Here's the tweet heard round the world this morning:
newsflashIt's true. And the organization has been working towards this for at least two years. Sometimes it takes a while to turn an organization this size around, but it can happen.
#HL7 decides to provide standards and other HL7 IP available free-of-charge FAQ at hl7.org/about/faqs/Fre… Press release to follow
— Rene Spronk (@Ringholm) September 4, 2012
It wouldn't have happened without the efforts of many people. Stan Huff insisted that the Business Model task force look at alternatives where IP would be freely available almost two years ago (and I supported him with a few maneuvers through Robert's rules). Graham Grieve insisted that his IP which became FHIR, wouldn't be given to HL7 unless certain stipulations were agreed to about its availability. Bob Dolin suggested to the board that the HL7 Domain Analysis Models and Functional Profiles be freely available almost a year ago, and that happened. And about a month ago, Members of the advisory council strongly supported the idea, and Don Mon (current board chair) and the HL7 Board strongly agreed that we need to make the standards available to everyone, which results in the news you see this morning.
The press release should hit you shortly (12 EDT I'm thinking), and it will contain more details. The FAQ on the announcement was apparently published early this morning in support of a communication that went to key stakeholders. It seems that someone found that a few hours before the press release.
This is the kind of thing that can only happen in an organization where key stakeholders believe in doing the right thing, and then do it. It will take a bit of time to fully implement this decision, but we are now talking months, not years.
You know what my biggest problem is now? Working on the next big change. This stuff takes time, and dodging the sniping from the sidelines is precious little help. It's a lot easier to change a member driven organization when the members are the ones doing the changing. Consider what you might do from inside HL7, and give it a try. You might even like it.
See the announcement to HL7 Members