- Key blank
A key blank (sometimes spelled keyblank) is a key that has not been cut to a specific
bitting. The blank has a specific cross-sectional profile to match the keywayin a corresponding lock cylinder. Key blanks can be stamped with a manufacturer name, end-user logoor with a phrase, the most commonly seen being 'Do not duplicate'. Blanks are typically stocked by locksmithsfor duplicating keys. The profile of the key bow, or the large, flat end, often references an individual manufacturer.
Laws in the United States
Despite common belief, keys stamped with "Do not duplicate" or "It is unlawful to duplicate this key" are, with few exceptions, perfectly legal to duplicate. Some key blank manufacturers, such as Best Access Systems, strictly restrict the sale of their own blanks. However, while the company may not sell them directly, a consumer has every right to obtain blanks from a third-party manufacturer. Some blanks are made only in small volumes and are not widely available, but are not legally restricted. It is legal to fabricate such a blank on a CNC
milling machine. ALOA, an internationally recognized association for locksmiths, also considers such stamps an empty threat. [http://www.aloa.org/pdf/techstd.pdf link ALOA TECHNICAL STANDARDS]
Federal law regulates the duplication/fabrication of keys for use with locks owned by the
US Postal Serviceand the US Military.
There are a few states that impose some restriction at the state level.
Californiaprohibits the duplication of keys for properties owned/operated/leased/under the control of any state agency, not limited to CA. Arizonahas a similar prohibition, but the limitation only applies to keys to State of Arizona facilities.
tate of California, penal code 469
tate of Arizona
13-3715. Unauthorized manufacture, duplication, use or possession of key to a public building classification.
A. A person who knowingly causes to be manufactured or duplicated or who possesses or uses a key to any building or other area owned, operated or controlled by this state or any agency, board, commission, institution or political subdivision of this state without authorization from the person, or his designated representative, in charge of such building or area is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.
B. A person who manufactures or duplicates a key for himself or another to any building or other area owned, operated or controlled by this state or any agency, board, commission, institution or political subdivision of this state, with knowledge that he or the person requesting the manufacturing or duplication of such key does not have authorization from the person or his designated representative in charge of such building or area, is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.
tate of Kentucky
KRS 164.337. Duplication of university keys prohibited.
Some localities may have even more stringent regulations.
Los Angeles Countyhas an ordinance prohibiting the duplication of any keys stamped with "Do not duplicate".
There is no implication of legal penalty, unless the key is restricted under one of the criteria above.
If one duplicates a key not legally covered under the above criteria, but is encumbered by patents valid at the time of duplication, it is a civil matter. Patented key blanks normally reference a patent number and are encumbered by patent laws from unauthorized duplication of the patented features. However, if the patent is expired, one may duplicate the key.
There are organizations and universities that claim their keys are prohibited by law from duplication, but in the absence of a specific law, such as those found in California and Arizona, the practice is not necessarily illegal. However, if one signs a non-duplication agreement when issued a key and subsequently makes a duplicate, one maybe held civilly liable for a breach of contract.
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Look at other dictionaries:
key blank — n. any material manufactured to the proper size and configuration which allows its entry into the keyway of a specific locking device. A key blank has not yet been combinated or cut … Locksmith dictionary
multiplex key blank — n. any key blank which is part of a multiplex key system … Locksmith dictionary
non-original key blank — n. any key blank other than an original … Locksmith dictionary
original key blank — n. a key blank supplied by the lock manufacturer to fit that manufacturer s specific product … Locksmith dictionary
all-section key blank — n. the key section which enters all keyways of a multiplex key system … Locksmith dictionary
multi-section key blank — n. a key section which enters more than one, but not all keyways in a multiplex key system … Locksmith dictionary
blank — [blaŋk] adj. [ME < OFr blanc, white < Frank * blank, white, gleaming, akin to OE blanca, white steed < IE * bhleg , to shine: see BLACK] 1. Obs. colorless or white 2. a) not written, recorded, etc. on; not marked; empty [a blank sheet of … English World dictionary
Key (lock) — A cut key A key is an instrument that is used to operate a lock. A typical key consists of two parts: the blade, which slides into the keyway of the lock and distinguishes between different keys, and the bow, which is left protruding so that… … Wikipedia
Blank — Wiktionarypar|blankThere are a number of uses for the word blank:* the URL interpreted by most web browsers as the command to display a blank HTML document *Blank (cartridge) a type of gun cartridge that contains gunpowder but no bullet or shot.… … Wikipedia
blank — adj. uncut, see also key blank … Locksmith dictionary