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Open Letter To Minister O'Keefe

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DateThursday, May 27, 2010
AuthorS K

Open Letter To Minister O'Keefe

Forced Collaboration Could Stifle Software Innovation Unless Partnerships Are Through Open Source Licenses




Minister  For Enterprise,Trade and Innovation Batt O'Keefe TDAn Open letter to  Minister  For Enterprise, Trade and Innovation

Batt O'Keefe TD


Subject: Promoting Irish Software Innovation



Dear Minister O'Keefe,

In reply to your proposal that academic research teams be required to partner with industry, while I welcome the proposal in principle, I fear that you may have overlooked that unless this partnering is also enforced under an open source license, this could lead to 100% proprietary software development in Ireland.

Taking innovation from Irish students and locking it into proprietary licenses could be disastrous for software innovation in Ireland, at a time where more public and private organisations worldwide are utilising the increased dynamism associated with open source software in a software-as-a-service world of mobile empowerment.

Proprietary software takes much longer to bring to market, has a lower cost-to-value ratio due to the need for protection and is increasingly becoming unpopular as it removes freedoms from the end user.

It is most important that research in our academic institutions has a value that can be tapped by any Irish organisation, while allowing the research team to be the leaders of deployment of the technology.

Short-sighted vendor lock-in, not only in software implementation but in innovation, could cause the end of rapid and open innovation in Ireland at a time when we should be promoting the country as a open source software centre for the world.

It is simply not as viable for a business to invest in proprietary software in its organisation when the same level of investment can be made in an entirely customised open source solution that has no (other than the requirement to keep it open) restriction in how it is implemented.

ROUNDUP330.pngI look to you for assurance that we will not be forcing our home-grown innovation into old, dysfunctional business models that will cripple our ability to build on the software innovators of the past.

There are more dynamic and innovative business models which must be grasped in order to assure Ireland's position at the forefront of technology and software investment from outside the software industry.

In this light, assurance that the researchers themselves will be empowered to choose the license model, without pressure from their industry partner or that an open source license policy will be adopted would be welcome news to allay the fears of technology being licensed in a proprietary manner and the cost of acquiring the technology being rocketed for indigenous companies while the value of the vendor-locked software is massively devalued.

Thank you for your attention and anticipated clarification on the protection of our innovations from proprietary licensing.

Yours kindly,


Lloyd Hardy MSc [IT]

ERP (Ireland) which is based in Cong, Co Mayo, delivers 100% custom open source solutions (cloud and/or Intranet based) for:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
 Document Management systems
 Warehouse Management
 Supply Chain Management
 as well as a full range of ERP modules for every industry provides a complete service, with source code for specific deployments available to clients under the AGPL v3. solutions integrate with any ERP (CRM/SCM etc) system as well as  with SCADA, PoS and TCP/IP hardware . Utlising only open standards such as Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP, it offers organisations freedom from proprietary vendor lock-in, 100% bespoke solutions and a software reflection of their own business model.




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