I am perhaps a little late to the party, but I've just noticed that IEEE 802-series standards are generally available free of charge upon request. This does not meet any of the requirements for Creative Commons, Free Software, or Open Source Software, (in particular you can't distribute them) but is at least a step up from having to fork out a lot of money. I am interested in particular in some of the details of the unlicensed-spectrum coexistence mechanisms specified in IEEE 802.16-2017 which, as a non-IEEE-member, I could purchase today for the low, low price of USD901. This particular standard does run close to three thousand pages, but still.
As a gentle encouragement and reminder not to redistribute, each page has a footer identifying the individual licensee who downloaded it:
To obtain an individually licensed copy free of charge:
- Visit IEEE Xplore
- Click Create Account near the top right of the screen and complete that process.
- Visit the IEEE GET Program
- Click GET 802(R) Standards, but do note the half-dozen other IEEE standards series covered by the same program.
- Locate and select the standard that you're interested in.
- Click the Download PDF icon. You'll be asked to provide user type and address details.
- The relevant user type for people reading for their own interest was not immediately obvious: Curious Citizen would appear to be the relevant option.
- Obviously for an individual user, the "Company Name" is just your own name.
- Submit the form and the PDF will materialise.