A note to our Community October 2009
As director of the Foundation I have remained silent while there are attacks on the GPL and open nature of our responsibility, the FreeMED program.
FreeMED was an idea conceived so that physicians would have access to a high quality, high level electronic medical record and management system, available in many languages and provided, as many open source projects are, at no cost. The idea for profitability from FreeMED came from a change in software in the mid -80′s when programs were bundled with operating systems or computers which had just weeks before sold for hundred’s of dollars. We felt, and still do, that the market for FreeMED as a system exists, and that individuals or companies who wish to offer SUPPORT will find that they can make a comfortable, if not profitable living. Indeed, we felt that it might fund future development.
Meanwhile, because FreeMED is open source and because the program is freely available, freely upgraded and open to suggestion from its users, that it would be a continuously improving project. Alas that has not happened as often nor with as much vigor as we might wish. We do have a user base which is quite vigorous but not as engaged as it might be.
Recently we have been asked to fork FreeMED, to create a ‘professional’ version of the program. We have twice before forked FreeMED with no benefit to the program and no improvements. Many promises were made. None kept. Many tales of feedback and re-investment through the forked program were made. None kept.
It is not in the interest of the Foundation nor in its charter to promote the interests of private companies. We hope, however to partner with companies and entities interested in furthering the ideals of the Open Source Movement.
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