NFPA President Jim Shannon is speaking out about the lawsuit that NFPA and two other standards development organizations (SDOs) recently filed against Public.Resource.org to stop it from infringing on copyrights and trademarks.
The lawsuit, filed by NFPA, ASTM International, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), seeks to stop Public.Resource.org from copying and uploading copyrighted standards developed by private sector SDOs. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages -- but simply asks Public.Resource.org to stop the illegal posting of copyright protected materials.
In a recent interview, Jim Shannon said that for more than a century, the private sector and government entities have relied on independent SDOs to develop voluntary consensus standards.
"The whole system is funded because we're able to own the copyrights of those codes and standards," he said, "and we thought that the action taken by Public.Resource.org threatens our future, our ability to continue our work, and the whole system of standards development that the public and governmental agencies rely on."