I presume you know that the government of Tasmania moved their full lawbooks into electronic form over a decade ago. I don’t know whether those are available from the public network, but reportedly you can walk into any government office and request a printout of the sections you’re interested in… with indication of when changes took/will take effect.
I’m glad that the details of the law are freely available. Some of these standards appear to be under copyright by ISO and other organizations. I wonder what the reaction of the copyright holders will be?
It’s a sad state of affairs when public safety standards being made public is newsworthy. Meanwhile in the US, public code and safety standards are tightly locked behind ‘ownership’.
Dunno about public standards, but industry standards often suffer from the problem that the standards groups which publish them are essentially unfunded, and selling “official” copies of the standards is one of the primary mechanisms for supporting themselves. To fix this, we need to find a better way to support them.
Since information can’t be copyrighted (though an instantiation or collection of that information can be), one solution has been for folks to rewrite/republish standards in expanded/annotated/rephrased form – eg, books which discuss the practicalities of implementing the standards. That still costs money, since someone has to support the authors and publishers.
I wholeheartedly agree that “public” standards should be paid for up front and should be available for the cost of copying (which, in digital form, is very low.) I’d be glad to see some of my tax money go in that direction. Unfortunately too many people aren’t willing to pay for something until they, individually, need it.
To fix this, we need to find a better way to support them.
Well said. I was thinking some of those billions the US spends on the military and spying could be put to use. Perhaps one of these website things I keep hearing about would be a good way to publish information on the standards our law requires of all of us.
I’d take it a step further and suggest that as part of the General Welfare, the US could put all laws and regulations citizens are subject to online.
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