My Riva Aquarama Plans

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by classiclines, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Puffin Marine
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    Puffin Marine Junior Member

    I'm sorry, but I really don't understand your remarks. Which message in the thread were you responding to?
     
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  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I went to the link you posted. That is the claim.
     
  3. Puffin Marine
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    Puffin Marine Junior Member

    I'm afraid you've missed the point

    Please excuse me if I have misunderstood you, but the point I was making was that the plans for the Aquarama - whatever the source - appear to be effectively in the public domain and the building of a boat using these plans - whatever the source - is unlikely to meet any legal obstacles short of an attempt to pass the boat off on resale as the genuine article.

    This is not a legal opininion; in fact, it was I who was asking for guidance, not giving it. However, unless someone can tell me otherwise, this is what I understand the position to be, based on a single telephone call with Riva Revival (who certainly appear to know what they are talking about when it comes to the Aquarama).

    I can appreciate boat designers having an acute interest in the legitimacy of boat designs; that is why I posted on this forum, to try and understand and respect these sensitivities. It would be unfortunate if the only response was that, without the explicit written consent of the original designer, any replica would be theft, and this certainly does not appear to be the case with the Aquarama - otherwise someone would have nailed the builders of the Xtravaganza.

    The only firm guidance I have found is not to call it a Riva, probably best not to call it an Aquarama, and to be honest if you ever come to sell it.

    I am uncertain quite what the lofting issue has to do with the legality of the design. Or are youperhaps just having a rant?:?:
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Where did you get the plans from?
     
  5. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    From looking at the website it would appear that "Mr. Classic" has no clue about boatbuilding, surface fairing, naval architecture, or structural engineering. Also from looking at the site I suspect no actual boats are being built from these so-called plans, except that beauty in Thailand! Which is a good thing for everyone IMO.

    So the design of the Riva Aquarama is in the public domain? There is an extensive thread on this subject on another forum, a fairly heated discussion too. It concerns the design of a Herreshoff Daysailer. http://www.woodenboat-ubb.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=002163;p=

    When and how might this happen? Did Carlo Riva bequeath this design to the public? Might this status not be rather convenient for those whose business is Riva-Revival?

    Tad
     
  6. Puffin Marine
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    Puffin Marine Junior Member

    This viewpoint is not sustainable, else Noah would be claiming royalties for every large boat bearing a similar name - notably a sequence of Royal Navy aircraft carriers.

    I am grateful for your link to the other discussion, which I am now reading with interest. I note from the fist paragraph of the first message that -

    I am sure that, as I read on, that view will be challnged, as the discussion spans five pages and I have not yet read them all. However, this does by and large appear to be the same starting point as suggested to me by Riva Revival. Please note, in passing, that Riva Revival are "pursits" and do not design or build replica boats. To suggest that their comments reflected commercial interests is therefore misguided and unnecessary.

    In closing, as a layman I am unable to comment on the quality of the plans, and to be fair that was not the underlying question at the start of this thread, nor the point which I raised about the legality of the affair. I conced that the design which I have purchased and which is supplied on CD does not cover all aspects of fitting out, nor indeed areas such as the potential sheathing of the hull or the achievement of the CE plate which is a legal requirement on all new-build boats in Europe. It is also true that the photos of the boat apparently under construction in Thailand are uninspiring.

    However, the seller of these plans appears to be bona fide and, if I may presume that it is he who started this thread, not nearly as dismissive of the legal rights issues as many designers appear towards his plans. May I therefore pose this challenge to those who take issue with his proposition - who amongst you is going to commence legal proceedings against him, and on what basis, alleging what loss? I fully appreciate that the US thinks it can legislate and adjudicate for the world these days, and may either "render" those it suspects of criminal offences, or seek to extradite without evidence those it suspects of civil infractrions, but in common law jurisdictions including Australia and the UK, the rule of law applies and you can't simply invent laws to suit your purpose. What, therefore, is the legal basis of a challnege to these plans?

    That, with respect, was my question.
     
  7. Puffin Marine
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    Puffin Marine Junior Member

    An addendum

    As I read through the other string, the following article by a US law firm was referred to. I recommend it, particulalry the review of Volkswagen AG's failed attempt to buy the Rolls Royce marque -

    http://www.mspatents.com/firm_news.htm

    The comments in that article relating to the intellectual property in the Ford GT-40 confirms that the branding is a key issue; DON'T call it a Riva Aquarama, no matter how like one it is. However, unless someone else can prove ownership of the design (rather than the brand name) there is no obvious impediment to mimicking a classic but unregistered design.

    This is entirely consistent with my interpretation of the comments made by Riva Revival - don't call it a Riva, maybe not an Aquarama, don't seek to deceive anyone if you sell it, and it is unlikely that there will be any legal problems.

    A further quote from that thread neatly encpsulates this viewpoint -

    For clarity, and to expand upon my references to the extra-territorial application of US legislation, please note that, if any legal claims were to arise, then these would presumably be between the successors in title of an Italian designer, an Australian publisher and a UK boatbuilder. In the circumstances, and whilst I am grateful for the informative references embedded in the other thread to the United States Copyright Office, I cannot see that these are relevant in the present case. On the other hand, the existence of a documented Patent or Trademark would support a legal action; in the case of the Riva Aquarama there does not appear to be any such instrument.
     
  8. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Andrew,

    If my reply of last evening sounded bad tempered, I apologize, there are a number of thorny questions here and I thank you for raising them.

    You are very correct in pointing out that the "design" or "plans", also referred to as the intellectual property, is completely separate from the Brand Name. In various countries these are both protected under various and different laws. I would imagine that the brand name Riva Aquarama was part of the assets sold by Carlo Riva with the rest of his boatyard. Riva may also currently still hold that brand name as a registered trademark or the equivalent.

    I also believe that many countries are signatories to an international copyright agreement. Thus there may well be a legal case to be brought against Classic Wooden Boat Plans for copyright infringement. This would be (IMO) just for the use of various brand names, aside from the intellectual property issue. I would also guess that the chance of this happening is nil.

    Classic Wooden Boat Plans should be seen as tiny potatoes and not worth pursuing. But the sale of un-authorized copies of plans of someone else’s design cannot be ignored by me. Thus my first comments in this thread. Carlo Riva is still alive, Nelson Zimmer is still alive and practicing and selling plans through authorized agents.

    As a creator of intellectual property I would like to know when my control over this property runs out? What is public domain? I think this question is closely tied to the "Open Source" question which has recently come up in another extensive thread on this forum. As I stated, Mr. Riva is still alive and thus presumably could decide on the disposition of his intellectual property. One source states that in 1998 he "contributed" to the non-profit, Riva Historical Society. This may include the plans to his designs, but the rights to those may also have been earlier sold with the company.

    In my opinion it would be far better if the original plans were readily available from a recognized source, rather than widely available from shoddy sources. This is what I would hope for my own work, that it remains available, but intact and acknowledged as my work, even if it's open or free source on the www. This has been accomplished by the Hart Museum with some Herreshoff designs, they are available, but there are constraints. Mystic Seaport does the same thing.

    Finally Andrew, please find a competent yacht designer to re-create your copy of an Aquarama. In the UK Tony Castro and Ed Burnett come to mind.

    All the best, Tad
     
  9. Puffin Marine
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    Puffin Marine Junior Member

    A closing wrap up & thankyou

    I am indebted for your comments and guidance towards sources of potential assistance in the UK.

    I am not a lawyer, much less a boat designer. However, the legal concept of copyright is quite well defined, and is not at all as many laymen imagine it to be. On the one hand, it is not necessary to write "(c)" or "copyright" on your work - if it is truly yours and orginal, then it remains so, if it is not, just putting "(c)" on it doesn't make it so.

    The key to the enforceability of copyright is established use and defence of the right, which is presumed to be waived if the would-be owner becomes aware of a potential infirngement and does not assert the right. Wierdly enough, this can be traced right back to the Roman ceremony of Mancipatio whereby legal title to goods was transferred, and this itself was almost certainly based on a religious ritual.

    The important point is this; a property right is the right to exclude. From the point of view of someone who wishes to intrude on that property, there are various ways in which the exclusion can be avoided: at one extreme, you buy the intellectual property rights outright, (and now you can exclude even the original owner, just as if you had bought a house.) Slightly less extreme, you buy a licence - this is not property, it is a contractual agreement not to exclude you, and if you are excluded, your remedy is in damages for breach of contract, you don't suddenly acquire the property. The third way is by adverse occupation, and if you "squat" for a period of time in effective defiance of the original owner's right to exclude you, then the right to exxclude is deemed to have lapsed. (This is what is commonly referred to as property being "in the public domain"). Even then, you do not automatically acquire the property (i.e. the right to exclude everyone else), and the proof of the pudding is that, until title is formally transferred, the original owner still maintains legal liability for e.g. the dangerous condition fo the property, product and design defects (if it is an item and not real estate), and for any fees, taxes or dues.

    My point is this. There is only one way for someone other than the original artist to acquire the "right", and that is to acquire it outright, to the point where not even the original designer can copy it. Everything else is not a property right, but the right not to be excluded. Therefore, asking whether the Australian guy has acquired the "rights" is nonsense - on the other hand, the simple fact that neither Carlo Riva nor his successors in title have stopped anyone else (e.g. the manufacturers of the Xtravaganza) from copying the design is strong evidence that whatever property rights there may once have been have lapsed and that no-one can be "excluded" any more.

    The major pitfall waiting the unwary is - in common law countries as well as, I believe, in the US (in situations not covered by explicit legislation, patent or trademark) is passing off. If the re-seller of designs claims that these are authentic originals sourced from Riva, then, unless they are, he committing both a civil tort and, potentially, a criminal offence of deception. Similarly, were I to build a boat and then try to resell it as a Riva Aquarama, the same would apply; the boat is not a Riva Aquarama, no matter how much like one it may look. However, this is nothing to do with copyright - "this is passing off".

    I am grateful for your patience and kind guidance, but this thread has now reached a natural conclusion and I will be signing off now.

    Best Regards, many thanks and Happy Christmas

    Andrew
     
  10. cudashark
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    cudashark Senior Member

    The guy “John” of classic lines aka classicwoodenboatplans selling the Riva Plans is doing a disservice to Riva. I have purchased the plans being sold via ebay as 1970 Riva Aquarama Special only there is no such thing. It would have to be a 1972. The plans are arguably horrible and are totally in the wrong scale. They contain no information with regards to the decking king plank or any truly reliable information.

    I do not recommend anything other than a model being built from these.

    I luckily live in South Florida and have access to Florida Atlantic University Ocean Engineering Dept. We have had a look at these and they are totally unreliable.

    As to the legality of reproducing a version of the Aquarama I think that considering that Colombo has copied and modified the design, as well as Cometti, the aforementioned boys from the Netherlands goes to show what a beautiful design it is.

    I feel if you are going to build a boat with similar scantlings that as long as the craft is truly sea worthy and meets good overall construction, I’m all for it.

    In reality arguable Riva copied the barrel back from Chris Craft; in fact they copied each other in many respects as did all the early boat designers.

    Carlos Riva, Chris Smith, Gar Wood, Don Mortrude, Bill MacKerer, Charles Raymond HuntJohn Hacker, George Crouch and even Dick Bertram all at one time made this classic hull. The deck is decidedly Riva.

    So if you decide to modify and build your own; go for it; I’m behind any one whom in the spirit of the old masters to conceive a thing of beauty, please send pictures.

    Ray
     
  11. cudashark
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    cudashark Senior Member

    Dear Classiclines,

    I purchased your plans last year and they are not even close to the real thing. I take great exception to you passing these off as being so. They are representative of a toy model kit.

    Yes I have come back to haunt you. I have, after careful documentation, research and great expense to a real navel architect designed a boat around the original look and feel of a Riva.

    You should stop selling that garbage.

    Ray Cuda
     
  12. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Hello Cudashark, Puffin Marine and Tad,

    It is with great interest that I followed the gist of this thread today. To build a boat that owes some of its inspiration to classic forms of past years, is a sincere form of flattery and as long as the builder acknowledges it is a look alike, without further claim and not a "Brand copyright" craft, I do not foresee problems. A glance at modern cars reveals how alike they have become. The solving of common problems often leads to similar results.

    Klaas van der Woude in Groningen is describing his build of a 30 feet long cold moulded beauty and what a fine craft he is completing. http://bootbouw.blog2blog.nl/ Truly inspiring.

    Pericles
     
  13. CaptScot
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    CaptScot Junior Member

    I have seen Classiclines CDs for sale on Ebay. He also sells a copy of the original plans for George M Crouch's Gold-cup Racer "Baby Bootlegger". I happen to know that these plans are available from Mystic Seaport Museum because I bought a set years ago to study them. Mystic states that one may also build a boat from the plans, but makes no warrantee as to the fitness for any boat built as per the plans. However, the plans may not be reproduced for resale.
     
  14. cudashark
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    cudashark Senior Member

    Hi Capt...

    I don't know about "Bootlegger" but the plans I recieved were a rip off.
     

  15. cudashark
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    cudashark Senior Member

    Riva Replica

    Getting beyond the bull,

    I have designed a replica that is close to the Rive Aquarama Special and the Chris Craft as seen below.

    My craft (which I am still working on the ribs before I set her up up-side down) is 33' w/ 10' beam.
     

    Attached Files:

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