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AISC Latest Move - Different View Point

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I think there have been a few things in this list along with the previous
list about a month ago.

1. Most, if not all of us, would like a FREE copy of the AISC database.
Most would probably also take a FREE Ferrari.

2. The material presented in the AISC manuals is duely copyrighted through
AISC.  Like most publications you can just look in the front cover and see
that...

3. Engineers as a whole resist change (good and/or bad).

4. Most engineers are frugal, cheap, or tight... (you pick the correct term)

5. If somebody steals/borrows our work (drawings, calcs, etc.) we don't tend
to like it... By gosh, their stealing our copyrighted stuff.

Based upon the above I think the following are reasonable assumptions...

1. Since AISC owns the copyright for the material database and the
information in the steel manuals then they should be allowed to provide the
information for free or for a charge.  Seems like even typing the
information from the copyrighted manual would still be an infringement of
their copyright (if they wanted to pursue it)... I am no lawyer though...
just my opinion.

2. With our resistance to change... how many engineers would, without
persuasion, update code books or design manuals unless code changes or
continuing education requirements mandated us to update our library.  Isn't
this continual updating of our libraries in the best interest of the public
we are serving (albeit not cheap)?  Couldn't some of this new research
findings help us to provide a cheaper product while still be safe; or
protect us from providing something that is not safe that we previously
thought was safe?

Anyway enough soapbox... 

1. I think AISC has the right to pursue royalties if they so desire...
2. I think providing the data free could have advantages also... free data
can be a good marketing tool
3. List servers like this allow the free exchange of information, ideas,
comments, complaints, and design methodologies.  Even with our occasional
tangents, the value of this list server is high.

My $0.02 worth...
Greg Effland

Copyright 2001 .... just kidding :-) you are FREE to distribute (or hit
delete) to this message as you see fit.

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