To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: AISC Latest Move
From: "Jones, Mark A" <Mark.A.Jones(--nospam--at)jacobs.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 14:07:10 -0700
Title: RE: AISC Latest Move
A data file with the required steel
information could be made available for free download for those who own the
books. For example, I have software to support a hobby.
The software requires proprietary information from manufacturers.
Originally, Software Developer "A" included the data files with the
program. Manufacture "B" objected, claiming unauthorized
distribution. Solution: Hobbyist "C" and registered user of the software
and owner of the books, recompiled the data files from the books he
owns. "C" has now made the data files available for download via public
websites for those people who certify that they own the books. Since I, as
owner of the books, have the right to make copies, both paper, electronic and
otherwise, of the information for my use, I have a right to these data
files. The fact that I had someone else make the copy does not abrogate my
right. This would be like "B" claiming that I do not have the right to
photocopy a page from their manual because I had Kinko's copy the page for me
from my book.
I do not wish to pick a fight with
AISC. However, I feel that AISC's viewpoint of the "Dimensions and
Properties" table is hurting them. I bought the books and I have a right
to use and copy that information. Further, it would seem in AISC's best
interest to want this information as widely used as possible. I am not
saying that AISC should not have copyright of their books merely that they
should allow the "Dimensions and Properties" to be publicly
suggest that AISC's stance on this issue is costing them money. Obviously,
there are people who do not join AISC because of this issue, at least in
part. I don't know how many registered licensees of the computer database
are out there. However, I would suggest that the number of non-joiners is
comparable to the number of registered licensees of the database. Given
that the cost of a year's membership is about 3 times more than the cost of the
database, AISC loses more money from the "non-joiners" than it makes from the
licensees of the database.
I will defend AISC's cost when it comes to the strength/load
tables/diagrams. They have a proprietary right to these as they "created"
this information and it is their "product". Further, I would say that the
cost of the manuals is somewhat reasonable given the amount of information in
them. I don't object to AISC's charge for the books. I object to
them charging me extra, directly or indirectly, for access to the same
information for which I have paid.