[LAU] OT: linux phone?

Rob lau at kudla.org
Wed Jun 4 12:28:56 EDT 2008

On Tuesday 03 June 2008 18:54, Michelle Konzack wrote:
> Am 2008-06-02 23:14:04, schrieb Esben Stien:
> > Michelle Konzack <linux4michelle at tamay-dogan.net> writes:
> > > But SIP is a Non-Free proprietary protocol
> > No, it's not.
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Session_Initiation_Protocol
> And WHY is it patented and you can not  change  the  something  on 
> the protocol?  It is only FREE, if you use it as it is.  This was
> the  last thing I have heared from the Developers...

Lots of people have written SIP extensions, and some are even in RFCs.  
SIP itself is RFC 3261.  It's no more proprietary than protocols such 
as SASL, ICMP, IDENT and dozens of others.

For that matter, many SIP implementations are available in Debian and 
are not located in the non-free repositories, and if anyone is anal 
about free vs. non-free it's Debian.  The GNU project implements SIP 
in a library called oSIP, so it has to be compatible with the GPL, 
meaning you can make whatever changes to the protocol that you want.  
You could take oSIP and use it to implement your own protocol called 
oMichelle and as long as you released your code under the GPL, no one 
would bat an eye.  For that matter, NIST appears to have their own 
SIP implementation which is public domain, for those who have a 
different definition of "free software" than the Free Software 

Please document what you are claiming, and in particular, who "the 
Developers" are.  Are you maybe thinking of Skype, which is 
proprietary and owned by one company (ebay)?

> Also SIP require to go over a SIP server/gateway which are  all 
> falling under the US Patriot Act since SIPgate is an US-American
> enterprise  :-/ a thing, I can not recommend.

You can run a SIP gateway on any Linux Asterisk box.  It doesn't have 
to be located in the US.  My business partner runs one privately in 
Israel.  Now, running a public one might require you to deal with 
your country's telecom regulators, but that'll be true with any kind 
of PSTN-to-IP gateway, not just SIP.

Also, I had never heard of SIPgate, despite being American.  The 
reason is that not only is SIPgate a German company, but they don't 
seem to even operate in the United States despite offering US phone 
numbers to their UK customers.  It may be that they cooperate to an 
unfortunate level with American law enforcement, but as far as I can 
tell they fall outside the jurisdiction of the USA Patriot Act.  At 
any rate, they are merely a provider of a SIP gateway, not the 
inventor of SIP nor the only provider.  Maybe they have some kind of 
monopoly in Germany, but a quick google for German SIP gateway 
providers reveals dozens of them, so I don't think that's the case.

I think you need to do a little more research and stop listening to 
whatever vendor has been selling you this FUD.  SIP certainly has its 
shortcomings, but being proprietary, free-software-incompatible or 
US-controlled are not among them.


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