Standards development organization Health Level Seven International in September 2012 pledged to offer much of its intellectual property via a free license, and that property now is available, effective April 1.

The free property includes all published standards, domain analysis models, profiles and implementation guides. HL7 also will make free other select intellectual property, such as implementation tools, on a case-by-case basis. The intellectual property will not be licensed on the open source market, under which developers may make enhancements. The freely available property means the content must be licensed for use but the license is free.

In September, HL7 CEO Charles Jaffee, M.D., said the property was being made freely available to advance interoperability across the globe and better align with other standards organizations that

HL7 will continue to control the content of its intellectual property, which will continue to be developed and balloted following the organization’s internal rules and standard development requirements under the American National Standards Institute. Intellectual property and other benefits that will not be free include training and educational certification, work group meeting attendance and tutorials, most publications, voting rights and service in selected leadership positions.

HL7 later in 2013 expects to revise its membership model with new benefits and services designed to aid in implementation. These services could include extensive expansion of deeply discounted or free education and training programs, access to HL7 experts, certification of HL7 conformance, a help desk, and enhanced testing of individual HL7 expertise in such areas as development, training and implementation, according to the organization. More information is available at hl7.org.

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