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[ossig] OSS: Pikom clarifies the situation
This article is from TechCentral
Tuesday October 25, 2005
OSS : Pikom clarifies the situation
I REFER to the article Pikom rethinks stand on OSS (see In.Tech, Sept 20)
and the subsequent letters to the editor published in response to the said
I would like to clarify that certain comments attributed to me do not
reflect what transpired during the interview. The article gave the
impression that open-source software is not for serious usage and that
there is no IP (intellectual property) protection accorded to open-source
software. This is inaccurate and does not represent my view on the matter.
In fact, open source has been used widely by the corporate and public
sectors, which reflects the importance and the acceptance of open source
for "serious" usage.
Allow me to elaborate on what transpired during the interview.
When asked in the interview to give an assessment for the current status
of open-source acceptance in this country, I informed that open-source
software is very competitive in terms of commoditised software (e.g.
operating system, web servers and databases) but proprietary software is
still dominant in the field of ialised business software like in the areas
of ERP, CRM and BI as the proprietary software players have spent many
years and much investment in their development. In fact, some of these
software have been around for the past 20 years.
The terms "commoditised software" vs "specialised business software" are
by no means intended to trivialise any type of software, be it open-source
or proprietary software. However the report translated that to serious
software and not serious software which led to a different conclusion.
Secondly, as there is always confusion on what constitutes open-source
software, I tried to differentiate between true open-source application
software with those that are developed and run on an open-source platform.
With regard to IP protection, whether we use open-source technology and
platform to build our software (e.g. developing a HR software using
open-source platforms like Linux), or build it on proprietary platforms; as
long as we own the IP exclusively for the software and do not conform to
the open-source development model, the application will still be a
proprietary software despite the fact that it is built on an open-source
platform or using open-source tools. This should not be equated to No
Intellectual Property protection in open-source software.
Copyright protection is accorded to any form of software, including the
open-source software. Open-source software is also released subject to its
We hope that this letter will help clear the current confusion and thank
you for the opportunity to clarify the situation.
Lee Boon Kok
Chairman of Pikom
Regards, /\_/\ "All dogs go to heaven."
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