KDnuggets Home » News » 2011 » May » HHP Demands Exclusivity; provokes calls for a boycott  ( < Prev | 11:n12 | Next > )

Heritage Health Prize Demands Exclusivity; Others Call for a Boycott

Heritage Health Prize recent rule change which demands complete exclusive rights to the algorithms used on their data provokes calls for a boycott

Heritage Health Prize Heritage Health Prize released a second set of data on May 4. They also recently modified their rules which now demand complete exclusivity and seem to disallow use of other tools (emphasis mine - Gregory PS)
By registering for the Competition, each Entrant (a) grants to Sponsor and its designees a worldwide, exclusive (except with respect to Entrant) , sub-licensable (through multiple tiers), transferable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to use, not use, reproduce, distribute (through multiple tiers), create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display, digitally perform, make, have made, sell, offer for sale and import the entry and the algorithm used to produce the entry, as well as any other algorithm, data or other information whatsoever developed or produced at any time using the data provided to Entrant in this Competition (collectively, the "Licensed Materials"), in any media now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without further approval by or payment to Entrant (the "License") and
(b) represents that he/she/it has the unrestricted right to grant the License.
Entrant understands and agrees that the License is exclusive except with respect to Entrant: Entrant may use the Licensed Materials solely for his/her/its own patient management and other internal business purposes but may not grant or otherwise transfer to any third party any rights to or interests in the Licensed Materials whatsoever.

This has lead to a call to boycott the competition by Tristan, who also notes that academics cannot publish their results without prior written approval of the Sponsor.

Anthony Goldbloom, CEO of Kaggle, emailed the HHP participants on May 4

HPN have asked me to pass on the following message: "The Heritage Provider Network is sponsoring the Heritage Health Prize to spur innovation and creative thinking in healthcare. HPN, however, is a medical group and must retain an exclusive license to the algorithms created using its data so as to ensure that the algorithms are used responsibly, and are only used to provide better health care to patients and not for improper purposes.
Put simply, while the competition hopes to spur innovation, this is not a competition regarding movie ratings or chess results. We hope that the clarifications we have made to the Rules and the FAQ adequately address your concerns and look forward to your participation in the competition."

What do you think? Will the exclusive license prevent you from participating?


Ed Borasky
I ruled out participation in the Heritage Health Prize the day it was announced. I don't do contests. So this changes nothing.

Anthony Goldbloom
Jeremy Howard, Kaggle's chief data scientist, explained the practical implications for researchers of HPN's choice of license on the Heritage Health Prize forum:

The license is extremely specific and uses terms that are given an exact definition. The license is to the: "Entry and Prediction Algorithm used to produce the Entry". "Entry" is defined as: "the data submitted in the manner and format specified on the Website via the Website on Entry form". "Prediction Algorithm" is defined as "the algorithm used to produce the data in an Entry taken as a whole (i.e., its particular total configuration) but does not include individual components of the Prediction Algorithm or tools used for analysis or development of the Prediction Algorithm".

Anthony Goldbloom
Part two of Jeremy's explanation:

This is an extremely competitor-friendly definition - only the actual final configuration of parameters, inputs, etc taken as a whole is being transferred to HPN. The document both explicitly says it's the "particular total configuration" that's being covered, and even goes so far as to remove any possible ambiguity but explicitly stating that all component parts are not covered.

Gregory Piatetsky
Anthony, so can a competitor use, say, SVM package already implemented in R or CART package implemented in Salford Systems, without re-implementing SVM or CART?

Anthony Goldbloom

KDnuggets Home » News » 2011 » May » HHP Demands Exclusivity; provokes calls for a boycott  ( < Prev | 11:n12 | Next > )