To: "INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: Removal of the AISC Database
From: Mark Gilligan <MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 16:15:42 -0500
As I understand it the numbers in tables are not copyrighted but the form
of the table can be copyrighted which is probably the basis of AISC's
In addition even though the document is copyrighted you are allowed to copy
small portions of the document for use in publications or calculations
without asking for permission. This covers most text books and similar
The claim that the information is protected because it is based on
non-copyrighted proprietary information is weak. The information generated
from secret information, which is then published is not protected by the
laws related to trade secrets. If a trade secret is published then it is
no longer a trade secret. If it is a tabulated number then it is not
protected by a copyright. AISC's logic relaed to proprietary information
obtained from the fabricators appears to be flawed.
If the information regarding fillets is availible only to AISC member
firms then is it possible that the foreign rolled sections are slightly
different because they do not have access to the information? Does this
mean that the published properties do not apply to the use of foreign
rolled sections? Does it make any real difference?
British Steel and other foreign fabricators produce steel sections that
they sell as conforming to standard american sections, and as such they
would appear to have informtion on the dimensions of the sections not
obtained from AISC. It is possible that the geometric information on the
dimensions of rolled sections is not as secret as implied by AISC.
The reality is that it is cheaper to pay the $60.00 to AISC to get the
information in electronic form than to fight the battle.