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Public domain This file or image, or the text within it, is from the published works of a standards, safety, engineering, or building code organization, and which has been accepted as statutory law applying to at least one governmental jurisdiction within the United States.

According to the 2002 United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision 293 F.3d 791 (Veeck v. Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc.), once a coding model has been accepted as statutory law, the document loses its copyright protection and becomes public domain in the United States.

New coding models in development retain copyright protection if not yet accepted as law by any jurisdiction in the United States.


It should be stated in the upload description which governmental jurisdiction has accepted this document as statutory law, and on what date it was accepted, including a reference to the acceptance document for public domain eligibility verification purposes.

Background: Building and construction safety codes have long been published by standards organizations that charge people very high fees for access to the material, or restrict access to the content in various ways. The NFPA for example has an online viewer for its NEC editions that does not allow the reader to Copy, Print, or Save the text. The NFPA only makes the material available as either printed books or PDFs on CDROM which must be purchased. For an example of the steep access fees these standards organizations demand for document access, here is an Underwriters Laboratories list of prices regarding published UL standards:

Legal argument: In 2002 the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals case Peter Veeck / RegionalWeb vs Southern Building Code Congress International determined that once a code has been accepted as law, the code loses its copyright protection and becomes public domain, like all statutory law. It was also determined that standards organizations can retain copyright so long as the material is just a coding model and is not yet accepted as law by any jurisdiction.

Reference: Link to text of the court's decision for 293 F.3d 791, Peter VEECK, doing business as RegionalWeb, Plaintiff-Counter Defendant-Appellant, v. SOUTHERN BUILDING CODE CONGRESS INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendant-Counter Claimant-Appellee., No. 99-40632, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, June 7, 2002

Free content access: https://law.resource.org/pub/us/code/ -- Complete free downloadable access to various editions of the NEC and other standards from local governmental building codes across the United States

The template automatically sets the following categories: Category:PD ineligible


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