UKTC Archive

Re: Storm the BSI!

Subject: Re: Storm the BSI!
From: Scott Cullen
Date: Mar 18 2006 23:41:07
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OK let's try this again.  SC insertions follow.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Pete Hughes 
To: UK Tree Care 
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 5:04 PM
Subject: Re: Storm the BSI! why shouldn't the ODPM distribute guidance on trees on 
development sites as well? I don't understand why guidance on how to 
avoid breaking the law as it relates to TPOs is free, yet guidance on 
how to avoid breaking the law as it applies to trees on development 
sites isn't. 

SC INSERTION.  ODPM issues the Blue Book.  I assume it has a mandate to issue 
guidance that relates to T&CPA including TPOs and anything else in its area 
of authority.  It is ODPM's choice how they distribute it.  It is their Blue 
Book to put in electronic format.

SC INSERTION.  If paliament or some regulatory body says such and such 
activity shall conform with BSI number whatever, that that duty falls on 
whomever is governed.  That's the way laws and regulations work.  Now if it 
happens - as it does - that BSI owns copyrights on the standard(s) in 
question then they have rights that are not extoinguiseh by the law 
referencing their copyrighted material.  Government have no right to 
plagarize and distribute that copyrighted material.  Unless the law mandates 
it and budgets it goverment does not seem to have a duty to purchase the 
copyrighted material and give it away free to the regulated parties who have 
to comply with it.

SC INSERTION.  Physicians have to be licensed, same with architects, 
engineers, etc., etc.  Government do not have to purchase them all their 
textbooks, the standards for building buildings, etc., etc.  This is just how 
it works.

If the BSI want to issue overpriced publications, then 
fine, but when someone is told that trees on their site must be 
protected to BS5837 or they will be breaking the law, yet that 
information is not readily available, it seems a bit Kafkaesque. 

SC INSERTION.  See insertions above.  The information IS readily available.  
In the context of developing a site a hundred or so for BS5387 cannot 
seriously be considered an impediment to developing the site.  THat's even if 
the developer wanted to purchase and understand BS5387 personally, but it is 
much more likely that the developer will hire an expert who spreads the cost 
of BS5387 over however many projects they do in the 5-10 year life of the 
standard.  Kalfka was a novelist in his spare time and worked for an 
insurance company (Generale) by day... he'd understand the business model.

I'm not 
suggesting that this information is entirely free - obviously there is a 
cost involved in producing it - but as Jerry pointed out there is only 
one source for this information which seems to be abusing it's monopoly. 
I tend to feel the same about Health and Safety regulations - much of 
what is published by the HSE is only available to those who pay an 
expensive subscription.

SC INSERTION.  Can't comment on the nature of BSI's franchise or charter or 
monopoly.  Or if there is abuse.  It is my understanding that ISO, DIN, ANSI, 
Standards Australia etc. similarly sell their stuff.  HSE seems a different 
deal, as it is a government body, but again, what has parliament authorized 
them to do?  It is very much the new government model that cost are 
recovered.  And in the end taxpayers would fund it anyway if they gave things 
away instead of charging subscriptions.


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