The Corner

Healthcare.gov Borrows Code, Leaves Out Copyright Notice

The newest coding problem with Healthcare,gov, the website for the federal Obamacare exchanges, isn’t exactly a glitch.

According to The Weekly Standard, the site uses an open-source script named DataTables, which was created by British developer SpryMedia. The company makes the software available to anyone under two open-source licenses, but says the licensing requires that the code contain a copyright notice.

The copyright is in the opening lines of the software, an example of which can be found on SpryMedia’s website, but TWS says it’s not anywhere in Healthcare.gov’s code:

Healthcare.gov clearly copied some of its code from DataTables: One piece of the available code, for instance, includes an individual programmer’s commentary that also shows up in the HHS code.

SpryMedia said it was “extremely disappointed” to see the code used without the copyright notice, and that they’ll be looking into the issue with HHS.

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