Healthcare.gov, the federal government's Obamacare website, has been
under heavy criticism from friend and foe alike during its first two
weeks of open enrollment. Repeated errors and delays have prevented
many users from even establishing an account, and outside web designers
have roundly panned the structure and coding of the site as amateurish
and sloppy. The latest indication of the haphazard way in which
Healthcare.gov was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web
script for a data function used by the site, a 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).