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Thread: A ply too far

  1. #1
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    A ply too far

    The M&G editorial is carrying a story about regulations, and some of the cases in South Africa, I like this,

    But do we really need a law that says each roll of toilet paper has to have 500 perforated sheets, each sheet being 100mm by 110mm, with a core diameter of 40mm for each role? No.

    It is all fixable really, but sense must prevail or we will choke on regulatory red tape. As a newspaper of a social democratic bent, we believe in regulation but think that hauling out the big guns to police the number of sheets of toilet paper is taking things a ply too far.

    Full story on M&G Online
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A great editorial, worth the read. From the same story
    Jurisprudence around HIV/Aids is still in the making. The R5 000 fine for a nurse found guilty of deliberately infecting a child with HIV fails to acknowledge the severity of the crime.


    In respect of "A ply too far", clearly a regulation setting the specs for toilet paper is not appropriate. A regulatory framework that allows the consumer to make an informed purchasing decision is very appropriate, but of course that regulatory framework should not be limited to just toilet paper. I trust the "draft regulation" presented was merely paper in cheek.

    Identifying appropriate-for-use product specifications is more the territory of SANSA and the like.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    In my mind that type of "regulation" has always been the role of the SABS - more of a standards issue. If your toilet paper carries the SABS mark you know it has the standard number of sheets and so on. If that kind of stuff started creeping into legislation....eish....EISH.

    Also, I would say that those kind of things are normally covered by consumer protection agencies, which are often run by consumers themselves (anyone remember Isabelle Jones?)
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    In my mind that type of "regulation" has always been the role of the SABS - more of a standards issue.
    SABS in the modern taal = S A National Standards Authority.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    What about when S.A.B.S. after producing said standards and regulations, and who now own "copyright" - then sell those copy rights to private tenders?

    No other acceptable alternatives no matter how compliant, or even internationally accepted!

    Then the Minister of whatever has someone with a financial interest in said "Regulations" complain, and the Minister then passes a further "instruction" to enforce said regulations in order to financially benefit the holder of the "tender of the copyright"?

    You are now forbidden to provide X, except through the "legal holder of the "information" copyright.
    This has happened in our industry: I am talking about the Internationally accepted documentation for the safe transport of hazardous goods generally referred to as a TREMCARD - which is the Transport Emergency Safety Information required to be available from the driver of any vehicle carrying dangerous goods on South African roads.

    South Africa has "enforced" a specific provider of safety information for financial gain!
    Companies are forced to purchase directly from the S.A.B.S. or a privately held company who has paid for the rights.

    This information should be available for "free" - it is surely unconstitutional to "Force" the purchase of legally required document.

    A class action could be taken - but who has sufficient financial interest to afford the costs!, this is a matter of safety and compliance, not of financial reward.

    This is a service we need to offer our clients, but are unable to - unless we purchase a licence.
    We refuse to be blackmailed in this way!
    We have access to a internationally accepted document: Identical information, worded differently!
    Our associates internationally have no such problems! this information is accepted as "public domain"

    The general public have to realise that our S.A.B.S. is no longer a "not for profit" organisation.
    The fox running the henhouse!
    It should not be permitted that financial interests are able to "hijack" safety issues.

    So perhaps in the near future,(Sure I am being a little bit crazy!) we could have a situation where the rights to print S.A.B.S. compliant # on the toilet paper - will be "sold" and we will be forced by regulation to only use S.A.B.S. Printed compliant toilet paper, or face the possibility of a fine!
    So either pay up, or change your business!

    My take on all of this is the Govt. is slowly "franchising" standards etc. and gaining financial reward for doing so.

    Airport Security - on paper - maintains world standards -passengers are charged exhorbitant airport taxes under the guise of safety issues (After 9/11 Sept) is this finance "used" for the implementation and control of our safety?

    Civil Aviation employees are not a "policing" body - why not?
    They charge for everything (Think of how the bank charges for everything and you get my drift!)?
    Their emphasis is on being an "auditing" body to promote safety and security.

    All previously tax funded "authorities" are now required to be "self funding" and have to look to business to source additional funds to operate.
    Are they all going to be "creating" standards and regulations, with subsequent auditing requirements? and be permitted to sell "rights" to the information.

    Apologies, I do not communicate well, but hope you get the gist of what I am trying to say!

    Yvonne

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    This has suddenly become very interesting
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yvonne Symons View Post
    The general public have to realise that our S.A.B.S. is no longer a "not for profit" organisation.
    Was the SABS ever a "not for profit" organisation? I don't know too much about their history.

    My (probably flawed) understanding is that they set up standards with the intention of making money off of selling those standards (or at least break even). My experience of standards (such as ISO standards) is that you pay to get the document.

    In my understanding there are two broad classes, compulsory and non-compulsory. Compulsory standards are regulations they MUST be complied with and are intended to protect the consumer. There are other standards the are voluntary and only have to be complied with when you carry the SABS mark (e.g. multiplugs - SABS multiplugs have switches and a reset button, if I'm not mistaken).

    I'm not sure whether you need to apply to the SABS to put their mark on your product, but if I dig into my memory from when I was there in matric, I seem to remember something along those lines.

    Anyway, I digress...

    South Africa has "enforced" a specific provider of safety information for financial gain!
    Companies are forced to purchase directly from the S.A.B.S. or a privately held company who has paid for the rights.
    Can you explain exactly what the private company is actually providing you with?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think Yvonne's post has, in a way, opened a whole new facet to this regulatory issue.

    To touch on the TREMCard for a moment. The format for this, if I've got it right, is prescribed in the regulations of The Transportation of Hazardous Substances Act. By my understanding, this makes the format public domain.

    There is a corrolary in the Electrical Industry - the format and content of a Certificate of Compliance is prescribed. You may print your own but there is no sense to doing that - it simply works out cheaper to buy them from the ECA.

    We have to display a notice of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Again, anyone can print and distribute it.

    Why is the TREMCard any different? Yvonne, can you point in the direction (hopefully something on the web) that shows the regulatory framework for this.

    The second issue is how regulatory bodies and NGOs are supposed to finance themselves out of their activities nowadays, but I'll tackle that tomorrow evening I think.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I need to find the time to ensure that all my information is 100% correct.

    This is a per use copyright cost - on a standard which makes a specific copyright compulsory. TREMCARD is copyright of C.E.F.I.C.

    Trying to find an intellectually acceptable example of the possibilities of this occurring in another industry:
    Somewhere where “safety” standards make complete sense, are a required regulation for compliance?

    Dave for your industry I would imagine that one form is all you need so purchasing them in bulk is a possibility.
    Hazardous goods classification have over 3000 variations.
    Would you pay approx R65.00 per copy for your document?

    I need an example of an industry where one could "develop" the standards, then “sell” this to the S.A.B.S. and the standards are implemented, and my copyright is an actual standard!.
    I then can legally require a copyright payment each time the standard is used.

    Note: Printed publications – copyright is acceptable to business within reason, based on normal publication price of standards. This should be the sole avenue of income for the S.A.B.S.

    Day to day “usage” of the standards – no fee for the copyright of the information should be required.

    Yvonne

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yvonne Symons View Post
    Would you pay approx R65.00 per copy for your document?
    Maybe if it was printed on paper made of gold

    Every regulation I've seen to date that specifies a particular format normally has a "or reasonable (approximation?)" aspect. Regulating mandatory use of a copyrighted document with a hefty royalty seems rather poorly considered.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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