Thursday, August 16, 2007

Asterisk: Genuine and for the People!

Digium, The Asterisk Company.

I started using this tag line a bit over a year ago to clarify Digium is THE Asterisk owner.

Why do we care? Because Digium has invested millions over the years to build the Asterisk open source community. This community makes the engine go. The engine is so powerful that well over 3.5 million servers have been downloaded. We suspect these servers are deployed in everything from enterprises to homes. Users cover the globe: linux geeks to non-technical business users who can download a file and burn a CD and have a phone system.

But open source has rules based on the license you use. Digium uses GPLv2. Digium also commercially licenses Asterisk for people to modify and keep their modifications. Otherwise, to build a commercial business and redistribute derivative works, you are supposed to provide full source code or license it back to the community in our case through Digium. Among the more successful licensees: Aspect Software (IP Contact Centers), and NTT Software in Japan with a large growing base of licensees. Why? It saves significant development costs.

There are others who claim to be open source, openly modify and redistribute Asterisk-based solutions and even use several versions back. Some of these folks are hippocrates - they talk about Asterisk not being robust enough, but they are using software as old as version 1.09 where today version 1.2 and 1.4 are most recent. They say they have "hardened" Asterisk. Well, they modified code to make their own proprietary solution. Their is nothing wrong with this because thats one of the intents to proliferate Asterisk everywhere, but by following the rules. Some of you readers know who and what I am talking about. There are actually many, some are just more visible and public images than others.

We will continue to educate developers and users everywhere!

Tell you what, if you would like to discuss this, feel free to post here. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I missed an angle, but I can tell you we will continue to develop Asterisk and support the developer community. In the future, many companies and users will benefit. We at Digium do need to make money in areas where it makes sense - business class software, hardware, support, and consulting so we can continue to foster development and proliferate Asterisk and reduce the cost for users worldwide! Leveraging our partner ecosystem can generate sales and profits. Our web sites are well known for downloading our Asterisk versions well over 3000 times per day globally is no small achievement.

Yes, share your thoughts - here or on on the forums!

Genuine Asterisk.
Digium Asterisk

See you at Astricon (, and/or
See you at Digium Asterisk World (

No comments: