American Society for Testing and Materials v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc.

Docket Number: 22-7063
Opinion Date: September 12, 2023

Plaintiffs in this case are three standard-developing organizations: the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the NFPA. Defendant, Public.Resource.Org, is a non-profit group that disseminates legal and other materials. It has posted on its website copies of hundreds of incorporated standards. Plaintiffs sued Public Resource for copyright infringement. Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment on their claims as to nine of the disputed standards. The district court granted the motion and enjoined Public Resource from posting these standards. The DC Circuit reversed and remanded for further factual development. On remand, the district court held that the non-commercial posting of standards incorporated by reference into law is fair use.
The DC Circuit affirmed the district court’s reasonable exercise of discretion in declining to award injunctive relief. The court explained that the first three factors under section 107 strongly favor fair use, and the fourth is equivocal. The court concluded that Public Resource’s non-commercial posting of incorporated standards is fair use. Further, the court found that the district court reasonably declined to enter an injunction. Public Resource promptly removed from its website the 32 standards found not to have been incorporated into law. The court explained that Plaintiffs give the court no reason to think that Public Resource will post unincorporated standards again absent an injunction View “American Society for Testing and Materials v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc.” on Justia Law

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