Case Studies/OpenVoice Free PBX

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OpenVoice banner used with permission

Adoption date unspecified
PBX, audio, open source


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OpenVoice Free is a free-for-download voice-prompting service specialising in supplying Australian voice prompts for the Asterisk open source PBX telephone system and other compatible IVR systems.

The offering of CC-licensed media has been very positive for us. We find that those who do not have the budget for commercial versions are able to take advantage of our media… [and] those who are uncertain as to the suitability or quality of our commercial media have found that by installing the free versions, they have been impressed enough to purchase commercial versions, so it serves as a form of promotion. — Ben Buxton, OpenVoice


[OpenVoice] is a small business based in Australia, specialising in providing voice prompting services for the Asterisk™ Open Source PBX system, and other compatible telephone voice prompt systems. Such applications are commonly used by businesses and organisations to manage telephone switchboards and improve business communications. As part of its services offered for commercial sale, OpenVoice has created OpenVoice Free, a set of Australian voice prompts which are available free of charge under a Creative Commons licence.

OpenVoice Free is a comprehensive set of voice files that businesses and organisations can download for use and distribute free of charge in both commercial and non-commercial environments. The voice files feature an Australian voiceover artist, providing an Australian and sometimes humorous touch to what are often American voiced IVR systems. The package contains a complete set of Australian voicemail prompts, wake-up calls and prompts for base Asterisk IVR functionality. This gives the user a functioning basic system containing the most common announcements. OpenVoice Free is not restricted to the Asterisk platform and can also be used for other IVR applications. For more demanding IVR systems and customised prompt packages, OpenVoice have a range of services available for purchase.

By using Creative Commons licences, OpenVoice have made a non-commercial contribution to the Asterisk community and has secured a method for legally distributing a demo of their services that promotes their more extensive selection of commercially licensed media.

License Usage

OpenVoice Free is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.1 Australia licence. This permits commercial uses of the media, ensures OpenVoice is attributed and that any derivative works are licensed in the same way. Initially OpenVoice considered GFDL licensing for OpenVoice Free, but found that Creative Commons licences were a more user-friendly alternative due to their plain English deed and minimal accompanying licence documentation. Also, unlike GFDL, Creative Commons licences are not format specific. This accorded with OpenVoice’s goal of making OpenVoice Free available with maximum ease and exposure.

OpenVoice report that their CC licensed media is downloaded at a rate of 50x that of the commercial versions on offer, and have found that customers who used OpenVoice Free were impressed enough with the service to go on to purchase OpenVoice’s commercially available media.


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