Q: 1. What is the authority for some California contractors to provide design?
2. What authority if any prohibits third parties from using those designs?
You can create and copyright/protect architiectural and other non-structural designs and design building and construction plans for a 2 story wood frame home for building permits without any architectural license.
You can also protect the original aspects of that design by contract and also under the copyright registration process and thus keep others from using them to build a structure shown in the design without your permission.
However, if there are errors or omissions in those drawings your contractor's liability insurance policy likely would not defend you from liability in a lawsuit or errors or omissions in your design.
Get legal advice from a competent construction attorney.
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