Will FreePBX always stay free and open source?

I wanted to ask you guys if FreePBX will always stay free and open source as it is right now, or will it ever become a commercial product in the future. I just wanted to see how far can we go with keeping to use FreePBX

I don’t work for Sangoma, but I’ve been doing this software thing for a while.

The model used by this, and many other commercially supported software platforms works well for the companies and the consumers. FreePBX is commercial software in the broadest sense of the phrase. The company that supports the development of the system provides the basic system in a free and open-source form to promote use and to engender possible sales of the commercial components of the system. Many of these are things that are meant for commercial environments (EPM, Queue Stats, etc.). They also provider commercial support.

On the free side, they also participate in the “free support” forum that you are on now. Lots of us volunteer time and resources to support the ‘free’ part of FreePBX, and in exchange, we get the benefit of having a commercial-quality source development team watching out for our interests. It also avoids the problems with ‘abandon-ware’ where a software package is ‘open source’ but isn’t supported or curated by anyone anymore. You can usually spot these because there are dozens of ‘follow-on’ projects that tool the original code and ‘ran with it’. While this can lead to real innovation, more often than not, it leads to chaos and a fractured development environment where lots of competing ways to fix bugs and solve problems become more of a problem than a solution.

One of the ‘deals’ when you start supporting an Open Source system is the tacit agreement that the code wasn’t yours in the first place, and making it yours is really stealing someone else’s work to make money. We all do this, to an extent, when we use FreePBX to support a customer, but few of us actually claim that the code was ours.

So, I’m hoping that the free part of FreePBX will continue as Open Source. The closed commercial parts of the system, along with the paid support that some people really do need, will fund the company as long as we all keep using it.

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It has been open source and Free for over 10 years now and we have no plans of changing that ever.


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