The Importance of Copyright Protection

The International Code Council invests substantial resources to create and update the International Codes (I-Codes), which promote safety and consistency in buildings across the U.S. and the world. Copyright protection of our codes and standards is critical to the continuation of our code development process and the creation of the safest, most widely used model codes in the world.  Unfortunately, that copyright is in jeopardy.

The Code Council has asked a federal court to prevent UpCodes, a for-profit company, from violating the Code Council’s copyright by illegally selling access to the I-Codes. This company is attempting to make a profit for its owners and investors by taking – without paying for – the building safety codes that we invest substantial resources to develop and update.

Safety is – and always will be – our number one priority. In addition to the violation of our copyright, we are also concerned about risks to public safety resulting from errors that could be made through UpCodes’ unlicensed copying and display of our model codes. UpCodes cannot guarantee that it has the most accurate, up-to-date information on its website.

We welcome ideas to help make compliance with codes and standards easier as we continue to be at the forefront of innovation in the building safety field. In addition to creating new systems – like cdpACCESS to give everyone free, digital access to the code development process, and an online database that enables all to view the model codes and hundreds of state and local codes for free – we frequently license our materials at a reasonable price to third parties. UpCodes, however, has never sought such a license, choosing instead to illegally download our codes to develop a for-profit business.

You may find more information about the lawsuit at

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Code Council and the I-Codes development process. As ever, we remain committed to promoting public safety and protecting the critical work of the association and its membership. Always at the center of our work is our mission and vision to protect the health, safety and welfare of people by helping to create safe buildings and resilient communities.


Dominic Sims, CBO
Chief Executive Officer
International Code Counci