Hazardous Humor: A Copyright Clash over Dangerous Goods Testing
Written by: Sam Orlando
When Hazardous Materials Become Litigious Materials
LYNCHBURG, VA - What do you get when you mix volatile chemicals, rigorous exams, and copyright law? A lawsuit, apparently. The Dangerous Goods Trainers Association, Inc. ("DGTA") has just filed a spicy complaint against the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management, Inc. ("IHMM") alleging copyright infringement.
Who’s Who in this Hazardous Showdown?
DGTA: This not-for-profit Virginia-based organization claims to be the author of a special set of examination questions, which form the backbone of certifications like "Certified Dangerous Good Trainers" and "Certified Dangerous Good Professionals", according to the complaint. Their mission? To bring about high standards in hazardous materials education and promote professionalism worldwide.
IHMM: Based out of D.C., they're big players in setting standards of excellence for hazardous materials professionals. They also offer exams for those seeking CDGT and CDGP credentials and charge a nifty fee for the privilege, according to the complaint.
The Dangerous Accusations
In what can only be described as a hazardous tiff, DGTA claims that they put their blood, sweat, and possibly other dangerous chemicals into crafting these copyrighted exam materials. They further allege that IHMM, without batting an eyelid (or wearing protective goggles), began using these questions for their exams. You can read all of DGTA's claims by checking out the complaint here.
And here's where the plot thickens - DGTA claims that even after they flashed a big "STOP" sign (figuratively speaking) at IHMM and told them to cease and desist, IHMM continued to happily infringe upon their copyright.
DGTA is seeing dollar signs - and not just from the sale of safety goggles. They're demanding actual damages, a slice of IHMM's profits, statutory damages of $150,000, attorney fees, costs, and both pre- and post-judgment interest, according to their lawsuit.
So, what's the lesson here? When dealing with dangerous goods, always wear protection. And when dealing with copyrighted exam questions about dangerous goods? Maybe just steer clear.
All eyes will be on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia as this explosive case progresses. Because in the world of hazardous materials, even the courtroom battles can be... well, hazardous.
Stay tuned for more updates as this "dangerous" story unfolds.