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Published On: Fri, Oct 18th, 2013

Latest Obamacare blunder: Software copyright violations

Healthcare.gov, the federal government’s Obamacare website, has been under heavy criticism from supporters and critics during the initial roleout.

President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Roosevelt Room.  2/16/09. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama meets with senior advisors in the Roosevelt Room. 2/16/09. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Repeated errors and delays have prevented many users from even establishing an account, and outside web designers have become increasingly louder critics calling the site amateurish and sloppy.

The latest black eye is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script on Healthcare.gov for a function of the site, a clear violation of the licensing agreement for the software.

The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data.

DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement.  

A note at the bottom of the DataTables.net website says: “DataTables designed and created by SpryMedia © 2008-2013.”  The company explains the license for using the software on that website [emphasis added]:

DataTables is free, open source software that you can download and use for whatever purpose you wish, on any and as many sites you want. It is free for you to use! DataTables is available under two licenses: GPL v2 license or a BSD (3-point) license, with which you must comply (to do this, basically keep the copyright notices in the software).

 

Healthcare.gov has omitted the copyright and references to the author and the SpryMedia – nowhere, not just absent from the beginning of the code.

A representative for SpryMedia said that they were “extremely disappointed” to see the copyright information missing and will be pursuing it further with the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that runs the Healthcare.gov site.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Brandon Jones says:

    The application could be fundamentally flawed. They may be using 1990s technology in 2.0 world. — Jeff Kim, President & COO Americas & EMEA at CDNetworks, on the HealthCare.gov website

    • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

      AFTER FORCING PEOPLE TO GET Obamacare, THE KENYAN IS BLAMING THE PEOPLE FOR THE HIGH VOLUME.

      ACCORDING TO A NEWS REPORT Healthcare.gov., IS DESIGNED TO DEAL WITH A FEW THOUSAND “CLICKERS” AT THE SAME TIME; BUT, ON THE FIRST DAY [1 OCTOBER], MORE THAN 250,000 PEOPLE LOGGED-ON AT THE SAME TIME – WHICH CAUSED THE CRASH.

      IT IS VERY STRANGE National Security Agency CAN USE TECHNOLOGY TO SPY ON AMERICANS’ PHONE RECORDS, ETC. – BUT, A SILLY LITTLE WEBPAGE CAN NOT HANDLE PEOPLE WHO ARE MERELY TRYING TO TYPE-IN IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION ON Healthcare.gov.’s first page.

      CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  2. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    REPUBLICANS NEED TO THROW ROTTEN EGGS AT Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) AND Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) – THEY ARE
    T-H-R-O-U-G-H! AS I TYPED EARLIER, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) NEEDS TO KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT UNTIL THE Obamacare fallout NEXT YEAR. [Reporters are already saying some Republicans want Americans to experience the ugliness of Obamacare, with no further plans to defund it]. Senator Paul MAY BE THE NOMINEE IN 2016.

    THE STATE OF Obamacare software IS OF NO CONSEQUENCE. MODERATE-REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS, DEMOCRATS AND THE OVERALL PUBLIC HAVE ALREADY PLACED FULL BLAME ON Tea Party.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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