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Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, NCARB
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 1856
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2018 - 10:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

why is it BSD section numbers do not match CSI?
David J. Wyatt, CDT
Senior Member
Username: david_j_wyatt_cdt

Post Number: 222
Registered: 03-2011
Posted on Friday, January 12, 2018 - 11:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Hello, Jerome.

I wondered the same thing, so I looked into it several years ago. Based on my understanding, CSI can exercise its rights under copyright laws if a business entity uses its formatting tools, including section numbers and titles, for financial gain without permission. Therefore, it may be financial risk management on the part of the master guide spec producers to avoid exact duplication of those numbers and titles.

Quite a few years ago, I did a presentation for my CSI Chapter on this subject, titled "A Map Without a Country: CSI MasterFormat and Master Guide Specification Systems." It caused a local stir. Some specifiers were incensed at the possibility that CSI could go after people who used MasterFormat without its permission. Of course it is very unlikely that individual users would ever be expected to pay royalties for using MasterFormat to produce specs for projects. But, CSI might expect a business entity that realizes financial gain from its system to "invest" in MasterFormat.

Specifiers seem unique to the professional world in that they assume, in the best sense of the word, ownership of the tools they help develop and work with. But, it is important to have a clear understanding of the financial issues at stake for the national organization if the use of those tools is not restricted. As Sal Tessio said to Tom Hagen, "Tell Michael it was only business."
James Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 224
Registered: 06-2005

Posted on Monday, January 15, 2018 - 09:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

David, your clear explanation shed some understanding on an issue that came up in my office. Thanks.

My favorite line from the movie:
"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
Pete Clemenza
Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 717
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Monday, January 15, 2018 - 03:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The following is excerpted from the MasterFormat website (www.masterformat.com), under the "Help" button:

Q: Is there a license required to use MasterFormat?

A: In order to protect and insure [sic] the consistency of MasterFormat, CSI and CSC have copyrighted it. Anyone using MasterFormat as a copyrighted work accepts its Terms of Use (available through a link on each page or at the link below). These Terms establish three categories of use. Most users fall under the Organization Internal/Individual Use category which does not require a written license or a fee for usage. Those embedding MasterFormat into a product for resale or for other public use may fall under the Proprietary Use category and may incur an annual license fee. For any commercial use, please contact CSI at csi@csinet.org. For details see Terms of Use & Licensing.

James, the best thing about "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." was that it was partly ad-libbed by Richard Castellano, the actor who played Clemenza. The line in the book and the movie script was "Leave the gun." Apparently "Take the cannoli" was suggested by his on-screen wife as a link back to the previous scene, where he leaves his house with Paulie Gatto and Rocco Lampone, and his wife says "Don't forget the cannoli." A classic line.
James Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 225
Registered: 06-2005

Posted on Monday, January 15, 2018 - 09:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Dave, I remember Clemenza's wife telling him not to forget the cannoli. I didn't know Castellano's later line was an ad-lib. I like it.

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