Authorized Use of PODS – FAQs

How is the Intellectual Property of the PODS Pipeline Data Model protected?

The PODS Pipeline Data Model is copyright protected. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act provides the Copyright Owner (The PODS Association, Inc.) the exclusive right to establish the terms under which others may use the PODS Pipeline Data Model.

What uses of PODS are covered?

Any and all uses of the PODS Pipeline Data Model fall within the jurisdiction of this copyright protection. Uses may include creating or accessing a PODS database, creating software to view or interact with data contained within a PODS database, creating any derivative work, procedure, documentation, graphical interface, computer program, engineering analysis, translation into another language, or other work which utilizes or interacts with a PODS database.

Who is authorized to use PODS?

Unrestricted use of current and past releases of PODS for pipeline assets owned by the member company is granted to current PODS member companies and their subsidiaries. In order to use new releases of PODS, such as new tables, and to receive updates to documentation, companies must maintain a current PODS Association membership.

Why does PODS use Membership instead of Licensing?

The nature of a data model is not easily handled in terms of licensing, and the process to develop the technical solution to license PODS would be very expensive. The Association also has finite resources, and we believe those resources are best spent supporting collaborative efforts to improve and refine the PODS Pipeline Data Model and its documentation, and in educating the pipeline industry on the benefits of using PODS as an integral part of their pipeline data management systems.

Membership in the PODS Association also provides your employees a number of other benefits beyond that provided by a software license, including access to a global network of pipeline data management professionals.

Can we use PODS on a trial basis?

Yes, under certain circumstances. The PODS Executive Director may authorize a Pipeline Operator to conduct a 60-day trial use of PODS when certain criteria are met. This trial period does not include all the benefits of PODS membership, such as access to online resources, but it will authorize the Pipeline Operator to evaluate PODS as part of a pipeline data management solution.

Interested Pipeline Operating companies may submit a PODS-trial request to Kathy Mayo, PODS Executive Director at The request must include a description of the planned trial implementation, a statement that the company will either join the PODS Association or discontinue all use of PODS after the 60-day trial period, and be signed by a duly authorized company representative familiar with Intellectual Property issues.

Can I provide PODS to another company?

No, member companies are not authorized to distribute PODS to any other company or individual, or to provide PODS in any other format, such as a hosted database, to another company. Each company must maintain their own membership in the Association in order to be authorized to use PODS as defined in Question 2.

Can I provide PODS to a subsidiary?

Yes, only the highest corporate entity need join PODS in order for all other divisions or subsidiaries to use PODS. Unrestricted use of current and past releases of PODS for pipeline assets owned by the member company is granted to current PODS member companies and their subsidiaries.

How can I check our company’s PODS membership status?

PODS maintains a list of current members on the PODS website. If your company name is not listed, your company is either not a current member, or requested their name not be listed on the PODS website. Contact Kathy Mayo for more information.

What are the benefits of PODS Association membership? 

Membership in PODS Association not only gives you legal access to the proven PODS Data Model, but supports development of Next Generation standard data management practices in the pipeline industry worldwide by ensuring your direct involvement in the transformation and maintenance of the PODS Data Model. For more details about membership, go to our Benefits of Membership page.

PODS Association’s international members collaborate in a dynamic environment where they share knowledge and continually improve upon the PODS Data Model. Participation in PODS committees, forums, conferences, reviews, and other communication shape the future direction of the PODS Data Model and ensures that your company’s business needs are represented, considered, and addressed.

As a member, what access do I have to what goes on within the Association?

The leadership of the PODS Association strives to keep members well informed and to keep communication channels open. In addition to providing quarterly newsletters and up-to-date information on the PODS website, the Association also periodically conducts webinars, posts meeting minutes, provides Association meeting schedules, sends announcements and notifications, and publishes all PODS Board member email addresses. PODS also provides a toll-free phone number, 866-460-PODS, which connects you directly to the PODS Executive Director.

At the annual PODS User Conference, we also provide an update from the PODS President, an update from the PODS Technical Committee, and conduct our annual business meeting with members in attendance.