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United States court rules in favour of government’s efforts on public health and safety

Court grants summary judgment to standard development organisations working to preserve process vital to protecting the public 

| | Feb 9, 2017 | 2:10 pm
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Washington DC, United States: ASHRAE has informed that the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has issued a ruling that will support federal, state and local governments’ efforts to support public health and safety using voluntary consensus codes and standards.

The ruling, a press release by the Society said, follows a motion granted by the court on February 2, 2017, for summary judgment filed by a number of standard development organisations (SDOs), including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), ASTM International and ASHRAE. It permanently enjoins Public.Resource.org from its previous systematic infringement of numerous SDO copyrighted codes and standards, added the press release.

Explaining the role of SODs, ASHRAE said that SDOs pay for the standard development process and invest in new standards with the money earned selling and licensing their copyrighted works. The model, it elaborated further, allows SDOs to remain independent of special interests and to develop up-to-date, high-quality standards, in addition to allowing the United States government – and governments at all levels – the freedom to decide whether to incorporate these standards by reference without a drain on their limited resources.

Commenting on the court’s ruling, Kathie Morgan, President, ASTM International, said, “The court’s ruling means federal, state and local agencies can continue to rely on not-for-profit SDOs to develop voluntary consensus standards at the highest level of excellence and at minimal cost to government.”

Timothy G. Wentz, President, ASHRAE, added: “We and many other SDOs already provide free online access to many standards as part of our commitment to safety. And, preventing the infringement of copyrighted material will allow not-for-profit SDOs to continue meeting the needs of the people and jurisdictions we serve.”

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