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Lock or password for editing a family in Revit project files

Lock or password for editing a family in Revit project files

"To add password/protection lock" option for editing families in Revit project files would have been a life-saver since when sharing models many users don't want their custom or paid models to be stolen. So they can either only view the families in the shared model or edit them by using the password instead of being able to save them on their own computer through these options.

7 Comments
erikhianke
Contributor

Immensely valid suggestion, guaranteed copyright and protection for creators.

colinqBYUV9
Enthusiast

On face value I tend to agree with this, but I'd be interested to hear some counter arguments because I know how often I get a family that doesn't quite suit my needs in terms of visibility, scheduling, category etc. and I need to tweak it in some way.   

erikhianke
Contributor

@colinqBYUV9, yes, I will need to agree with this type of situation, which is very common. It's complex, and I think it's difficult for AutoDesk to implement something like this. Although it is positive, it appears from user situations to be more negative.

HVAC-Novice
Advisor

Please don't do this feature. All the downloadable families will become useless and/or users will forget their passwords and come to the forum crying because years of work is lost. Or imagine you have a BIM manager that leaves the firm, and then no one will be able to use the families. 

 

No family I ever got from someone else is usable without editing. And the very most aren't that great. Don't be so convinced of your skills that you think you need to protect it. 

 

If you don't want anyone else use your family, don't share it or your project. 

 

Sharing of work is one of the best strengths of Revit. 

erikhianke
Contributor

@HVAC-Novice, I understand your concerns regarding the implementation of this tool, and it is completely valid to highlight that project sharing is, in fact, one of Revit's strengths and it would be a mistake to say that projects should not be shared. Collaboration between users is essential for the development and continuous improvement of the platform, and between company/project teams is common.

 

However, it is important to consider that, in many professional scenarios, the sharing of specific families may be limited for legal or contractual reasons. It is necessary to better understand and address the idea that the intention of the tool is not to prevent the general sharing of projects, but rather to offer a way to preserve the copyrights of family creators.

 

I agree that there are concerns about possible negative impacts, such as losing access to important families when an employee leaves a company. Suggesting a fixed and unchangeable parameter to identify the creator of the family is an interesting approach and may be sufficient when we refer to who developed it. This would allow credit to be given to creators without compromising the flexibility of sharing between users.

 

I believe a broader discussion about how to improve this tool, considering the diverse needs of Revit users, would be beneficial. The ultimate goal is to find solutions that balance copyright protection with the practicality of collaborative sharing.

MichaelWolff
Advisor

If I did not have to use Revit on a daily basis, I would upvote this out of sheer spite. I thought the whole BIM method had its stress on collaboration with everyone involved working more or less in the open - even if following a closedBIM approach. If families were write protected there would be no way of telling what made up the file's huge size or mend a shortcoming or other without reaching out to the family's proprietor. Would probably be a field day for sellers of fine or not so fine Revit components. If you do not want a family to be easily editable, you can always bring in cryptic parameters, deliberately misuse existing parameters, use geometry ineditable inside Revit (direct shapes or imported cad crap) etc.

colinqBYUV9
Enthusiast

I could see the benefit of a password to overwrite an existing family. I know that I've had the situation where our office families have been edited and broken by our team in house. If a user who didn't have a password was forced to save as then the original family could be left unmolested. 

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