ASTM prevails in infringement suit against ‘Public Resources’ site operator

Sources: ASTM International, West Conshocken, Pa.; CP staff

A U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruling permanently enjoins from infringement of nine ASTM, ASHRAE and National Fire Protection Association copyrighted codes and standards. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit listing a Sebastopol, Calif., headquarters, had posted the standards developments organizations’ (SDO) documents on a site billed as “Making Government Information More Accessible.”

“The court’s ruling means federal, state and local agencies can continue to rely on not-for-profit SDO to develop voluntary consensus standards at the highest level of excellence and minimal cost to government,” says ASTM President Kathie Morgan. SDOs pay for the standard development process and invest in new standards with the money earned selling and licensing their copyrighted works, she adds. The model a) allows them to remain independent of special interests and develop up-to-date, high-quality standards; and, b) and, affords governments at all levels the freedom to decide whether to incorporate the standards by reference without a drain on their limited resources.

“The court’s thoughtful and well-reasoned decision … recognizes the importance of a time-tested process that serves governments and individuals well and is vital to public health and safety,” affirms NFPA President Jim Pauley, President of NFPA.