Use and reproduction

When you want to reproduce something from a standard, you must contact Standard Online to request permission. This applies regardless of whether the entire standard is involved, or an excerpt, and whether it is a standard in force or a draft version and whether a Norwegian or international standard. It also applies regardless of whether text, tables or illustrations are involved. It covers all types of formats, such as copies taken on a photocopier, fax, printout, drawings, photography, scanning for an electronic document, "cut and paste" for an e-mail, database format, translation or adaptation.

A standard is a recommended document, not a law. Acts, regulations, court rulings and other resolutions from a public authority carry no authority in accordance with sect. 14 of the Copyright Act. References are made to standards in various regulations, but as long as the standard's text is not reproduced directly in the regulation, the standard is a standalone publication protected by copyright.

When you buy a standard, you buy a copy of it, but you do not buy the right to make further copies for colleagues or associates. If you need more copies, you must buy them or register the correct number of users for electronic access to the standard.

This is the principal rule applied, but there are exceptions. Perhaps the most important exception applies to private use, which entails you being able to take copies for use in private only. Most standards are however used in a professional context, in which case private use will entail you being able to take a copy of an excerpt from a standard to read at home, for instance, to prepare for a meeting the day after. But this does not mean you can hand out copies to your colleagues or associates at the meeting.

Sect. 29 of the Copyright Act states that "It is permitted to quote from a published work in accordance with best practice and to the extent the purpose calls for it". A quotation will normally comprise a minor part of a work, e.g. a sentence or two, or a paragraph. Where a standard is concerned, this may involve a formula, the sequence to be followed in a procedure or a table of contents. Quoting an entire standard is not in line with best practice!

Translation and adaptation imply that a standard takes on another form. Entering new text between excerpts from a standard cannot be classed as a minor reproduction, but it can be a question of whether the excerpts are so limited that they can be classed as quotations. If in doubt, please contact Standard Online. Remember that copies cannot replace purchase of the original work.

Contact us if you have questions about copyright