This pages assesses possible licenses. The plain english license is:
- FHIR is © HL7. The right to maintain FHIR remains vested in HL7
- anyone can redistribute FHIR
- anyone can create derivative specifications or implementation related products and services
- Derivative Specifications cannot redefine what conformance to FHIR means
- No one can claim that HL7 or any of it's members endorses their derived [thing] because it uses content from this specification
- Neither HL7 nor any of the contributers to FHIR accept any liability for any use of FHIR
We are looking for a license that reflects those rules, and also prevents people taking the FHIR specification, making modifications, and then claiming their alternative as a the correct FHIR standard.
In the absence of an approved license - needs board sign off - we are using an adaptation of the OMG license below
These seem reasonable: 
See also 
Creative commons was our first choice. But it doesn't differentiate sufficiently between derivatives, and adaptations. See here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/legalcode or http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode
you can either allow people to produce anything derived, including alternative versions of FHIR, or nothing derived, such as implementation products.
This is a rewrite of the DAM license already used:
This License Agreement ("Agreement") is a legal agreement between you and Health Level Seven International with a place of business at 3300 Washtenaw Avenue, Suite 227, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104 ("HL7"), which is the owner of the copyright in the standards, specifications and other material described on the Webpage from which this Agreement was accessed. As used in this Agreement, "you" means the person reading the FHIR specification, and the rights granted under this Agreement extend only to such individual or the entity on behalf of which such individual is acting ("Licensee"). By clicking on the "Accept" button below, you are agreeing that Licensee will be bound by and are becoming a party to this Agreement.
1.Definitions. As used in the Agreement, the following terms shall have the following definitions:
- "Material" collectively and individually refers to the FHIR specification that HL7 is making available for use at no cost via this license agreement.
- "Compliant Product" is a product or service that implements the Material in whole or in part or is a specification that profiles the FHIR specification for a particular use.
- "End User" is a company, entity or individual that is the ultimate purchaser or licensee from Licensee of a Compliant Product.
2.License. HL7 has granted to Licensee a non-exclusive and worldwide basis, the right to (a) copy (for internal purposes only) and share the Material with Licensee's employees and consultants for study purposes, and (b) utilize the Material for the purpose of developing, making, having made, using, marketing, importing, offering to sell or license, and selling or licensing, and to otherwise distribute, Compliant Products, in all cases subject to the conditions set forth in this Agreement and any relevant patent and other intellectual property rights of third parties (which may include members of HL7).
3.Sublicensing. Licensee shall not sublicense the Material or any of its rights under this Agreement, except to the extent necessary to sell or license Compliant Products to End Users.
4.No Warranties. THE MATERIAL IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS AND NONINFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS. IN NO EVENT SHALL HL7, ITS MEMBERS OR ITS CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, OR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE MATERIAL.
5.Third Party Rights. Without limiting the generality of Section 4 above, HL7 ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY TO COMPILE, CONFIRM, UPDATE OR MAKE PUBLIC ANY THIRD PARTY ASSERTIONS OF PATENT OR OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS THAT MIGHT BE INFRINGED BY ANY USE OR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MATERIAL. IF ANY SUCH RIGHTS ARE DESCRIBED ON THE MATERIAL, HL7 TAKES NO POSITION AS TO THE VALIDITY OR INVALIDITY OF SUCH ASSERTIONS, OR THAT ALL SUCH ASSERTIONS THAT HAVE OR MAY BE MADE ARE SO LISTED.
6.Termination. In the event of any breach of this Agreement, HL7 may give notice of termination to Licensee at the address you provide below, effective immediately upon receipt.
7.Governing Law and Jurisdiction. This Agreement shall be construed and interpreted under the internal laws of the State of Michigan and the federal laws of the United States of America, without giving effect to their principles of conflict of law HL7 and Licensee agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts within the State of Michigan in the United States of America and that any action to enforce the provisions of this Agreement shall be brought heard and determined exclusively in such courts.
8.Entire Agreement. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement and understanding between HL7 and Licensee regarding the subject matter contained herein; and no modification or waiver of this Agreement shall be binding unless it is in writing and signed by HL7.
Note: OMG Approves of this reuse of the license.
This is a proposed rewrite of the the OMG license (taken from the UML specification):
Subject to all of the terms and conditions below, HL7 hereby grants you a fully-paid up, non-exclusive, nontransferable, perpetual, worldwide license (without the right to sublicense), to use this specification to create and distribute software and special purpose specifications that are based upon this specification, and to use, copy, and distribute this specification as provided under the Copyright Act; provided that: (1) both the copyright notice identified above and this permission notice appear on any copies of this specification; (2) the use of the specifications is for informational purposes and will not be copied or posted on any network computer or broadcast in any media and will not be otherwise resold or transferred for commercial purposes; and (3) no modifications are made to this specification. This limited permission automatically terminates without notice if you breach any of these terms or conditions. Upon termination, you will destroy immediately any copies of the specifications in your possession or control.
GENERAL USE RESTRICTIONS
Any unauthorized use of this specification may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, and communications regulations and statutes. This document contains information which is protected by copyright. All Rights Reserved. No part of this work covered by copyright herein may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means--graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems--without permission of the copyright owner.
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY
WHILE THIS PUBLICATION IS BELIEVED TO BE ACCURATE, IT IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND MAY CONTAIN ERRORS OR MISPRINTS. THE OBJECT MANAGEMENT GROUP AND THE COMPANIES LISTED ABOVE MAKE NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH REGARD TO THIS PUBLICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY OF TITLE OR OWNERSHIP, IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE OBJECT MANAGEMENT GROUP OR ANY OF THE COMPANIES LISTED ABOVE BE LIABLE FOR ERRORS CONTAINED HEREIN OR FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, RELIANCE OR COVER DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOSS OF PROFITS, REVENUE, DATA OR USE, INCURRED BY ANY USER OR ANY THIRD PARTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE FURNISHING, PERFORMANCE, OR USE OF THIS MATERIAL, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
The entire risk as to the quality and performance of software developed using this specification is borne by you. This disclaimer of warranty constitutes an essential part of the license granted to you to use this specification.
HL7 is and shall at all times be the sole entity that may authorize developers, suppliers and sellers of computer software to use certification marks, trademarks or other special designations to indicate compliance with these materials. Software developed under the terms of this license may claim compliance or conformance with this specification if and only if the software compliance is of a nature fully matching the applicable conformance points as stated in the specification. Software developed only partially matching the applicable compliance points may claim only that the software was based on this specification, but may not claim compliance or conformance with this specification. In the event that testing suites are implemented or approved by HL7, Inc., software developed using this specification may claim compliance or conformance with the specification only if the software satisfactorily completes the testing suites.
Copyright © Health Level Seven International ® ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The reproduction of this material in any form is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.