In August, NFPA, ASTM International, and ASHRAE filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop Public.Resource.Org from infringing on our copyrights and trademarks, says NFPA President Jim Shannon in "Protecting the Process" in the latest issue of NFPA Journal. Public Resource has been copying and uploading our copyrighted standards without permission, making them available without restriction on the Internet.
For the last century, many of the standards developed to protect the public have come from non-profit organizations such as NFPA, ASTM, and ASHRAE, which depend on revenues from their sale to cover the cost of developing those standards. By disregarding copyrights on standards, Public Resource threatens not just the long-term solvency of these organizations but an entire system designed to protect public health and safety.
We are not eager to spend our resources on litigation, says Shannon, but we must protect a process that has been a driving force for safety for over a century. We will take whatever steps are necessary to make sure NFPA can continue to do its good work, not just over the next few years, but through the next century.