SAN FRANCISCO, May 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- International Code Council (ICC), a nonprofit trade organization that writes building codes, is suing UpCodes for hosting free access to our laws. UpCodes is a software startup on a mission to eradicate code compliance costs.
ICC claims a copyright to the text of building codes and is suing UpCodes for copyright infringement, seeking an injunction and damages from the company and its founders personally, because UpCodes' website offers free access to code that is enacted law.
"Lawsuits can be a way of shutting down innovation in its infancy," says the Legal Director at The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Corynne McSherry. This case could reach the Supreme Court, according to TechCrunch article: Can The Law Be Copyrighted? At risk is innovation that will increase quality of life for every American. This case matters because if a wealthy nonprofit can use litigation to squash small business and free dissemination of the law, that reduces economic growth and disempowers the electorate.
Laws, such as the International Building Codes, govern construction. Every municipality in America has a department that strictly enforces building codes.
ICC is a nonprofit that generated more than $65 million dollars of revenue in 2017. ICC profits from limiting free access to the code and, at the same time, every American is made worse off because "The single greatest cause of rising housing prices is excessive regulations that increase the time and cost of building new homes," according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). NAHB's research shows that the ever increasing complexity of the building codes has dramatically increased the cost of a new home.
UpCodes was founded to eradicate code compliance costs by simplifying the process of code compliant design and by accelerating construction permit approval.
The Founders of UpCodes are brothers: Scott and Garrett Reynolds. The venture emerged from Scott's work in Architecture and Garrett's as a Software Engineer for a construction software company.
UpCodes provides a free database of building codes for construction industry professionals and homeowners. Their newest product, UpCodes AI, automatically detects building code violations in 3D digital models.
SOURCE UpCodes, Inc.