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RE: Cost of codes (was RE: ASCE 7-05 Wind Load and Publication Costs)

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Scott,
Well said.

David Finley
M. David Finley, P.E., P.A.
2086 SW Main Boulevard - Suite 111
Lake City, FL  32025
386-752-6400



-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 1:58 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Cost of codes (was RE: ASCE 7-05 Wind Load and Publication
Costs)


The solution is easy then...have the "government" spend the money to write
their own codes.  Like it or not, it costs money to produce documents like
ASCE 7, ACI 318, etc.  And those organizations that produce those
documents deserve to be compenstated for their effort.  The "government"
has chosed to take the easy way and have someone else produce what the
"government" then chooses to use as the basis of law.  They don't own the
rights to those publications, so you don't get them for free.

I would ask if you would mind the "government" taking your house and land
with no compensation.  If you mind that, then why do so many seem so
willing to expect the "government" take the work of private organizations
(i.e. the various codes/standards) and not compensate those organizations.
And keep in mind that supposedly "we" are the "government".  So, "we" need
to compensate those organizations.

There are definitely different cost/distribution models that can be used.
Right now, the model is basically a "user" tax type model...i.e. if you
use it, you pay the "tax" (i.e. you must buy the codes).  You could go to
a general tax, where EVERYONE pays the tax, even though only some gain the
direct benefit...i.e. the government pays royalties and then the
codes/standards are provide free to those who need/use them.  You could go
to a different use "tax"...i.e. have home owners and building owners pay
some fee that then covers the cost to provide the codes/standards for
free.

In the end, personally, I don't have all that much sympathy.  Like all
professions, there is a cost to doing business.  In our profession, part
of the cost of operating is buying codes and standards necessary to do our
work.  This is no different than buying a computer, a desk, a chair, a
light, a pencil, etc.  Other professions have different things that they
must buy.  Doctors must buy bandages, medical equipment, office equipment,
etc.  Lawyers must buy office equipment, law books, legal pads, etc.  If
you start a business that requires you to dig holes, is the goverment
going to give you a shovel (or backhoe) for free?  Nope.  Why do you
expect anything different.  And for those that argue this is stuff that is
required by "law", the same can still be true of that person digging
holes/doing construction...he might have to buy hardhats, steel toe boots,
or other items as required by "law".  The point is that there are many
things that many professions HAVE to buy due to requirements from others
and things that are optional...but all are part of "doing business".

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Thu, 10 May 2007, Lloyd Pack wrote:

> On 9 May 2007 at 9:48, Donald Bruckman wrote:
>
> >
> > IMO, all the alphabet soup of codes should be overseen by a central
> > clearing house, (probably non-governmental would work) that we could
> > all subscribe to and have access to, sort of like cable TV.A
> > subscription could, for instance, be added to the cost of license
> > renewal that would allow access to all the relevant codes you are
> > licensed to practice under.
>
>
> This approach still does not make the law available to all citizens that
are
> held accountable to the law.  The problem is that the law, which is/was
> Uniform or across the board, is not accessible to all people who are held
> accountable for building to that law.
>
> This is wrong.  The law should be accessible to all who must abide by it.
> This access should be free to the citizens.  Imagine,  if any ruling
entity
> started making laws with criminal consequences and then started enforcing
> them by arresting people and prosecuting them under that "hidden" law, but
people
> could know what the law said by buying in to the membership of those privy
to that
> law.  There would be tremendous outcry,  or at least I would hope that
there
> would be tremendous outcry.
>
> Now, granted, the Building code doesn't make violations criminal, but the
> ruling entities, may arrest your progress through a "red tag" and may
impede
> progress throughout the remainder of the project.  I've even had clients
who
> have been "blacklisted" by a building department and their other projects
were
> continually being halted and harassed by the bulding department's
inspectors.
> This type of action by the building dept. seems punitive, which is often
the result
> of infractions to any law.
>
> Take Care,
> Lloyd Pack
>
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