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#59277 - 12/01/05 11:31 AM Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
skingusmc Offline

Registered: 05/27/04
Posts: 116
Loc: Simi Valley, CA USA
I noticed in one of the other topics (don't remember which one) that someone brought up the use of quoting the NEC.

I "personally" thought that limited quoting would not be a violation or infringemeny of copyright laws. To be sure, I contacted NFPA.

What I sent:

"Dear NFPA -

Is it ok to use (copy and paste) a sentence or paragraph of the NEC or
the Handbook in a discussion forum type setting.


I ask a question about appliance branch circuit requirements. Would it
be ok for a person to respond with a reply and/or quote (by copy and
paste) 422.10 in its entirety (about 12 full lines)?

Thanks for your assistance.


Stephen A. King"

What they replied:

"Dear Mr. King,

An occasional use of a sentence or paragraph from the NEC(r) in a
non-commercial setting would probably be considered a Fair Use under the
copyright act. There is no precise limit concerning what constitutes
Fair Use and what constitutes an infringement, but the small occasional
use that you suggest appears to fall in the Fair Use category.

If this becomes a regular use of material for a commercial purpose, that
may change the response.

I hope this is helpful.

Dennis Berry

Dennis J. Berry
Secretary of the Corporation &
Director of Licensing
One Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169-7471
617-984-7222 (fax)"

Hope that helps the gentleman that had a question about it.


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#59278 - 12/01/05 12:52 PM Re: Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
Roger Offline

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
Thank you Steve.


#59279 - 12/01/05 02:59 PM Re: Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
Ryan_J Offline

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
Well done Steve, thank you.
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#59280 - 12/01/05 08:55 PM Re: Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9023
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
That was my understanding based on the way IBM protected it's intellectual knowledge. I have been clipping short parts of the NEC for years and the NFPA police have not come after me. My feeling is it probably sells more CDs than it prevents.
Greg Fretwell

#59281 - 12/02/05 03:08 PM Re: Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
OK, send the copyright police....we use NEC CD to print reference Articles all the time. It' should not be an issue...the NEC logo, and the copyright insignia are on the bottom of each page.

PS: Municipal Office, Electrical Inspection Dept. (Maybe we have an exemption??)


#59282 - 12/03/05 11:54 AM Re: Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
mxslick Offline

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA

As a municipal inspection authority, it is generally granted that you may use such quotes in the manner you described without fear of violating copyright laws. After all, your office is responsible for enforcing Code and it would be impossible to enforce that which you cannot prove in writing.

This whole thing with copyrights is starting to get a bit out of hand. Example: It is now becoming common practice for film preview audiences to be searched with metal detectors and to surrender all cell phones and personal electronics!! Why? The studios are afraid you'll sit in the cinema with your phone and try to record the movie!! Did I mention that also the whole time you're watching the film there'll be security chumps with night-vision devices to make sure you're not doing anything?! (So much for amore with your lady.)

That's real smart thinking, let's alienate the paying customers to prevent something which doesn't originate from the paying customers. (Most illegal dupes of films come from either dishonest cinemas/projectionists or insiders at the film printmaking labs. Regrettably, a lot of this occurs overseas as well.)

Really, unless you're selling burned CD copies or printouts of the NEC or Handbook, use the material as it was intended, to disseminate and enforce standards of safety and property protection!!
Stupid should be painful.

#59283 - 12/04/05 02:13 PM Re: Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
George Offline

Registered: 02/23/02
Posts: 380
As I understand copyrigth law ...

"Fair" use claims are used to avoid the penalties for not paying the license fees.

Any use of material including "fair" use requires one to pay the proper license fee for the material. For the most part that license fee is not worth pursuing.

While teaching at university and working in industry, each use of copyrighted material required a form that was sent to a librian. The librian was responsible for paying the license fee. In most cases no fee was required, but we always asked.

There is no statue of limitations on claims for copyright infringment.

#59284 - 12/05/05 04:39 AM Re: Quoting the NEC and/or Handbook
PCBelarge Offline

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
My understanding of the copyright issue is, that the author's name and other pertinent info is included with the passage, and that would be permitted. Is this not true?
Pierre Belarge


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