At this week’s #OpenCoffeeLou, we heard about a struggle between hackers and Metro Louisville which was resolved even before the recap of the meeting went to print.

Code for America and Metro Louisville are partnering to hold a civic data Hack-a-thon on Feb. 23 with $10,000 prize money on the line for the best apps or computer coding ideas that use the city’s open data.

The controversy was, attendee Daniel Johnsen told us, the city stood to “own” whatever code is created during the Hack-a-thon. That means the city could sit on it and never use it, but also not release it back to the developers if they wanted to go commercial with it.

Kudos to the Fischer folks for amending the rule. This Facebook update went out at around 2 p.m. on Mon., Feb. 11:

(Johnsen all but assured us that we’d see a rule change. Other cities have canceled their Hack-a-thons in protest rather than move forward with surrendering their IP.)

So now that all systems are go for the Hack-a-thon, what more can we tell you?

The event is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at LVL1, located at 814 E. Broadway, and is open to everyone. All you need is your laptop – preferably one that can be connected to a projector so people can view your final work on the big screen.

“The task is to design or prototype an app that helps improve the quality of life in our city,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “No idea is too strange or too bold. We want to see interesting ideas and innovation at work.”

The open data that should inspire these ideas is available in raw form at a city-run portal and includes data on crime, abandoned properties, restaurant ratings, lost pets, air quality and more.

A panel of volunteer judges will determine first, second and third place winners.

The Hack-a-Thon is first-come, first-served, so individuals or teams wanting to participate should arrive early because once the seats are gone, registration will close.

Want to know more? Contact [email protected]

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