[License-discuss] Derivative Works of a standard

Grahame Grieve grahame at healthintersections.com.au
Tue Jul 3 14:09:13 UTC 2012

I am trying to pick an appropriate open license for a new standard in
the healthcare
space. The prospective standard and it's working license are here:

The working license is adapted from OMG. but I'm struggling to understand
the concept of derivative works when I consider the issue of standards. What's
a derivative work? As far as I can tell, it's any implementation that complies
with the standard, and that was written based on reading it. And therefore,
since the standards are - almost always - copyright, therefore, any product
that implements any standard needs to include the copyright notice associated
with the standard, per the recent emails on this list.

Clearly not, however, in practice. Why not? what's the difference?

Is it only a derivative work if it quotes at length from the source? more than
fair use? where do the html tutorials stand, then, that "derive" from the html
specification in violation of the w3c license?

I'm finding the concept of derivative works very difficult to define
for a standard.
And given the plain english intent of the standard at the link referenced above
(see below), does the osr have any suitable approved license? I can't find one.
In particular, we cannot have a requirement to reproduce the license/copyright
statement in implementations of the standard...


    FHIR is © HL7. The right to maintain FHIR remains vested in HL7
    You can redistribute FHIR
    You can create derivative specifications or implementation related
products and services
    Derivative Specifications cannot redefine what conformance to FHIR means
    You can't claim that HL7 or any of it's members endorses your
derived [thing] because it uses content from this specification
    Neither HL7 nor any of the contributers to this specification
accept any liability for your use of FHIR

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