Brian Phipps digs deep into an article about open source efforts and pulls out an interesting point that's mostly buried in the story: "A Forbes article on open source reports that Mission Viejo firm Medsphere used the Freedom of Information Act to get the source code for federal hospital management software "developed at taxpayer expense." They are now using that software as part of their commercial open source product called OpenVista. Is this a new/valid/ethical way to get source code for a start-up? There must be tens of thousands of Federal applications out there that could have commercial potential. How does the US taxpayer benefit if these apps are exploited via FoIA and commercialized--since we paid for them in the first place. If they were all GPL'd that would be OK, but it's not clear that that's the case." This certainly does raise an awful lot of questions. Getting access to the source code is one thing -- assuming it's then open source is another. Anyone have more details on how this project went from FoIA request to open source software?
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