Frequently Asked Questions About HL7 IP Licensed at No Cost
ACCESSING HL7's INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (IP)
Where can I find the IP?
HL7 is licensing use of much its IP at no cost. You can find all of our Standards under the Standards tab from the home page.
What are the steps to download the IP?
Users must complete a click-through license registration process to participate. Members log in (non-members need to create an account); find the Standard you want via the Standards tab and follow the prompts including agreeing to the terms of the license.
Why do I have to create a userid and password (register on the website) to download?
We need to uniquely identify each individual in order to provide a license.
When did HL7 announce that the IP was going to provided free of charge?
HL7 has on several occasions announced its intention to license its standards and select IP free of charge since September of 2012. Recently, HL7 confirmed its intentions via a press release distributed during the annual HIMSS conference. Additionally, information was included in HL7 newsletters and sent with renewal invoices. Press releases were published on April 1, 2013, March 4, 2013 and September 4, 2012.
WHAT MATERIAL IS BEING LICENSED AT NO COST?
What material is being made available at no cost?
The standards that have already received ANSI approval will be licensed at no cost. Additionally, currently published implementation guides, profiles and Domain Analysis Models (DAM), and current (although not expired) Draft Standards for Trial Use (DSTU) will be licensed at no cost. Members will have early access to new HL7 standards, which will be made available to nonmembers following a 3 month period.
What is the other select IP available besides Standards and Implementation Guides?
Profiles and Domain Analysis Models are considered other select IP. The HL7 Board will determine on a case-by-case basis whether other IP such as tools will be licensed for at no cost.
Will DAMS and Functional Profiles still be licensed at no cost?
Can I get the Claims Attachments AIS R2.1 (most frequently downloaded standard)?
Can I download the whole Normative Edition at no cost?
Yes. The most current version of the Normative Edition is available for download at no cost to non-members three months after publication. Members have immediate access to all versions of the Normative Editions.
MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS RELATED QUESTIONS
Why should I pay HL7 membership dues?
Our membership is what supports HL7 to develop standards and IP at no charge. Without our members paying their membership fees, the organization will not be able to continue developing standards or licensing its standards at no cost. HL7 is currently exploring the development of new benefits to enhance your membership. We believe that the healthcare organizations that benefit from the use of HL7 standards should be willing to support the organization and the widespread distribution of the standards and IP at no charge in order to increase their use globally.
Since the IP is available at no cost, what is the advantage to being a member?
There are many advantages to being an HL7 member and as we have noted, we are exploring new member benefits as well.
- Engagement in the development of standards, such as those for Meaningful Use that is driving the healthcare industry in the US and beyond, is the most important advantage. Only HL7 members can actively participate in all aspects of the development and balloting of standards.
- Those who actively participate in the development and balloting of standards should have a competitive advantage over passive users. Thus HL7 standards will be made available to members three months prior to being released to non-members.
- Having direct access to HL7's community and collective knowledge is an advantage of membership as is the ability to influence the direction of the organization and its work by running for leadership positions and casting votes in leadership elections.
- Organizational members have always enjoyed the advantage of being able to develop product-specific implementation guides for their clients. These documents are considered derivative work and, according to US copyright laws, only HL7 has the right to authorize their creation and publication.
- Non-members are not authorized to create HL7 derivative works. See question 8 below for more details.
- Ensuring that there is sufficient financial support to develop and ballot industry standards that enable interoperability is important for all industry stakeholders.
- HL7 is currently exploring the development of new benefits to enhance your membership.
What are the new benefits going to be?
A number of new benefits are under consideration including:
- Free or highly discounted rates for training such as webinars, day-long sessions, multi-day programs such as our new Meaningful Use webinar series and the HL7 Fundamentals Courses
- Certification of products for HL7 compliance and/or conformance
- Certification of advanced HL7 expertise (for teaching or consulting)
- Help desk access
- Direct access to HL7 experts and thought leaders
- Early access to new standards and implementation guides
- Exclusive or heavily discounted access to standards development and implementation tooling and other specific intellectual property
When are the new benefits going to be released?
HL7 hopes to announce the new membership benefits at the September 2013 Plenary and Working Group Meeting to be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts from September 22-27.
I don't have a product; why would I want a membership?
- You likely use HL7-enabled products or collect data that is made available for your use via HL7-enabled products. In these instances, you should have in interest in and will certainly benefit by being actively involved in the development and balloting the standards that you rely on.
- There are many advantages to being an HL7 member.
- HL7 member benefits include training and access to experts that will enhance your employees' knowledge and value.
- If you or your organization benefits from the use of HL7, we hope that you will continue to support our work in developing global healthcare standards.
We are passive users and have a vendor product. We don't do any development. Why do we need a membership?
See the answer to question 5 above.
Why would I pay for an organizational membership when I can just get individual memberships for people who need benefits?
Individual members do not enjoy the same benefits as organizational members.
- Individual members are not authorized to create product-specific implementation guides as these are considered derivative works whose creation and publication are controlled by HL7.
- HL7 organizational members, on the other hand, are authorized to create and distribute product-specific implementation guides for their customers. Individual members cannot copy or share the standards.
- Organizational members are authorized to make copies of the standard to share internally. Organizational members are also authorized to use excerpts of the standards in publications; individual members are not granted these rights.
- Finally, a number of new benefits that are being created will not be available to individual members. Or, if they are made available to individual members, the cost will be significantly higher.
- Individual members are not authorized to use the HL7 member or Care Connected by HL7 logos on their products, websites and promotional materials.
MEMBERSHIP DUES RELATED QUESTIONS
Is my membership free now or will the cost of membership be reduced since the IP is now available at no cost?
Membership is not free. There are no current plans to reduce membership dues but HL7 is currently exploring the development of new benefits to enhance your membership.
Can I get a refund of membership dues recently paid?
Refunds are not available.
Does HL7 use any of its membership revenue for lobbying?
We are currently members; when the new membership structure goes into effect, will we be invoiced for additional dues?
No. Dues are assessed and paid once each year. You will be invoiced at your normal time of renewal. For example, if your normal renewal date is in July and you pay your dues at that time, you would not see any increases in your rates until July of next year, and that would only occur should the Board decide to raise membership fees.
Will the membership dues decrease, increase or stay the same in 2014?
HL7 will closely monitor its membership renewals and new membership applications over the next several months. If new membership and renewal rates remain steady or increase, there may be no or only minimal increases in membership fees. We are also assessing which of the new benefits under consideration are most desired by our current members. If offering those benefits requires a significant investment, membership dues may increase.
Will meeting and event registration fees increase?
Registration fees are expected to increase significantly for non-members.
LICENSE AGREEMENT TERMS
Will HL7 standards be in the public domain?
No. Our standards and selected IP will be available at no cost under a licensing agreement under which HL7 will retain its copyright and specific terms apply.
Will users be able to modify HL7 standards?
No. HL7 will retain the copyright and will follow current processes to make any needed changes in the standards. Users will be freely able to study, implement and develop products based on HL7 standards and to create implementation profiles under the proposed licensing terms. The HL7 member community will continue to develop and maintain HL7 standards and other HL7 products through HL7 International as an accredited standards development organization (SDO), and in collaboration with its international affiliates, which also produce realm localizations.
What is a derivative work?
An example of a derivative work is an implementation guide. The US Copyright Office defines derivative work as follows:
A derivative work is a work based on or derived from one or more already existing works. Also known as a "new version," a derivative work is copyrightable if it includes what copyright law calls an "original work of authorship." Any work in which the editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications represent, as a whole, an original work of authorship is a derivative work or a new version.
Who do I contact to get permission to create a derivative work and what is the process for approving such a request?
Requests to create or publish a derivative work should be addressed to Karenvan@HL7.org. The HL7 Executive Committee will review and make a determination on all derivative work requests.
I'm an individual, student or health professional member. Why can't I share the freely licensed standards with others?
HL7 is the sole licensing agent for its standards. We remain the source of truth by requiring people to come to our website and obtain a license. This also enables HL7 to track who is using its standards and which standards are being used most frequently. Collection of this type of data, which drives standards developments, is not possible if we allow everyone to share the standards with whomever they like. Organizational members are allowed to share the standards internally with their employees. Learn more at http://www.hl7.org/legal/ippolicy.cfm.
If I'm not a member, can I still produce and distribute implementation guides for my customers that are specific to my product?
No. Under US Copyright law and according to the US Copyright Office,
Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. The owner is generally the author or someone who has obtained rights from the author.Non-members are not authorized to create and/or publish derivative works without HL7's approval. Learn more at http://www.hl7.org/legal/ippolicy.cfm.
Why do I have to annually confirm or update my contact information?
HL7 tracks the use of its standards. We cannot track this type of data without having current data on our licensees. Since the standards are being licensed at no cost, we do not feel that it is an unreasonable request to confirm or refresh their contact data annually. Information provided will not be shared with others and will be used for HL7 purposes only.
What happens if I don't confirm or update my contact information?
You will be unable to download any more standards.
What will be done with the information that is collected on the license agreements?
We will be tracking all standards that are being accessed and by which stakeholders. We hope to observe trends that will help us better understand our customers and their needs.
Why can't I put your freely licensed standards on my intranet or share with my employees?
Those wishing to share HL7 standards on their intranet or with their employees should become organizational members of HL7. While a non-member organization can accept a license for HL7 standards, each employee from that organization who wishes to use the standard must obtain a license via the HL7 website.