[thelist] Bobby not free anymore

Laurel Nevans laureln at qwestinternet.net
Fri Oct 4 16:48:00 CDT 2002

> It was developed *BY* the GSA? Or by a contractor for GSA?
> If it was developed BY a government entity, it should be
> software. Period. This is not a university system, where we can
> something great using tax dollars and then spin off into a
company and get
> rich.
> This may not mean Bobby as it currently is was developed by the
GSA. Perhaps
> the underlying algorithms and software were. There's nothing
wrong with them
> taking that (since it would be public-domain) and rolling an
> around it.
> Then again, their site says it was developed by CAST, no
mention of GSA
> anywhere.
> http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/about.jsp

Okay...CAST is a part of GSA.  And I'm not really sure if a
contractor developed it or not, but it wouldn't matter.  I was a
contractor for TARGET, USDA's equivalent to GSA's CAST.  My
company basically RAN TARGET, and their staff basically took
credit.  ALL of the work we did as contractors, and ALL
deliverables became US Govt. property.  I assume it was the same
for similar things coming out of CAST at the time.

(And, practically EVERY AT-related project was being done by
contractors at the time.  So my bet is that the Bobby project
used them too.)

Being the two "real" AT centers for US Govt workers in DC, we
were very close w/ CAST.  They bragged a lot about developing the
1st version of Bobby.  I believe some of what they used came out
of TRACE at U of Wisconsin, with $ from Federal R&D grants.

And I agree that it SHOULD be public domain then...but
unfortunately, that's not what happens.  Similar things have gone
on for years in medicine, and I've never understood how/why this
was allowed to happen.


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