Asterisk License Question


#1

Hi,

I am curious what the laws are around creating commercial VOIP services using Asterisk as your PBX?

For example if you created a VOIP service built ontop of Asterisk and charged people for that service. Is there any license that I need purchase or clause in the Asterisk License prohibiting me from doing that?

Thanks

Hamish


#2

The Asterisk licence is the GPL with additional permissions. The GPL never restricts providing services using the software for profit (nor does it prevent your selling copies of the software (not the actual software, which you don’t own), as long as you make the source code available to those to whom you’ve provided binary versions, at no more than the actual cost of physically providing a copy, and providing you use the same licence terms).

This doesn’t apply to some codec modules, in particular G.729, for which patent licences apply. Even then, I don’t believe that there are any restrictions on providing third party services, as long as the codec is used as part of Asterisk.

This is a peer support forum, and I am not writing this for Digium.


#3

Actually, the GPL applies to the core source code. One reason for additional permissions is that some librares, e.g. OpenSSL, have incompatible licences, but, all the core code meets the open source requirements and doesn’t require royalties. The main difference in the case of OpenSSL, is a requirement to advertise the author of the OpenSSL when advertising the rest of the software.


#4

thanks for taking the time to describe in detail.