Are there any risks to companies when they don’t use copyrights and intellectual property correctly?
Legally, organizations that are caught directly, blatantly, and knowingly violating copyrights are subject to heavy fines. There have been several major copyright cases over the last 10 to 15 years that have resulted in penalties to organizations in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. No SDO wants to get involved in suing people, because basically what you’re doing is suing your members or your customers. We’re all in the not-for-profit space and trying to provide a member service and put out a good product. We want people to use our standards, and we’re not in the business of trying to sue people to get money. But if it gets to a point where individuals or organizations are severely damaging a standards organization by engaging in that type of behavior, we don’t have a choice. Another risk is using outdated information. You always want users to use the most current standard or code. That’s one of the benefits of a subscription arrangement. At ASTM, about 30 percent of our documents