Letter from Wesley Rishel (HL7) to ISO
Letter of Health Level Seven (HL7) to ISO
September 19, 2003
Mr. Oliver Smoot
President, International Organization for Standardization
C/O The American National Standards Institute
25 W. 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Dear Mr. Smoot:
Health Level Seven (HL7), an ANSI-accredited standards developing organization, strongly opposes the recent proposal by the ISO Commercial Policies Steering Group to charge licensing fees for the use of ISO code sets for countries, languages, etc. As Tim Berners-Lee and Steve Bratt of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have argued, requiring a license fee for these codes will likely result in the creation and use of no-cost alternative codes. This will cause considerable confusion for the developers and the standards organizations that need to use these codes and, in our opinion, will also erode the ISO user base.
HL7 has already experienced this trend in the U.S. For example, ANSI's current policy of charging for the use of ISO standards in the U.S. has resulted in a recommendation by the HL7 Vocabulary Technical Committee that HL7 use FIPS country codes instead of ISO country codes. While we would hate to see this trend away from ISO codes continue, instituting license fees will leave us no choice.
HL7 is committed to working with W3C and other similar organizations in finding alternatives to code set licensing fees. Please feel free to contact the HL7 Headquarters office at 734-677-7777 should you wish to discuss this matter.
Chair, HL7 Board of Directors
Note: This letter is republished with permission from HL7.
Phone: +1 510-522-8135
Fax: +1 510-521-2423
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other details in the news story: "Standards Organizations Express Concern About Royalty Fees for ISO Codes."