Community-led development "The Apache Way"
Title: Apache Licensing and Distribution FAQ Notice: Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more contributor license agreements. See the NOTICE file distributed with this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership. The ASF licenses this file to you under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at . http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 . Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
This page answers most of the common queries that we receive about our licenses, licensing of our software, and packaging or redistributing of our software. For non-licensing questions, please see our General FAQ.
If none of the above addresses your query, please check the resources at the bottom of this page for general information.
Here are the detailed answers for each of the questions above.
You can find the Apache License 2.0 (the current version) here:
These are two older versions that we no longer use:
Apache Software License 1.1: http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-1.1.txt
Apache Software License 1.0: http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-1.0.txt
While the core Apache developed code will be under one of the Apache licenses, other third party works may have been included and their license text may have been added to the Apache projects' LICENSE or NOTICE files. Alternatively, they may be available separately.
'Apache', 'Apache Software Foundation', the multicoloured feather, and the various Apache project names and logos are either registered trademarks or trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation in the United States and other countries. Please see our Trademark Policy for details of how to use Apache project trademarks or our helpful site map of trademark resources.
Yes. All software developed by all projects of The Apache Software Foundation is freely available without charge from the Foundation's web sites. This is specified in the Foundation's Articles of Incorporation and explained in more detail about why our software is always free (no charge).
This is regardless of the use of the software. We do not distinguish between personal, internal, or commercial use of our software, and we do not charge for any of them. A reminder, however, that the terms of our license always apply.
Please see the ASF Exports Classifications and Source Links page.
Certainly. Version 2.0 of the license was designed to be reusable, and often has been reused by parties other than the ASF.
You should include a copy of the Apache License, typically in a file called LICENSE, in your work, and consider also including a NOTICE file.
It is also valuable to tag each of your source code files in case they become detached from the LICENSE file. To apply the Apache License to your source code files, one approach is to attach the following boilerplate notice to as a comment at the top of the files. You should replace the Copyright templates with your own identifying information:
Copyright [yyyy] [name of copyright owner] Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
A shorter variant you may wish to use is:
Copyright [yyyy] [name of copyright owner] SPDX-License-Identifier: Apache-2.0
Note that the Apache Software Foundation uses a different source header that is related to our use of a CLA. Our instructions for our project's source headers are here.
Yes, you are allowed to re-use and modify them. You just can't hold the ASF legally responsible if these documents are not exactly what you intend them to be. We recommend that you obtain your own legal advice so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
And if you adapt these agreements for your purposes, you have to make sure that the phrase 'Apache Software Foundation' or any confusingly similar references or parts that specifically refer to the Apache organisation do not appear in your version of the agreements (except to note that your version is derived and differs from the original provided by the ASF).
You are allowed to re-use our license unchanged, and also to modify it.
If you modify it, you are on your own from a legal point of view, and the result is NOT the Apache License, just a new license inspired by ours.
This means that the terms 'Apache License', 'Apache', or any similar references to the ASF cannot appear in your modified license, other than to state that it differs from the original.
Also, you cannot use 'Apache' in the name of the modified license. Names like "Apache License with such-and-such clause" for example are not acceptable, as they cause confusion.
Creating a new license is non-trivial; if you do that we recommend that you get your own legal advice.
Absolutely -- subject to the terms of the Apache license, of course. You can give your modified code away for free, or sell it, or keep it to yourself, or whatever you like. Just remember that the original code is still covered by the Apache license and you must comply with its terms. Even if you change every single line of the Apache code you're using, the result is still based on the Foundation's licensed code. You may distribute the result under a different license, but you need to acknowledge the use of the Foundation's software. To do otherwise would be stealing.
If you think your changes would be found useful by others, though, we do encourage you to submit them to the appropriate Apache project for possible inclusion.
In a word, no. You may, however, use phrasing such as 'based on Apache', 'powered by Apache', or 'based on Apache technology'. You must not use the Foundation's marks in any way that states or implies, or can be interpreted as stating or implying, that the final product is endorsed or created by the Apache Software Foundation. For example, it would be acceptable to use a name like 'SuperWonderServer powered by Apache', but never a name like 'Apache SuperWonderServer'. This is similar to the distinction between a product named 'Microsoft Burp' and 'Burp for Microsoft Windows'.
You may similarly identify the specific Foundation project whose code you're using, such as with 'based on Apache Xerces' or 'powered by Apache Tomcat technology'.
If you wish to use a name including any of the Foundation's marks, such as the word 'Apache', it's best to ask our permission first. Please see our Trademark Policy for more details.
No. You can keep your changes a secret if you like. Maybe your modifications are embarrassing, maybe you'll get rich selling those improvements. Whatever. But please seriously consider giving your changes back! We all benefit when you do.
Yes, you may translate the license text into your local language. However , any such translated text is only for the convenience of understanding, and is not legally binding. Only the English-language version of the license, which you must continue to include in your packaging , is authoritative and applicable in case legal interpretation is required.
From the Free Software Foundation website:
This is a free software license, compatible with version 3 of the GPL. Please note that this license is not compatible with GPL version 2, because it has some requirements that are not in that older version. These include certain patent termination and indemnification provisions.
This is a four part question:
No. If you are an ASF PMC with a truly exceptional situation, please create a JIRA issue.
Only if their employment situation necessitates that a CCLA be signed. See section 4 of the ICLA for details.
Committers must sign an ICLA. They make an individual claim that the code that they contribute is theirs to license. Reviewing their ICLA against their employer's ownership interests, applicable state and national law, and specific aspects of their employment contract and business policies will reveal that they can or cannot make that claim regarding any particular commit to whichever particular project they are committing in.
The CCLA is a backup document that the committer/ICLA signer may use to eliminate all of the ambiguity between all these conflicting laws, contracts, policies and job assignments. We've never required it, many committers are confident of their individual representations under the ICLA, many other committers find it reassuring that their company has backed up their own ICLA with this umbrella document.
It is the ICLA signatory's call if it is required, but it isn't exactly an easy call for many committers employed in the IT/Software industry.
Finally, see section 8 of the ICLA, which requires signers to notify the Foundation when their status changes in ways that may require this to be reassessed.
Source code (including machine-readable documentation, release notes, guides, test cases, run books, and scripts) in Apache repositories falls into three classifications (solely for the purpose of this discussion):
This represents most code at Apache. The code contains a standard Apache license header which refers to the standard Apache license in the distribution.
This is code that is being brought into Apache for future development as part of an Apache project. The headers on all files are changed to the standard Apache header. Most incubator projects start as externally-developed code and the Intellectual Property Clearance process is done as part of incubation.
Code that is originally developed elsewhere and is being brought into Apache for future development as part of an existing project must have the Intellectual Property Clearance process done explicitly by the PMC of the receiving project, under the auspices of the Incubator PMC which must approve the process.
This code retains its external identity and is being incorporated into an Apache project for convenience, to avoid referencing an external repository whose contents are not under control of the project. The code retains its original license; and distribution as part of the Apache project explicitly calls out the license. The code retains its original header which refers to its own license in the distribution. If changes are made to the code while at Apache, the standard Apache header is prepended to each changed file. Additionally, any legally-required notices related to the code are published in the distribution.
If you have questions about The Apache Software Foundation, its projects, or its software, we recommend the following link for more information or assistance:
If you have a question specifically about the Apache license or distribution of Apache software, and it has not been answered by this page, please contact the Legal Affairs Committee.