Subject: Re: AISC Latest Move - Different View Point
From: David B Merrick <mrkgp(--nospam--at)pacbell.net>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 11:14:22 -0700
Giving away steel data that is not yours to give.
There seems to be no damage to have steel shapes distributed (that is
the primary goal). A measurement of profiteering would be the
development of a buddy-buddy relationship. Relationships between
engineers might be a commodity to trade. Compensation to the publisher,
from you who gave it away freely, could be that you would have to share
the relationship you have with the receiver. Share the dog sled rides?
Smell blood, victoriously together?
I can see code publishers have a stake against each other. It seems
petty to have a claim against individuals.
Maybe there could be a web site where we did not know any of the steel
shapes. All we could do is submitt minimum strength and stiffness values
and have them send us that best fitting shape. In return they would have
our credit card number running up a tab. That is almost what design
programs are now doing when not giving access to shape files.
The need to distribute information has not changed but paper
publications may reduce. Payment for efforts to distribute may be a
percentage of publication costs. A new source or formula for revenues
may be needed. How about making the guy who makes steel pay for the
Question... What force or intellect revised the new steel shapes and got
them published? Have the shape-changers a monopoly? What manufactures
have the ability to create the new shapes? Are there those who do not?
If so, would their product not become cheaper, and then again be the
I guess it would make sense to have engineers pay for the information so
that the data would appear more official, or carved in stone.
In terms of published power plays. FEMA docs are free, but what is it
doing to the code industry?
Another question... Are the required testing results of steel
connections freely acquired from a library at your local building permit
office? Or, are we all going to have proprietary connection detail test
results? There goes my sole proprietor steel design business. I had
better start designing concrete rigid frames or go work for a big
company for less.
I hope I am asking questions that others are pondering.
For the record... I buy every possible format of information. Books,
CDs, emailed PDFs, and design programs. They all get used.
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