2 Questions about OpenGALEN

2.1 What is OpenGALEN?
2.2 What does it do?
2.3 Where else can I get the GALEN Common Reference Model?
2.4 Can I buy a GALEN Terminology Server from it?
2.5 Why doesn't OpenGALEN sell software?
2.6 Who owns OpenGALEN?
2.7 Is it profit-making?
2.8 Do I have to deal with the OpenGALEN to use the GALEN Technology?

2.1 What is OpenGALEN?

OpenGALEN is a not-for-profit organisation (that happens to take the form of a Dutch Foundation). It has been formed by some of the originators of the GALEN technology (members of the research consortia of the GALEN projects), and now we are delighted to announce that it is the only organisation that currently has rights to sub-licence - under an open-source licence - the GALEN Common Reference Model.

2.2 What does it do?

Today, OpenGALEN provides a point of access to the GALEN Common Reference Model, and to descriptions and specifications of the GALEN technology. It provides links to organisations that can provide help, software and services in using GALEN technology. It promotes GALEN technology to the health-care systems industry. What it does in the future depends on its members and their needs.

There are various levels within the GALEN technology and models. For example, the following kinds of knowledge can be separated:

Some of these resources will always be proprietary to their originators. But there is a level where commonality is useful. In particular we anticipate that the GALEN community may want a significant part of the GALEN Common Reference Model to be maintained as a common shared resource.

OpenGALEN aims to persuade the GALEN community to contribute material to help complete a shared, central, application-independent part of the Common Reference Model, and to fund maintenance and distribution of that resource.

OpenGALEN will also be pleased to accept and distribute resources linked to that central core - for example mappings to popular coding schemes. But companies remain free to maintain proprietary mappings to the central model.

2.3 Where else can I get the GALEN Common Reference Model from?

Like all open source licenses, the GALEN Common Reference Model can be distributed by anybody, provided that distribution includes and is under the GALEN Open Source License.

So you don't necessarily have to come to OpenGALEN directly to get the Common Reference Model, but you can only use the model under the terms of the GALEN Open Source License.

2.4 Can I buy a GALEN Terminology Server from it?

No. OpenGALEN licences the model, and will introduce you to associated software vendors who can supply implementations of the GALEN Terminology Server with which the model is delivered and used, but it does not sell software.

2.5 Why doesn't OpenGALEN sell software?

Because OpenGALEN is not a software supplier: OpenGALEN's role is in making the model available as widely as possible under an opensource framework and then promoting and enabling the development and maintenance of the model.

It is true that optimal use of the GALEN Common Reference Model requires software (the GALEN Terminology Server), but OpenGALEN believes that the provision of that software should be left in the hands of independent, though associated, software vendors. OpenGALEN provides a minimum specification of what the GALEN Terminology Server should do and how it should behave, but it leaves the implementation to others.

2.6 Who owns it?

OpenGALEN is a registered Dutch Stichting. It has no owners or shareholders.

2.7 Is it profit-making?

If OpenGALEN generates any revenue - or receives gifts - it can only spend this on the continued development and maintenance of the model. There are no owners, and no mechanisms in Dutch law for it to develop surplus profits to return to interested owners if it had any.

2.8 Do I have to deal with OpenGALEN to use the GALEN Technology?

Not directly, if you don't wish to. You can obtain a GALEN Open Source Licence to use the open source resources from other parties. And you can otherwise deal directly with one of the associated software vendors or other consultants who are supplying related prodiucts and services.

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