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DirtyKash
12-16-2003, 12:40 PM
I need to make a copy of this key that I have... but it says "Do not duplicate" on it.

I'm afraid that if I take it to be made a copy of, the guy will shower me with insults about how it's illegal.

Will that happen? Will locksmiths make duplicates of this key for me? If no, what if I slip him a $20 bill?

Trinopus
12-16-2003, 12:44 PM
My local locksmith told me that it's a $1,000 fine if he is caught making a copy of a key stamped "Do Not Duplicate."

Then he made me two copies, and I tipped him a fiver.

Trinopus

GreyWanderer
12-16-2003, 12:45 PM
You could make on that isn't an exact copy, that way it's not a duplication.

You could for example get rid of the "do not duplicate" text.

spingears
12-16-2003, 12:49 PM
"Do Not Duplicate" is usually to preven unauthorized duplicate key being available to unauthorized person.

Some locksmiths will refuse to copy them while others such as kiosks in mall, big box warehouse store, pay no attention and copy them anyway.

There are unusual keyway key blanks which are only availabe to locksmiths authorized to install the locks and make the keys.

Try to get a copy if is is not for your place of work or apt. bldg. If you have a legitimate need for a key they will have one made for you.


________________
"Beware of the Cog"

Polycarp
12-16-2003, 12:51 PM
It comes down to a question of ownership.

At my last full-time permanent job, each employee was issued a key to the building. Tom, the employee whose job included "building superintendent" duties, was the custodian who issued these keys. The corporation for which we worked owned the building and the keys. The keys were, of course, stamped with "Do Not Duplicate."

Tom could and did have duplicates made, with the stamp etched in, as agent for the corporation with the right to have such keys made. We employees could not.

The building owner has title to the keys. They are issued to the employees as a part of the employment agreement. Each has the right to one key by which he can access the building. He does not have ownership of the key; he merely has custody of it. His rights are those to use it to get into the building in order to work, including on non-business-hours periods when he wishes to do some work. But they do not include making a duplicate of the key. He is responsible for turning in the key when departing employment.

SlickRoenick
12-16-2003, 01:12 PM
A locksmith will be the only way to make a duplicate. I have been cutting keys for over 6 years at Ace Hardware and i notice that DND keys either have reversed grooves from their brother keys, extra grooves, longer shanks, or reduced shoulders. The keys that Ilco or Hillman supply to vendors are just standard keys. If not a locksmith then you'd have to contact the manufacturer and have them send you duplicates after you read the serial number off the key (if available) or the lock it opens.

effac3d
12-16-2003, 02:35 PM
You could also put a rubber cover over the head of the key,or assuming its an odd or large shape dip the head of the key in liquid latex to simulate a cover.

Thats assuming that the employee at wal-mart or home depot will even care,i doubt they would.

Cliffy
12-16-2003, 03:05 PM
Are you authorized to make a copy of this key, DirtyKash? If so, then you should be able to ask the person who issued it how to go about getting a copy. If you're not authorized, then you shouldn't be attempting to get a copy, as such is likely either illegal, a violation of your agreement with the person who gave you the key, or both.

--Cliffy

akrako1
12-16-2003, 03:10 PM
I was told that I would be able to copy my keys for my rehersal space because the copyright on the 'do not duplicate' on these keys had expired. I took them to any ol' locksmith, relayed that to him, and he copied them. Not sure if he just didn't care....

KP
12-16-2003, 04:07 PM
While there may be conditions attached when you recieved the key (for which YOU may be liable), the "Do not Reproduce" caption has no legal weight in any US state I know of (check your state's laws to be sure), but locksmiths aren't slaves, and can decline to undertake any job they wish. Ask, and ye shall be answered.

spingears
12-16-2003, 04:46 PM
Duplicating a "Do Not Duplicate" key issued by U. S. Gov't agencies would be asking for accomodations as a guest of the Federal Gov't.

These are special key blanks, and many require a special cutting machine.




________________
"Beware of the Cog"

NurseCarmen
12-16-2003, 06:12 PM
My old psycho landlord gave me one key. There were two people living at the apartment. She wanted to charge me twenty dollars to get a copy. The little vinyl cover cost 25 cents, and since I had so many keys, I bought several, so I could pick out the right key for the right door quickly. The guy at the hardware store didn't take the vinyl thing off to copy it.

I made 4 copies.

Khadaji
12-16-2003, 11:14 PM
Once I had such a key and I put a bit of masking tape across it and printed the words "tool shed" on the masking tape. And the guy made a copy without removing my tape. Make sure to add some wear and a little dirt.

factorylife5
12-16-2003, 11:26 PM
i work at a hardware store and have turned down MANY a customer based on this stamping. But as so many here have made clear, it is VERY easy to disguise the key. I have seen past the vinyl cap trick, just because it covered the "hip" of the key, making it hard for me to line up in the machine, i had to take it off, and they played it off pretty well... but i don't take peoples tape off. So easy to overcome, i can't believe you'd ask... but hey, i work at a hardware store... what's everyday to me amazes others. I have also had a manager wink at someone, and say "since you're one of our... favorite customers, we'll do it anyways" when she persisted about it and insisted it was a key to her mosque.

PhilAlex
12-16-2003, 11:33 PM
If it's a security keyblank, you may have trouble.

A friend of mine HAD to get a duplicate key made once. He did something risky: He chopped the DND HEAD off a key and had TWO duplicates made.

Then he bought a DND tool steel stamp on the web and re-stamped 'em.

Cost a bit

Osip
12-17-2003, 10:12 PM
The most common "do not duplicate" is going to be found on a Best keyblank. Originally they were a controled keyway and keyblanks were restricted. After the patent expired, Best Interchangable core Locks became quite popular. Best still produces the blanks and has never changed the molds (to my knowledge). Either way, they can be duplicated. Many people, have "do not duplicate" stamped on a standard keyway. This is nice but completely useless. the brass can be filed, painted over, covered and such.
There are some keys out there that are restricted. It is not the words that stop people from duplicating most of them. It is the lack of access to the keyblanks or proper machinery to duplicate. Those with the keyblanks control whom they duplicate or genterate keys for. (such as Medeco)

The USPS has a keyblank they use which is not avalible to most locksmiths. (there is a cross reference blank from a company that went out of buisness in the 20's that will work) There is so I hear a nice fine for duplicating those.

blah. all that and I did not really add anything that has not been said. *sigh*

Osip

Hail Ants
12-17-2003, 11:43 PM
Here's something to add. This was a little fake byline on The Onion.com (theonion.com) which I found particularly amusing:

Locksmith Brings Along Boombox To Play Mission: Impossible Theme

:D

GinaBeana
08-29-2014, 02:12 PM
Not everyone who wants to duplicate a DND key is doing it for the wrong reasons. We have run out of keys and the locksmith that keyed our building wants $7 for the 1st key, $3.50 each for additional keys and $9 shipping. Two extra keys will cost me about $20. I was hoping to find a better price and I AM authorized to handle this on behalf of my employer, but I am probably stuck paying $10/key. There should be some way to legitimately get a copy made without having to go back to the locksmith who keyed the building.

silenus
08-29-2014, 02:39 PM
I think DirtyKash has gotten into the building by now. It's been 11 years.

GreasyJack
08-29-2014, 02:52 PM
I think DirtyKash has gotten into the building by now. It's been 11 years.

He's probably just getting out of prison for duplicating that key!

The Second Stone
08-29-2014, 02:55 PM
Do the automatic vending machines not work on DND keys?

Chefguy
08-29-2014, 04:05 PM
Duplicating a "Do Not Duplicate" key issued by U. S. Gov't agencies would be asking for accomodations as a guest of the Federal Gov't.

These are special key blanks, and many require a special cutting machine.




________________
"Beware of the Cog"

Most key makers won't have a machine or the blanks for government keyways. The government's Medeco blanks are made specifically for the government, and we had a cutting machine just for them. They require a special machine in any event.

The Second Stone
08-29-2014, 04:22 PM
Back when I had only one door to a condo I had the Medeco $500 commercial locks. I got them after I found out that the local locksmiths not only couldn't pick them, but they couldn't drill them either.

robert_columbia
08-29-2014, 04:54 PM
It comes down to a question of ownership.

At my...job, each employee was issued a key to the building....Tom could and did have duplicates made, with the stamp etched in, as agent for the corporation with the right to have such keys made. We employees could not.

The building owner has title to the keys. They are issued to the employees as a part of the employment agreement. Each has the right to one key by which he can access the building. He does not have ownership of the key; he merely has custody of it. His rights are those to use it to get into the building....But they do not include making a duplicate of the key. He is responsible for turning in the key when departing employment.

Are you authorized to make a copy of this key, DirtyKash? If so, then you should be able to ask the person who issued it how to go about getting a copy. If you're not authorized, then you shouldn't be attempting to get a copy, as such is likely either illegal, a violation of your agreement with the person who gave you the key, or both....

If we are talking about a government key, I would imagine that there could be a specific "unlawful copying of government key" statute that they could charge you with. But in the case of a privately owned key, is there anything specifically criminal about duplicating a key without the owner's permission, as opposed to it being a violation of company policy, breach of contract, etc.?

Ideas:

1) Theft. However, this doesn't really seem to apply because theft normally involves taking something tangible - in this case you have taken only information, so it's more akin to a copyright violation than traditional theft/larceny/embezzlement/etc.
2) Possession of burglary tools. This sounds possible, but I believe that these laws normally require intent to commit burglary - just having the tool isn't enough. Maybe someone wants an extra key to the Conglom-O headquarters for some non-burglarious reason, such as having an extra key to get to work if you lose your key.
3) Identity theft. A creative prosecutor might be able to say that stealing a key design is similar to swiping someone's online banking password. However, iirc these laws normally require an "intent to defraud" for guilt to be found, and there are honest reasons that a person might have or want a duplicate key.
4) Some specific key-related statute. Anyone know of a jurisdiction that has one?

beowulff
08-29-2014, 05:34 PM
Back when I had only one door to a condo I had the Medeco $500 commercial locks. I got them after I found out that the local locksmiths not only couldn't pick them, but they couldn't drill them either.

That just means they need to use this (http://firehooksunlimited.net/images/kayo_1man.jpg) tool to open your door...

Chefguy
08-29-2014, 05:35 PM
Back when I had only one door to a condo I had the Medeco $500 commercial locks. I got them after I found out that the local locksmiths not only couldn't pick them, but they couldn't drill them either.

They're hopeless. We would just take a Sawz-All to the damn door, rather than try to defeat the lock. As far as I know, the keyway on a Medeco has never been picked, and since they put ball bearings in front of the mounting screws (and behind hardened steel), drilling is pointless. They also have an extra-long throw on the bolt, so jacking the frame doesn't work, either. They used to offer $10,000 or something to anybody who could pick one of their locks.

The Second Stone
08-29-2014, 05:50 PM
Yes, but the staff wasn't going to do those things absent a fire or flood. They would for any other reason they wanted in and nobody answered the door for several days or posted a notice.

Lanzy
08-29-2014, 06:08 PM
My local home depot now has an automated key maker. Insert Key, get duplicates. Pretty sure it can't read.

sbunny8
08-29-2014, 08:44 PM
Speaking as a Certified Master Locksmith...

There are two types of keys: restricted and unrestricted.

Restricted keys are available from just one source (e.g. Medeco) and that source has the power to decide who can have keys made and who can't. They can set their own rules, require authorization cards, etc. Any locksmiths who break the rules could find themselves cut off from the the supplier. Restricted keys work best when they are patented so that the source can protect their monopoly. But patents eventually expire.

Unrestricted keys are available from multiple sources (ilco, Taylor, Jet, Strattec, Hillman, Axxess, Wal-mart, etc.). It would be silly and pointless for one of these manufacturers to try to make up rules about who can and can't have keys made because you could just go to the competition.

The vast majority of keys which are stamped "Do Not Duplicate" are, in fact, unrestricted keys which are trying to masquerade as restricted keys.

If you have an ordinary unrestricted "Do Not Duplicate" key (DND for short), there are several easy ways to get copies made and you won't be breaking any laws. You could...
1. cover the head of the key with duct tape.
2. break off the head of the key.
3. file off the words "Do Not Duplicate".
4. take it to a shop which uses an automated machine.
5. take it to a shop who asks you to sign a waiver.
6. take it to a shop whose policy is to ignore the words.

ALOA is the largest organization of locksmiths in the world and their official policy is to (a) inform the customer that words do not provide security, and (b) cut the key without asking for identification or authorization. Mere possession of the key is presumed to be proof of authorization. Not all ALOA locksmiths follow this policy; it's part of the ALOA Technical Standards, not the Code of Ethics. YMMV.

If you have a restricted key, you have a completely different problem. You pretty much have to go back to wherever the locks originally came from because that is your connection to the company which has a monopoly on the key blanks. They will almost certainly expect you to produce documentation proving that you have the authority to order more keys (such as an authorization card). They can charge $10 per key or $20. If you take the key somewhere else, they simply don't have the blanks. They can't sell you what they don't have. If you have access to a 3-D printer (or know someone who does) then maybe you can make a duplicate that way. But if the restricted key is patented, you could face large financial liability for patent violation.

Taking an unrestricted key and stamping "Do Not Duplicate" onto it does not magically turn it into a restricted key. It's about as effective as putting up a sign that says "Keep off the grass". If you really want to prevent people from walking on the grass, you need a fence, not a sign. That's why ALOA says that DND keys are deceptive because they provide a false sense of security.

There are some rare cases where laws have been passed making it illegal to duplicate certain keys, e.g. Post Office box keys. But 99% of DND keys can be copied legally at your local hardware store or locksmith.

FWIW, about 20 years ago, the Best corporation was selling DND keys which said "IT IS UNLAWFUL TO DUPLICATE THIS KEY" and they got sued for false advertising because the truth was that you could legally copy those keys just about anywhere.

Dinna Fash
08-30-2014, 12:29 AM
My local home depot now has an automated key maker. Insert Key, get duplicates. Pretty sure it can't read.

I wanted a spare key to my mailbox at my apartment and tried one of those automated key makers. The machine would not accept the key at all. It does not say DND, but is apparently the wrong type of key for those things. The landlord said she would have to go through the Post Office to get another key; no idea if that is true, as she had two spares and gave me one.

williambaskerville
08-30-2014, 02:30 AM
And interestingly, since the thread was started the Medeco locks referenced above have largely been broken. In 2007, someone demonstrated how to pick them :-


http://wired.com/2007/08/jennalynn-a-12/

And in 2008 someone demonstrated how to copy them :-

http://wired.com/2008/08/medeco-locks-cr/

sbunny8
08-30-2014, 11:36 AM
And interestingly, since the thread was started the Medeco locks referenced above have largely been broken. In 2007, someone demonstrated how to pick them :- http://wired.com/2007/08/jennalynn-a-12/ And in 2008 someone demonstrated how to copy them :- http://wired.com/2008/08/medeco-locks-cr/ That doesn't mean the locks have been "broken".

There has never been any such thing as a 100% pick-proof lock and never will be. There has never been any such thing as a 100% impossible-to-duplicate key and never will be.

Twenty years ago, Medeco locks were extremely difficult to pick, and they still are extremely difficult to pick. Most of the videos going around showing people picking Medeco locks are fake videos (using locks whose tumblers have been removed, for example) and the few which are real admit quite openly that picking a Medeco lock requires (a) special tools (b) skill + practice, and (c) an average of 10-20 minutes per lock. The vast majority of thieves never even bother to learn the sill of lock picking at all, let alone spend the time and effort it would take to master the art of picking Medeco locks.

Picking a Medeco lock is like climbing Mt. Everest. Yeah, a few people have managed to do it, but it's extremely difficult.

The same goes for drilling a Medeco lock. With the right tools, and the right knowledge, and enough time, Medeco locks have always been drillable. I can drill a Medeco lock in about a half hour (compared to five minutes for a standard lock). The point is that your average thief isn't willing to acquire the tools and knowledge, let alone spend the time, when they could simply choose another target which has inferior locks.

As for Medeco keys, they generally fall into two categories: restricted or unrestricted (as I explained in my previous post). Medeco makes over 700 different types of keys. When a new type of key is introduced, it typically covered by a patent, but patents eventually expire. While the patent is still in force, it's extremely difficult (and financially risky) to duplicate the key. After the patent expires, it becomes less risky but still very difficult. Once a competitor starts selling key blanks for it, the key is enter the realm of unrestricted keys, and suddenly duplication becomes much easier.

The most common Medeco key is referred to as the "commercial" keyway. The patent on those keys expired a long time ago. Ilco sells key blanks which can be used to duplicate the keys, but it takes a special key machine. The HPC 1200CMB can do it and the vast majority of locksmith shops have one of those. And since the key is unrestricted, you don't need proof of ownership. It does take extra time to operate that special machine, though. Our shop charges $14 for Medeco keys.

However, we also sell newer Medeco keys such as the "DL" key, which is part of the m3 family. Medeco DL keys are still under patent (so the blanks are not available from any source other than Medeco) and even local lock shops can't get the blanks! The keys are cut by the distributor and then shipped to the dealer. An authorization card is required to order additional keys. But that doesn't mean it's impossible to duplicate the keys without authorization, just extremely difficult. As I said previously, if you have a 3-D printer, or know someone who does, and you're willing to risk the financial liability of violating the patent, then yes the keys can be duplicated. But if you take the key to a hardware store or a locksmith shop and ask them to make you another key, they simply don't have the blanks.

I hope it goes without saying that all of the above has absolutely nothing to do with whether the words "Do Not Duplicate" are stamped on the key. Words don't mean squat.

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