ASTM Standards Incorporated into Law Are Still Protected by Copyright
Art Law

ASTM Standards Incorporated into Law Are Still Protected by Copyright

Considering the competing interests of access to laws and copyright protection, a federal court has come down, in this instance, in favor of copyright protection. Despite efforts of some organizations to simplify the issues in order to criticize the court’s decision, the federal court appears to have carefully considered those competing interests in coming to its conclusion. The result? Organizations such as ASTM may maintain copyright protection for their standards and procedures, even though some of those standards and procedures are incorporated by reference into federal or state laws. Most readers of this blog will recognize the American Society for Testing and Materials, and the fact that ASTM members (largely volunteers) are responsible for drafting, debating and finalizing thousands of testing standards for use in all sorts of applications. Some of those standards have been incorporated into federal law (per the court decision, there are 257 ASTM standards in this category). Public.Resource.Org Inc. is a non-profit organization promoting public access to information, including federal and state laws. Public Resource downloaded and made publicly available those ASTM standards that are referenced in federal laws, and ASTM (along with other similar groups) sued for copyright infringement. A federal court judge in […]

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