitchen remodel. I do not have an architect involved for the contract administration part (for a variety of reasons to long to mention here).

I've read postings on this forum that say something to the effect that one can obtain the AIA contracts (say A107) and modify them to meet one's needs. One posting used the words The AIA (Architectural Institute of America) has standard contracts that you can buy and modify with the help of a local lawyer to suit your particular situation.

I'm happy to buy the AIA contract. My question is about the "mechanical" part of the modification and the AIA copyright. How does one modify it and not infringe the copyright?

I'm trying to understand what's meant here when posters say to modify the AIA contracts, or use clauses from them in your own contract, with respect to the whole copyright aspect. Especially since I know I'll have to replace wherever it says "architect" with "Owner" (me)

I mean, does "buying the contract doc from the AIA and modifying it to fit my project" mean I should:

- Copy the language and paste it into a new Word file, and global replace "architect" with "Owner"?

- Keep the AIA words and strike the word "architect" with a pen and initial the margin and attach an Addendum that says "globally, replace "architect" with "Owner"?

- Contact the AIA and ask them to give me permission to copy and paste, after buying the license to use the contract?

My only other alternative for this project is to write a contract from scratch, and even in that case, I'd like some proven text to use as a starting point.

Thanks in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Ques re AIA contracts and modifying them and copyrights

'How does one modify it and not infringe the copyright? "

By paying a fee.

RE: Ques re AIA contracts and modifying them and copyrights

Thanks brickeyee-- I was intending to pay the fee to get a copy.

But even after paying the fee and getting the printed AIA page, can I white out words (obliterating them) and write my own in the white space? Or do I have to strikeout the original AIA words (leaving them visible) and write my own words above?


RE: Ques re AIA contracts and modifying them and copyrights

It depends on what the license they gave you when they sold you a copy.

It is likely for a 'single use' on a single project.

RE: Ques re AIA contracts and modifying them and copyrights

I am in a similar situation. I'm building a guest cottage using a contractor and no architect. The AIA contracts, particularly A107-2007, is exactly what I need. But the language is full of references for the architect. I have a book that suggests striking out "architect" and writing "owner" above it, and initialing it. The AIA was very unhelpful, but inferred that minor changes to a contract you paid for does not effect copyright - they would offer no advice about how to change "architect" to "owner".

Not satisfied, I contacted the most powerful and respected real estate attorney in my area. He said:
"For “architect” on p.1,, insert “as may be designated by Owner” and leave everything the same."

Thus there you go. A simple solution that does not involve modifying or changing anything in the contract. I thought this might help others in a similar situation.

RE: Ques re AIA contracts and modifying them and copyrights

Only modifying the architect name on p.1 is not adequate if an architect is not used since the document repeatedly refers to an architect. Just cross it out wherever it appears and if appropriate enter the name of another person responsible for administration and quality control. Don't leave inaccurate or misleading statements in a contract. This is not a real estate contract.

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