Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...
[SEAOC] High price of codes[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
- Subject: [SEAOC] High price of codes
- From: FRANK.LEW(--nospam--at)dp.co.contra-costa.ca.us
- Date: Mon, 1 Jul 96 17:26 PDT
There was a series of lively exchanges some months ago on the high prices of codes. ICBO in particular came in for criticism for the prices of their CD-ROM products. A common sentiment was that the electronic forms of the codes should be available on the Net at no cost. This notion echoed the Homebrew Computer Club hacker ethic that prevailed in the earliest days of the PC, when information and software were freely shared and nobody thought much about making money from it (even Gates gave away his Basic interpreter at first, and later versions were copied without shame or guilt). That spirit and expectation still linger among Net users today. It's the case that lots of stuff still are available without charge on the Net. But that era is winding down. Shareware notwithstanding, truly useful and good programs are free only for the ethically challenged. A lot of the better stuff is at on-line sites that charge by the hour, and even on the Net, the good stuff are starting to impose site admission charges (like the WSJ site did recently). Yes, it's true that most soft/hardware vendors don't directly charge at their sites, but the support costs are built into their product prices. The bottom line is that when people put in the time and money to develop a product, they at least need to recover their costs. For CD-ROM format products, the production costs of the disks are miniscule compared to the costs of lost sales of hardcopies made unnecessary by convenient access of the electronic version to many users. Those who argue for production-cost pricing are out of touch with reality. < The above thoughts came to mind just now during a perusal of the NFPA catalog in today's mail. The hardcopy volume of the NEC is $35.50, while the single-user CD-ROM version which is $99.95. The entire 13 volumes of NFPA codes is $675 in hardcopy, $500 for single-user CD-ROM, $950 for single-user network CD-ROM, and $1,500 for a CD-ROM for 2 -5 users. More users? If you have to ask, you probably won't want to pay it.< < In addition to NFPA, check out the prices for hardcopy and/or CD-ROM products from other non-profit outfits such as ASTM, AWS, AISC, AISI, ACI, CRSI, ASCE, and ISO. Most are higher than comparable products from ICBO. Surely, not all of them are run by greedy nogoodniks. To mangle a metaphor, as much as we wish it to be otherwise, there are no free (or even cheap) lunchs when a dish is labor intensive to prepare, and the dish is available at only one restaurant in town. Franklin Lew, SE Building Official ...
- Prev by Subject: [SEAOC] Help: Calculate Ms from Ml or Io ...
- Next by Subject: [SEAOC] High prices for codes and standards on CD-ROM
- Previous by thread: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Stucco Shear Values
- Next by thread: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Re: [SEAOC] Software