Friday, March 1, 2013

Breaking: HL7 Opens Ballot to confirm FreeIP Policy Changes in its Bylaws

You may recall a few months ago that I reported about HL7's policy change to make its IP free to non-members.  Today, HL7 announced to its members the opening of an administrative ballot to change the organization's bylaws to enable that policy to be made effective.  This is but one of the many things the organization has been working on between then and now to achieve that goal.

The ballot itself is open now to HL7 Members only, and will close on March 31st.  The announcement to members was accompanied by a three page summary of changes, which I will further summarize below:

  1. Separates HL7 IP Policy into a separate, board approved document, from the Bylaws, to enable future adjustments of IP Policy without requiring a membership-wide vote.
  2. Removes prohibitions on use of HL7 IP for certain classes of members from the current bylaws.
  3. Clarifies some procedures around revision of bylaws.
  4. Clarifies the rights of student and health professional members.
The new IP Policy proposes that:
  1. Affiliate rights are governed under their affiliate agreement.
  2. Grants of rights on "specified material" as designated by the board is as follows:
    1. Organizational members are granted the right to use and incorporate "specified material" into products and services without additional license fees, and to incorporate portions of the protocol specification (defined in the policy document) into implementation guides and/or product documentation, and to share the specifications within the organization.
    2. Other members (individuals, students, and providers) and non-members are granted the right (on agreeing to abide by the HL7 IP Policy) to use and incorporate the "specified material" into products and services without additional license fees, but may not incorporate portions of the specification text itself into their product documentation or to share the specifications with others.
At present, the information that has been made publicly available about "specified material" is that HL7 standards and other IP will be freely available.  I can probably safely tell you that the intent is to include implementation guides (e.g., CCDA) in other IP.  Don't ask me for more than I can say, as I've probably already said too much.

NOTE: This isn't a done deal.  The membership has to agree to these changes before they can be made effective.  If you are an HL7 member, I urge you to vote FOR these changes.

  -- Keith

1 comment:

  1. >> " I can probably safely tell you that the intent is to include implementation guides (e.g., CCDA) in other IP."

    IMHO, if those very types of resources *aren't* included in the information set that's made freely available, then the net benefit to the non-member developer community will hardly be measurable - so let's hope so.

    Thanks for the update.