The OpenAirInterfaceTM (OAI) Software Alliance uses various licenses to distribute software and documentation and to accept contributions from individuals and corporations. The following figure shows the OAI software packages and the licenses under which they are distributed.
Licensing of Distributions
The OAI software is currently split into four project repositories as shown in figure above:
- eNB, UE Radio Access Network (RAN) is licensed under the OAI Public License V1.1.
- The repository is located here.
- The MME and HSS components of the OAI 4G Core Network (EPC) are licensed under the 3-Clause BSD License.
- The SPGW-C and SPGW-U components of the OAI 4G Core Network (EPC) are licensed under the OAI Public License V1.1.
- All components of the 3GPP 5G Core Network are licensed under the OAI Public License V1.1.
The OAI Public License V1.1 is a modified version of Apache V2.0 License, with the modified patent clause that allows contributing parties to make patent license available to third parties under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms for commercial exploitation. The availability of OAI code is free for non-commercial/academic research purposes. The main reason for this modification is to allow companies/individuals which own significant portfolio of patents to be able to contribute to the OAI source code and still be able to keep their patent rights. Such a license will allow close collaboration with 3GPP member companies while at the same allowing commercial exploitation of the code. We have tried to follow 3GPP FRAND policy on licensing in this regard. We expect that with this modification to the OAI Public License V1.1, it will allow more companies/individuals to contribute to the software, while protecting their essential IPR.
The OAI requires that all the contributors of ideas, code or documentation of OAI projects sign an Individual Contributor License agreement (ICLA). The purpose of this agreement is to clearly define the terms under which intellectual property has been contributed to the OAI. It allows us to defend the project should there be legal dispute regarding the software in future. A signed CLA is required to be on file before an individual is added to the OAI projects in Gitlab or other software/document management systems.
For a corporation that has its employees working on OAI projects, a Corporate CLA (CCLA) is available for contributing intellectual property (IPR). However, individual developers must still sign the Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA). Here are the different licenses for the two OpenAirInterface repositories, (OpenAirInterface5G, OpenairCN)
- Individual Contributor License Agreement(ICLA) for the MME and HSS repositories
- Individual Contributor License Agreement(ICLA) for OAI RAN, 5G CN and SPGW-C/U
- Corporate Contributor License Agreement(CCLA) for the MME and HSS repositories
- Corporate Contributor License Agreement(CCLA) for OAI RAN, 5G CN and SPGW-C/U