1. Welcome to the new and improved Building Code Forum. We appreciate you being here and hope that you are getting the information that you need concerning all codes of the building trades. This is a free forum to the public due to the generosity of the Sawhorses, Corporate Supporters and Supporters who have upgraded their accounts. If you would like to have improved access to the forum please upgrade to Sawhorse by clicking here: Upgrades
    Dismiss Notice

UpCodes is being sued by ICC

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Ryan Schultz, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Ryan Schultz

    Ryan Schultz Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    5
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    16,444
    Likes Received:
    1,047
    I was wondering who upcodes were?

    Anyway if in violation

    If they did the crime.

    They must do the time.
     
  3. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,543
    Likes Received:
    891
    I'm a big fan of sharing.....
     
  4. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,002
    Likes Received:
    395
    If they Bros get away with it, why would we need to order $1,500.00 of related code books. I think the ICC is in their right to protect the "Family Business", I'd go to mattress!

    These young-ins want it easy, take something that a group worked hard on for several years and sit in their PJ's with a laptop and profit off it?

    IMHO , the Bros should be sued for copyright theft. If the ICC looses, why buy code books, CD's or prescriptions? How will the ICC manage the next code cycle, where does the funds come from?

    Is this similar to the big newspapers losing paper readers and having to provide internet content? Doesn't the ICC have the same rights? If a reporter writes a story, can you take it and put it on your website and sell it as yours, I don't think so..

    Very...very .. interesting, and why would this need to be heard by the supreme court? Isn't It just theft?
     
  5. TheCommish

    TheCommish Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    825
    Likes Received:
    119
    around we go again
     
  6. cda

    cda Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    16,444
    Likes Received:
    1,047
    I guess three bad things

    ICC put all thier base codes online for anyone to see

    Some cities have it in thier web sites to see

    Our city and maybe state require a copy avaiable for anyone to see and can copy sections and maybe the whole book
     
  7. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,002
    Likes Received:
    395
    Our state and city ordinance requires a copy for anyone to access at City Hall. Was not sure you could put it on line due to Copyright issues. NFPA is also on line with some hoops, think you have to sign up?

    Does Upcodes have NFPA codes?

    I never heard of Upcodes until this thread
     
  8. north star

    north star Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,774
    Likes Received:
    253
  9. Ryan Schultz

    Ryan Schultz Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    5
    Codes are law. Should law be copyrighted?

    Man, that's an ugly fuzzy line.
     
    Inspector Gift and cda like this.
  10. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,662
    Likes Received:
    438
    I thought this was settled in the US. You have to provide free access. I thought ICC already does this. I know NFPA does.

    Ultimately, whether you agree with the sharing aspect or not, ICC has a copyright on the codes. It is required to protect this copyright or it risks loosing it.
     
  11. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    7,385
    Likes Received:
    854
    If UpCodes was a search and read only not an issue but because you can cut and paste into other documents then I can see ICC and other code and standard publishers concerns.
    Codes are law when adopted and we always had to provide access to them when required. In the old print only days we had a copy and provided a copy to the public library which considered them reference books along with all the other law books they had that you could read or copy a few pages but never check out of the library.
    In today's digital internet world we provide the link to ICC and IAPMO to see and read the codes we have adopted

    I just checked them out and they include our state amendments right in the ICC code sections. It is a powerful website. I think they should work together and ICC and other publishers that sign get a royalty per subscriber. Problem solved
    https://up.codes/building-codes-online

    Our IAPMO plumbing code with amendments is not included neither is the IFC
     
  12. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,002
    Likes Received:
    395
    I'm sorry, that's not right charging a fee for something they shoplifted off an organization of many.

    As far as supplying code books to the local library, that's where the contractors go to shoplift the code books. Once went to the library to give the library girls the lasted adopted code books. Went to see the section where the books are store :eek: and the only code book left was the IMC. Guess the mechanical guys aren't that cleaver or they have some morals, not sure which.:confused:
     
  13. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    234
    Everybody knows my opinion I think, but here it is again:

    ICC has a copyright on their codes, all the way up until the time I adopt it as law (and by I, I mean any state, city, county, etc). Once it is a law, it cannot be protected and must be accessible by/to anybody.

    Think of the ADA: what if Congress had put a copyright on it when they passed it, and forbid any copying/pasting/printing/etc of the rules associated with it? Would that be right/legal? If you answer no, then you can't also argue that ICC is in the right on this.
     
  14. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,482
    Likes Received:
    251
    The Commish is right, we went through this about 2000, the 5th circuit (Texas, Louisianan, Mississippi) ruled that once adopted into law the codes were free to all, two other Circuits ruled that publication was a copyright violation, it went by appeal to the Supreme Court and they, unbelievably, refused to hear the case, one of the few areas that the Supremes always take are conflicts between the Circuits, so as it stands they are legal within the 5th Circuit, illegal within some other Circuits, and in about half the country the issue is undecided, just shows you how important the Supreme court thinks our codes are.
     
    Inspector Gift likes this.
  15. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,002
    Likes Received:
    395
    Good to hear from you conarb, thought you were on vacation or a Pelosi fund raiser event?;)

    Do you think UpCodes has any liability?
     
  16. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,482
    Likes Received:
    251

    Oh Nancy, elected by San Francisco voters, I guess those lying on the streets. Yes this will be litigated again, maybe this time the Supreme Court will hear the case and determine it once and for all.
     
  17. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,496
    Likes Received:
    127
    The legal precedent is that you cannot copyright the law. So once a jurisdiction or state adopts a model code the content of the adopted building code which incorporates the model code has no copyright.

    The publishers of the model code still has a copyright on the model code but not on the same content when it is incorporated in a properly adopted building code. Note that an adopted building code is a law.

    It could be argued that when the state or local jurisdiction adopts a model code without permission from the original publisher that this is a taking and in accordance with the 10th amendment of the US constitution must be compensated. How the cost should be apportioned to the many jurisdictions adopting building codes is a messy situation that needs to be sorted out but it does not change the fact that the model code content that is incorporated into a properly adopted building code does not have a copyright. Any other interpretation is an affront to our Constitution and the rule of law.

    This means that while ICC can argue that it needs to be recompensed for its costs they will no longer be able to make a profit on the sale of building codes.

    ICC is using the threat of litigation to promote the concept that they can copyright the adopted laws that incorporate the content they created. ICC is acting as a bully. ICC is fighting a loosing battle by intimidating individuals who are only exercising their rights.

    There is a little hypocrisy on the part of ICC in that they claim a copyright on the content of their model codes when most of the content is produced by other organizations and individuals who must give up their copyright in order for the content to be included in the model code. Is ICC just a profit maximizing company claiming to be a non-profit?

    This is not the end of the world but it does mean that the economics of ICC will change and as a result the organization will change.

    It also needs to be appreciated that much of the content of the model codes is not developed with the intent of making a profit. Just look at the steel standards produced by AISC which they make available for free in PDF format on their web site.

    Also note that ICC's membership dues are on the low side when compared to other professional and trade organizations. It is suggested that ICC keeps dues low so that many building officials will join giving ICC the appearance of legitimacy so they can make larger profits by selling the model codes to individuals who must comply with the adopted building codes.

    Are you in favor of being able to exercise your constitutional rights or are you in favor of a corporation having a monopoly over our laws?
     
    chris kennedy and JCraver like this.
  18. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    651
    Likes Received:
    234
    Well, duh.




    :D
     
    Inspector Gift likes this.
  19. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    7,385
    Likes Received:
    854
    Every non-profit has to make money or rely on donations to keep the doors open and operate.
    If ICC or any other code or standard publisher operating exceed their revenue then they will go bankrupt.
    I agree all laws should be as easily accessible as technology can make it. However the building codes are not written by government elected officials or employees who are paid to write laws. I can see both sides of the issues.
     
    tmurray likes this.
  20. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8,335
    Likes Received:
    884
    Xxx
     
    #20 ICE, Apr 11, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019

Share This Page