[License-review] Request for approval by license steward: Tidepool Open Access to Health Data Software License

Howard Look howard at tidepool.org
Sun Oct 6 20:44:37 UTC 2013

On Oct 5, 2013, at 12:40 PM, Josh Berkus wrote:
> Howard,
>> My name is Howard Look. I am President/CEO of Tidepool Project. We
>> are a non-profit, (soon to be) open source project creating an open
>> platform and applications to help reduce the burden on people with
>> Type 1 Diabetes. We are proposing that we a new create a new license,
>> the Tidepool Open Access to Health Data Software License.
> Let me thank you for your tremendous thoroughness in preparing for this
> license submission!  It's a real pleasure to receive.

Thanks, Josh! I really appreciate the feedback.

> Completely unrelated to approval, have you thought of simply calling it
> the Health Data Software License?   The reason I ask is that you've
> identified a clear need here, and if the license proves viable, it could
> be a template for other projects for whom open data is important.

We did consider a more generic name, though I think it would be OK
(and nice for us as its originator) if "Tidepool" stayed in the name, even if it gets used
for other projects (not unlike "Apache" etc.).

> As a Developer member of this panel, I will comment that the license
> seems clear to me as a programmer, its provisions are fairly easy to
> understand, and it does not appear to duplicate any existing license.
> As a programmer, I would be willing to use this license.

That's great to hear.

> However, the lawyers need to argue about the language used, in which I
> have no expertise whatsoever.  And, you know, whether an OSD-compliant
> license can compel distributors to open up data.

Indeed, that's the (ahem) open question.

>> We hope that the Tidepool license is reusable, and put it in the
>> category of "Special purpose licenses." We hope that it is reusable
>> by other projects delivering hardware and software medical
>> technology. We discussed this, for example, with members of the
>> Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator community, who have similar desires
>> as the diabetes community for open patient access to data.
> Actually, I don't think this needs to be limited to Health data.  You
> could easily tweak the license so that every mention of "Health Data"
> was replaced with "Personal Data", and then the license would suddenly
> be useful for tons of mobile apps which keep people's personal stuff.
> Well, you'd have to change more than that, but you see what I'm getting at?

Interesting thought. I agree with the concept, although I worry a little that
the key point, which is really about access to health data, would get lost. I do
like that we are being explicit about it being a health issue.

>> (C) Open Health Data.  You must ensure that the Health Data remains
>> Open to its Data Owner for a period of three years after the Health
>> Data is first generated.
> Why three years?  And what's the definition of "first generated"?

The intent is "first generated by your body and collected by the device/sensor that gathered it from your body." 
We are definitely open to suggestions for wording here.


> --Josh Berkus
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