Pregnant and researching infant bath seats, expectant mom Lisa Milice learned that she had two options to see the federal safety standards for herself: She could either pay $56 to a third party to see a copy of the law, or go to Bethesda, Maryland, where there are two copies of the standard available.
Purchasing the standard from the third party American Society for Testing and Materials — a nonprofit whose business is developing safety standards — would have cost Milice twice as much as the bath seat.
For Milice, the problem is that Consumer Product Safety Commission did not publish the full text of the standard in the Federal Register because ASTM owns the standard to the copyright. Her attorneys at the New Civil Liberties Alliance call it a paywall, pure and simple.
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