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

Howard Look howard at tidepool.org
Mon Oct 7 15:00:19 UTC 2013

Thanks John, that's a great point.

The Tidepool license doesn't require any specific technical means
for machine-accessibility, though we definitely would like to
encourage people to provide (say) RESTful APIs over CSV downloads
since that's the most likely mechanism for encouraging openness
of data for a patient and accessibility to other programs. That said,
we also want to keep it technology agnostic.

A couple of possible options:
1) We try to come up with some language that is technology agnostic
but requires something like "machine-accessible data access in both bulk
and individual data point form." Would that be considered technology agnostic?

2) Leave the license language as is, but change the FAQ to encourage,
but not require, RESTful APIs over CSV download. This wouldn't be terrible
(since someone can always write a CSV to RESTapi 'converter') but it would
be a bummer since it would tend to inhibit patient-initiated data exchange.

Thanks again!


On Oct 6, 2013, at 8:39 PM, John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:

> Richard Fontana scripsit:
>> A comment on the end of this sentence: You say in your FAQ:
>>  Q: Is it good enough to provide access to a downloadable CSV or excel
>>  file?
>>  No, that's not good enough. You need to provide a mechanism for
>>  another application to automatically access the data, such as through
>>  a published API. This is what we mean by "machine-accessible."
> I can't agree that a published URI which returns a CSV document, or an
> XML or JSON document, does not count as a "published API".  It may be
> something of a batch API, since it returns all the data, but what of that?
> CSV is machine-processable, so the data is machine-accessible.  In any
> case, this is a technology restriction which looks to me to violate
> OSD #10.
> -- 
> John Cowan              http://www.ccil.org/~cowan      cowan at ccil.org
> "After all, would you consider a man without honor wealthy, even if his
> Dinar laid end to end would reach from here to the Temple of Toplat?"
> "No, I wouldn't", the beggar replied.  "Why is that?" the Master asked.
> "A Dinar doesn't go very far these days, Master.        --Kehlog Albran
> Besides, the Temple of Toplat is across the street."      The Profit
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