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Re: Removal of the AISC Database

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>But wouldn't that constitute "fair use"?
I'm sure that's the out for using AISC's numbers in engineering 
calculations. Problem is that I don't really know what 'fair use' 
comprises. AS you can probably tell from the question.  I still think the 
originality question stands--the distinction between claims for the 
originality of  the form of the presentation and claims for those parts 
of the content which are obvious or which follow naturally from first 
principles. I don't think anyone can copyright the section modulus of a 
5x7x1/2 angle section or a shear diagram of a beam with clamped ends, but 
you can certainly copyright a particular presentation of this 
information. Maybe AISC should license their books.

(Note to Charlie: This really is partly tongue in cheek. I'd be lost if I 
had to develop the section properties of steel members on my own nickel, 
so I have no fundamental problem with charging for books. From personal 
experience I know it costs money for this work to get done, so someone 
has to pick up the cost. 

That said, I think a lot of technical societies, notably the ASME, look 
at standards and publications as a cash cow. There's a captive market 
involved and it comes uncomfortable close to the kind of monopoly that 
Bill Gates may soon no longer be enjoying.) 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)