For the second time in the last two months, I’ve run across sites put up by intellectual property pirates. These sites harm the international standards community in any number of ways, and I’m going to count them out for you!
1. The unauthorized sale of standards without compensation to the copyright holder ends up making the cost of standardization rise for the rest of us.
If there’s one thing that standards users hate, it’s the rising costs of standards documents. However, the price you pay for standards pays for the work that goes into developing that standard, and it ain’t cheap.
Standards are the product of many months, even years, of effort by technical experts and other interested parties, administrated by professional not-for-profit organizations. The work is published and maintained by these folks in our best interests, making the products and services we use safe, interoperable, and innovative.
2. When the cost of standards rise, the costs of the goods we buy also goes up. Having standards distributed without paying for the development and distribution of those same standards negatively affects our economy.
3. You have no way of knowing if the document you purchase is the latest edition. You will not be notified when the technical content of the standard changes. There is no service here. This interaction aims to take your money and run.
4. You negatively impact the way that standards organizations monitor the usefulness of the documents they publish.
Standards organizations want to make sure that the standards they develop and maintain are worthwhile. They keep statistics on what standards are getting lots of use as well as considering the necessity of a standard for public well-being. This information helps to focus standards resources on those areas that will benefit us all the most.
When standards are promulgated illegally, the picture we have of the impact of standards on commerce and public safety is skewed.
5. There is a cost to Standards Developing Organizations to shut down these sites. As if the cost in lost revenue wasn’t enough…
How do you spot a site that is selling pirated copies of standards?
It’s easy. The prices are too good to be true.
The first site I spotted had standards selling for $19.00 and up. The second was similar, with the true prices X’ed out and substantially lower prices offered as the sale price.
Another thing to consider: If you’re going to purchase from a site that is stealing the goods they offer you, there’s no guarantee that they won’t also steal your information at the point of purchase. After all, if these guys are willing to steal from ANSI, ASME, ASTM, ISO and the rest, why wouldn’t they steal from you?
I can’t stress enough the benefits of purchasing your standards from legitimate distributors like Document Center Inc. We handle all our sales either under contract or like a bookstore, purchasing our stock for resale. You’ll get superior service, both at the point of sale and afterwards, with confidence that the information you give us during the business transaction is not being exploited.
We’ve been in business since 1982 and under contract with our publisher partners since the 1980′s. You can put your trust in us to keep your standards collection current, while knowing that both the funds and sales records are correctly being channeled to the intellectual property owners as well.