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Old 03-09-2015, 17:19   #1
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Is it OK resell my Survey?

I may be able to recoup some of what I spent on the survey of a boat I declined to purchase by selling a copy of it to another prospective buyer. I suppose some surveyors may not like the idea of such transactions, but it looks like a win win for me and the next interested party. I would think I am within my rights to do so, and nothing in my contract say otherwise, but a little reassurance that I am not mistaken wouldn't hurt.
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Old 03-09-2015, 17:23   #2
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

I can't imagine why anyone would buy a survey. If one is required for insurance or for getting a loan on a boat, I doubt they will accept a survey that was not done at that instance of sale for the person buying the boat (these things are standard notations on surveys).

Other than that, go for it, unless there is wording in your specific survey contract that forbids it.

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Old 03-09-2015, 17:27   #3
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

Every survey I have ever seen (perhaps fifty or more) has a clause that clearly prohibits this. Would you rather have a little reassurance from strangers online or would you prefer to contact the surveyor and ask for his or her permission? Why not ask the surveyor? You are correct with your supposition that most surveyors would not like this idea. I am not sure whether the finance company or insurance underwriter would accept the survey if not done for you as most surveys clearly indicate when and where it was done and for whom. It would seem that this is a bad idea for both you and anyone else who might actually buy your survey. Some might consider it stealing intellectual property and uniform commercial code may prohibit this as well. If I saw a survey that did not specifically prohibit this, I'd wonder about the surveyor's professionalism and expertise. I'd think twice...
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Old 03-09-2015, 18:15   #4
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

I sold a survey 2 weeks ago.
$350.
My price was $574 + $224 for the haul.
Did not see anything about not re-selling.
I own the survey, I paid for it and will do whatever I want to with.
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Old 03-09-2015, 18:16   #5
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

Paul,
Could you post the actual language regarding not selling a copy? I also have seen many surveys and have had many done and have never seen this. Is it particular to your area? I pay for the survey and it is mine to do with as I may.
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Old 03-09-2015, 18:38   #6
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

One reads "This report is for the exclusive use of the person or organization on whose behalf the report was prepared.This person or organization may copy and distribute the report as needed for vessel purchase, settle a claim, obtain repair estimates, financing and insurance. The rights to the use of this report may not be sold or transferred to a third party without written permission by the surveyor. (________) reserves all rights to this report and its contents and the distribution of same contents."

Another reads This survey is given in confidence to (_______) This survey report may not be sold,transferred or assigned to any other party, and is for the benefit solely of (_____), who accepts the same upon the condition that any dispute, controversy or claim relating to this survey, in breach or existence, which cannot be resolved amicably shall be referred to arbitration, which shall be the sole and exclusive forum for the resolution or settlement of any dispute, controversy or claim between the parties."
I doubt it has anything to do with any particular area for I review similar surveys from up and down the east coast and believe it is common and widely done and most surveyors I know of cover a fairly broad geographic area.
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Old 03-09-2015, 19:10   #7
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

Considering what some surveyor may write in his survey is not a contract, the exclusive use language isn't enforceable.

Alternatively, you can gift a survey with such language even in contractual form and charge $250 for the paper clip binding it together.

Either way, a survey is not a contract.
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Old 03-09-2015, 19:11   #8
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

I'd sell it. It becomes an enforcement issue. In many states it wouldn't be binding and superceeded by state law disallowing such actions.
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Old 03-09-2015, 19:33   #9
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

Well, I'm not a lawyer and I do not know whether any of the respondents are either, nor do I know whether the survey is a contract or not, nor whether it is legally binding or not, nor whether it is enforceable or not, but if it got to a court of law, I would imagine that pretty much any judge would raise his or eyebrows and tell the defendant who sold a survey with such prohibitive language something such as "Well, it is clear that you paid for and accepted a survey which said you could not sell it....." But it could be that such language was just meant to scare someone away who was not or did not have a lawyer....so who knows? But there is an ethical issue as well. Sure you paid for it, but is it right to resell it? There are copyright and patent laws and laws that have been around for centuries specifically to allow the creator of a work of art a book, invention etc (even if you bought a copy of the book or the music) that forbid you from copying it--though they don't, as far as I know, forbid you from reselling it. Who knows? Why not ask for permission from the surveyor as was already suggested?
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Old 03-09-2015, 19:37   #10
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

I haven't bought or sold a survey, but I've had them given to me, twice. My insurance company accepted them in both cases.

It would be a cold day before I would actually spend money on a survey if somebody (like an insurance company) didn't make me.

Its worth a shot, but I wouldn't expect to get much for it.

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Old 03-09-2015, 20:28   #11
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

You payed for the survey and it's yours to sell. Most insurance companies will accept a "second hand" survey if it was done within a year.
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Old 03-09-2015, 20:30   #12
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
You payed for the survey and it's yours to sell. Most insurance companies will accept a "second hand" survey if it was done within a year.
Within 10 in my experience.

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Old 03-09-2015, 21:04   #13
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

Works such as a survey are automatically copyrighted:

"In 1989 the United States enacted the Berne Convention Implementation Act, amending the 1976 Copyright Act to conform to most of the provisions of the Berne Convention. As a result, the use of copyright notices has become optional to claim copyright, because the Berne Convention makes copyright automatic."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright
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Old 03-09-2015, 21:21   #14
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

Copyright is vested with the author, so the surveyor owns it. There is a contract in place, in this case a limited license to use the work in a specific way. Now, it is certainly possible for the copyright owner to grant expanded rights, such as the right to resell the survey. Indeed it is possible to license or sell all copyrights. Anything is possible, but it is up to the owner of the copyrighted material, not (in this case) the purchaser of a limited license.


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Old 03-09-2015, 21:21   #15
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re: Is it OK resell my Survey?

I don't quite understand that a paid Survey.....which accepts no legal responsibility as to it's accuracy..... could be considered proprietary by the author, when he had already sold his opinion to the client.

I am quite sure brokers share copies of recent surveys to a committed buyer....if the survey reads well.

I would have no problem sharing that survey with a potential buyer, but would not advertise its availability for sale.....
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