Most states or municipalities in the United States of America adopt the ICC family of codes and other reference standards and codes in whole or with local amendments. This has the effect of designating a copyrighted work as actual law, and, once enacted, that law enters the public domain. The model codes themselves, prior to their adoption as law, are not in the public domain and the ICC retains copyright on the model code itself.
I agree, and I think it ought to be the law everywhere that the law itself must be freely available and freely redistributable.
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