AHA Copyright Policy

Statement on American Heart Association’s Copyright Policies Related to Emergency Cardiovascular Care Guidelines and Materials 

The American Heart Association is aware of recent questions that have arisen regarding its copyright policies as they pertain to the Guidelines 2000 for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care.

An e-mail has been circulating written by an individual who said the American Heart Association sent him a letter saying that to use one of the ECC Guidelines algorithms in a textbook, he would have to pay either $50,000 or 1 percent of the sales profits. The American Heart Association’s current copyright permission policy does not require a $50,000 payment or 1 percent of profits for the use of a single algorithm. This information is not reflective of the current 
copyright permission policy. The American Heart Association is researching the matter and is working with this individual to clarify its policy and to correct any misinformation that may have been communicated.

Organizations or individuals frequently ask for permission to use algorithms and other content from our ECC guidelines and course materials. The American Heart Association requires a formal written request that is forwarded to our internal copyright permissions department for review. If permission is granted, the organization or individual is assessed a $25 processing fee. This fee covers the American Heart Association’s costs to have its staff review the request for scientific accuracy.

For organizations or individuals that use information from ECC materials to develop and use and/or sell products, the Association charges a fee of $100.00 per item (table or algorithm) for up to three items. We are currently developing a formal policy to address requests for information exceeding three items, which should be completed by June 1. Currently, requests to use more than three items in a single publication or product are negotiated on a case-by-case basis so that both parties reach a fair agreement.

As in the past, EMS agencies, hospitals, ambulance services and government agencies are encouraged to use the guidelines to set their regulations, standards, guidelines and protocols. There is no fee for using the guidelines in this manner.

The American Heart Association cannot copyright the science that went into the guidelines; copyright covers the format and manner of presentation of the work, such as the design of the algorithms. The guidelines resulted from nearly two years of rigorous scientific debate and evaluation by hundreds of the world’s top resuscitation research scientists.