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RE: Copyright Infringement

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These are good arguments, but the fact remains that the trail of information
which lead to the calculation for "some" of the physical properties of the
steel come from sources who protect the information (why, I don't know) and
who only provide it to the AISC. In this sense, I understand AISC's position
as the information to calculate the exact properties of the materials are no
longer based on basic mathematics for solids, but are calculated using
partially proprietary information.
I would question the term proprietary, but not being a lawyer, can only
assume that this is proprietary to the manufactures in the steel industry
"industry" and would not otherwise be made available to practicing
professionals. Therefore, it would not be possible for an engineer to arrive
at these values unless they had obtained the measurements by either field
measuring or by consent of the Mills.
I don't know why they protect a standard unless the intent is simply to
protect AISC against loss of income from the sale of their documents.
In this case, I am inclined to believe that AISC is in the right here and I
am wrong for posting the information (which I believed was derived by
individuals who painstakingly calculated and entered the values that are in
the tables).


-----Original Message-----
From: Khosrownia, Ghassem SPK [mailto:GKhosrownia(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2001 12:50 PM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
Subject: RE: Copyright Infringement

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.


-----Original Message-----
From: Structuralist [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2001 12:29 PM
To: SEAINT Listservice; aec-residential(--nospam--at);
Subject: Copyright Infringement

I recently posted the standard steel shapes database to the
Structuralist.Net discussion forum. One of our members, who works for AISC,
wrote me privately to ask that I remove the database from the forum as he
believes it is an infringement of AISC's copyright.
I do not agree although I have removed AISC's name from the database so that
there is no implication that the physical properties of conventional steel
sections was obtained or "copied" from the AISC manuals. This, to the best
of my knowledge, was not the case as these are the physical properties of
non-proprietary shapes which can be calculated by conventional mathematical
methods and these numbers, in themselves, can not be protected by copyright.
What I have agreed to do is to change the name of the files to Standard or
Conventional Structural Steel Properties and remove any reference to the
American Institute of Steel Construction.
In my opinion, this is a counter productive concern of the AISC as the
purpose is to promote the use of structural steel standards. The use of the
numeric values for mathematical properties of common shapes is not an
infringement of any copyright nor will it harm the sales of the associations

Dennis S. Wish, PE
The Structuralist Administrator for:
AEC-Residential Listservice
(208) 361-5447 E-Fax
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