Open Source Alliance Cyberjaya

The Linux and Open Source Special Interest Group in Cyberjaya, Malaysia

Users in Asia fear for quality of open-source codes

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Microsoft’s recent threat to seek royalties from users and distributors on 235 patents it holds for open-source software has unnerved users in Asia, but supporters in the US are thumbing their noses at the claim.

Woraphon Watunyuta, senior vice-president of IT at Thailand’s Siam City Bank, fears alliances between open-source and proprietary players could pave the way for commercial vendors to “touch” open-source codes and then “resell modified versions as their own product”.

About 15 per cent of the platforms and applications, mainly in email and firewalls, at the bank are based on open-source technologies.

“If this is what’s happening, we have to be concerned as it will impact the core competency of the open-source community as a whole,” Watunyuta told Computerworld Singapore.

Waleed Hanafi, the Singapore-based CIO of the Global Refund Group, said he sees the heated discussion of patents in the software arena as a “troubling trend”.

Hanafi said he is a supporter of the open-source movement “as a counter balance against the increasing monoculture of proprietary software”.

“I do think software patents are out of control. They are often used to prevent competitors from bringing products to market.

“Since software is the embodiment and codification of ideas and processes, it seems odd that a patent should be issued rather than a copyright, as would be applicable for the same ideas and processes described in a book. Anything that restricts innovation and evolution is bad for those of us who use software to run our businesses.”

Read more: Computerworld Singapore

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Written by syazli7

Fri, 8 Jun 2007 at 14:37:32 +0800

Posted in News

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