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RE: Copyright Infringement

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After reading your post, I went to the Library of Congress web site 
( and found the following on "What is 
not Copyrightable:"

"Works consisting *entirely* of information that is common property and 
containing no original authorship (for example:  standard calendars, height 
and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists of tables taken from 
public documents or other common sources)."

Interestingly enough, from this statement, it would seem that the section 
properties and other tables published *in* the AISC Manual *is* copyrightable 
since the AISC Manual is not *entirely* tables.  However, if the computer 
disk database consists *entirely* of section property tables (and no other 
information), then *it* might not be copyrightable.

But, where do these section properties come from originally?  Weren't they 
from the rolling mills that developed the particular section?  If so, 
wouldn't the original mill be the creator of the original work, and therefore 
the one entitled to own the copyright?

Is the AISC Manual a, "common source?"

When a colleague on the listservice asks for section properties, is the 
respondent in violation of copyright laws?

These are the questions that I came up with just from reading the small 
section in Circular 1.  If the copyright law is just as, or more ambiguous as 
Circular 1, then a lawyer can raise a whole lot more questions.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural) -- Not a lawyer, but with an inquisitive mind.
Tucson, Arizona

Gerard Madden wrote:


The reason AISC probably contacted you is because they sell the database for
$60.00 in a number of formats. It is well worth the price and it is much more
reliable that trying to create your own by transposing the Steel Manual to
Excel manually which are prone to typos (not to mention the hours of time
necessary to reproduce the tables). None the less, I don't see how you can be
prevented from recreating the tables in the book under a copyright arguement
unless you are selling the spreadsheet table. Of course, I'm not a lawyer.

My 2 cents

and, Ghassem Khosrownia wrote:

>>Dennis, I agree that if one types in all the information from the hard copy
manual into a database of his/her own, using his/her own time and effort,
then he/she is the owner. But consider this scenario: The product is created
and sold for nominal price in the market. The buyer then renames or
otherwise changes it and then makes it available to everyone else free of
charge (or worst yet, starts selling it). I imagine the original creators of
the electronic information would be a bit unhappy about that - wouldn't you

The question I have always had is what happens if I transpose the original
ASCII file into a random access file specifically for a program that knows
how to read it. What are my rights then? I do have many programs that do
this. My original motivation has been to prevent accidental changes of the
numbers. Once converted into random access then it can not be changed.