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ANSI Supports Proposed Legislation Protecting Copyright of Standards Incorporated into Law


The U.S. standardization system is one of the most successful and impactful public-private partnerships in our nation’s history, enabling the efficient development of responsive standards for safety, performance, and interoperability of nearly every product, process, and service Americans rely upon every day. As the coordinator of this system for more than 100 years, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) strongly supports proposed bipartisan legislation entitled the ‘‘Protecting and Enhancing Public Access to Codes Act” (“Pro Codes Act”), which clarifies that a standard does not lose its copyright protection when adopted or incorporated by reference (IBR) into law or regulation, provided it is available for free viewing on a publicly accessible website.

In cooperation with ANSI-accredited standards developers ASHRAE, IAPMO, the International Code Council (ICC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL), and on behalf of the greater standardization community, ANSI asserts that this clarification will ensure standards developing organizations (SDOs) can continue to fund their critical work via sale of their authored works while maintaining their open, consensus-based standards development processes without a taxpayer burden.

“The U.S. standardization system is a powerhouse of productivity that leverages the expertise of all stakeholders in a particular area to develop standards and codes that drive progress and innovation safely and efficiently,” said ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. “It is the most effective standards system in the world, and the public-private partnership that enables voluntary standards like those developed by ASHRAE, IAPMO, ICC, NFPA, UL, and many other organizations to be incorporated into law is vital to our nation’s competitiveness, health and safety, and quality of life.”

“ANSI has long been a vocal proponent of copyright protection for SDOs whose standards have been incorporated into regulation, as well as for providing reasonable access via flexible solutions like ANSI’s IBR Portal,” said Bhatia. “The passage of the Pro Codes Act would help to ensure the U.S. standards system’s future strength and ability to continue vital work for the benefit of every citizen.”

View the proposed bill at

ANSI’s IBR Portal

Launched in 2013, ANSI’s IBR Portal is a voluntary, centralized mechanism that can help SDOs provide access to their IBR standards in read-only format, either directly through the portal or via links to their own websites.


Jana Zabinski

Director, Communications and Public Relations



Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist