Sunday, September 16, 2007

L3RN: Who Owns the IP and What Did They Pay For It?

So... L3rn is now a commercial product? How'd that happen? Last I knew it was developed by employees of the Seattle Public Schools. Now it belongs to "SynapticMash?" There'd better be a good explanation for this. They use the typical weasel-language one would use if one wanted to mislead the consumer about open source:

The entire system is built on open source technologies...

But since there is an invitation to purchase it and no downloads available or explanation of licensing, it is wise to assume that everything under L3rn (Django, Python, Apache, etc...) is open source but L3rn itself is not.

What I really don't understand is why you would launch a startup using a product that is widely known to be developed internally in a public school district without taking a sentence explaining what the deal was, because with no explanation, it looks pretty shady.

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