Apache License

Apache License

The Apache Software Foundation logo
Author Apache Software Foundation
Latest version 2.0
Publisher Apache Software Foundation
Published January 2004
DFSG compatible Yes[1]
FSF approved Yes[2]
OSI approved Yes[3]
GPL compatible Yes – version 2.0 is compatible with GPL v3,[2] but 1.0 & 1.1 are incompatible.[4]
Copyleft no
Linking from code with a different license yes
Website www.apache.org/licenses

The Apache License (ASL) is a permissive free software license written by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).[5] The Apache License requires preservation of the copyright notice and disclaimer. Like other free software licenses, the license allows the user of the software the freedom to use the software for any purpose, to distribute it, to modify it, and to distribute modified versions of the software, under the terms of the license, without concern for royalties. The ASF and its projects release the software they produce under the Apache License and many non-ASF projects are also using the ASL.

A free software license is a notice that grants the recipient extensive rights to modify and redistribute that software. These actions are usually prohibited by copyright law, but the rights-holder (usually the author) of a piece of software can remove these restrictions by accompanying the software with a software license which grants the recipient these rights. Software using such a license is free software (or free and open source software) as conferred by the copyright holder. Free software licenses are applied to software in source code as also binary object code form, as the copyright law recognizes both forms.


Version 1.1

The Apache License 1.1 was approved by the ASF in 2000: The primary change from the 1.0 license is in the 'advertising clause' (section 3 of the 1.0 license); derived products are no longer required to include attribution in their advertising materials, but only in their documentation.[6]

Version 2.0

The ASF adopted the Apache License 2.0 in January 2004. The stated goals of the license included making the license easier for non-ASF projects to use, improving compatibility with GPL-based software, allowing the license to be included by reference instead of listed in every file, clarifying the license on contributions, and requiring a patent license on contributions that necessarily infringe a contributor's own patents.[6]

Licensing conditions

The Apache License is permissive in that it does not require a derivative work of the software, or modifications to the original, to be distributed using the same license (unlike copyleft licenses – see comparison). It still requires application of the same license to all unmodified parts and, in every licensed file, any original copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices in redistributed code must be preserved (excluding notices that do not pertain to any part of the derivative works); and, in every licensed file changed, a notification must be added stating that changes have been made to that file.

If a NOTICE text file is included as part of the distribution of the original work, then derivative works must include a readable copy of these notices within a NOTICE text file distributed as part of the derivative works, within the source form or documentation, or within a display generated by the derivative works (wherever such third-party notices normally appear).

The contents of the NOTICE file do not modify the license, as they are for informational purposes only, and adding more attribution notices as addenda to the NOTICE text is permissible, provided that these notices cannot be understood as modifying the license. Modifications may have appropriate copyright notices, and may provide different license terms for the modifications.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, any contributions submitted by a licensee to a licensor will be under the terms of the license without any terms and conditions, but this does not preclude any separate agreements with the licensor regarding these contributions.

GPL compatibility

The Apache Software Foundation and the Free Software Foundation agree that the Apache License 2.0 is a free software license, compatible with version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPL),[7] meaning that code under GPL version 3 and Apache License 2.0 can be combined, as long as the resulting software is licensed under the GPL version 3.[8]

The Free Software Foundation considers all versions of the Apache License to be incompatible with the previous GPL versions 1 and 2[9] and, furthermore, considers Apache License versions before v2.0 incompatible with GPLv3. Because of version 2.0's patent license requirements, the Free Software Foundation recommends it over other non-copyleft licenses, specifically recommending it either for small programs or for developers who wish to use a permissive license for other reasons.[10]

Reception and adoption

In October 2012, 8708 projects located at SourceForge.net were available under the terms of the Apache License.[11] In a blog post from May 2008, Google mentioned that over 25% of the nearly 100,000 projects then hosted on Google Code were using the Apache License,[12] including the Android operating system.[13]

As of 2015, according to Black Duck Software[14] and GitHub,[15] the Apache license is the third most popular license in the FOSS domain after MIT license and GPLv2.

See also


  1. "The Apache Software License (ASL)". The Big DFSG-compatible Licenses. Debian Project. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  2. 1 2 "Apache License, Version 2.0". Various Licenses and Comments about Them. Free Software Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  3. "OSI-approved licenses by name". Open Source Initiative. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  4. "GNU License List". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  5. New Media Rights (2008-09-12). "Open Source Licensing Guide". California Western School of Law. Retrieved 2015-11-28. The ‘BSD-like’ licenses such as the BSD, MIT, and Apache licenses are extremely permissive, requiring little more than attributing the original portions of the licensed code to the original developers in your own code and/or documentation.
  6. 1 2 "Licenses – The Apache Software Foundation". Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2007.
  7. "Various Licenses and Comments about Them". Free Software Foundation. 14 January 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  8. Apache Software Foundation. "Apache License v2.0 and GPL Compatibility". Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  9. Free Software Foundation (28 February 2013). "Licenses". Archived from the original on 5 March 2013.
  10. "How to choose a license for your own work".
  11. "Projects at SourceForge under Apache License". Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  12. "Standing Against License Proliferation". Retrieved 24 October 2009.
  13. Android Open Source licenses
  14. "Top 20 licenses". Black Duck Software. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 1. MIT license 24%, 2. GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0 23%, 3. Apache License 16%, 4. GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0 9%, 5. BSD License 2.0 (3-clause, New or Revised) License 6%, 6. GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1 5%, 7. Artistic License (Perl) 4%, 8. GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 3.0 2%, 9. Microsoft Public License 2%, 10. Eclipse Public License (EPL) 2%
  15. Balter, Ben (2015-03-09). "Open source license usage on GitHub.com". github.com. Retrieved 2015-11-21. "1 MIT 44.69%, 2 Other 15.68%, 3 GPLv2 12.96%, 4 Apache 11.19%, 5 GPLv3 8.88%, 6 BSD 3-clause 4.53%, 7 Unlicense 1.87%, 8 BSD 2-clause 1.70%, 9 LGPLv3 1.30%, 10 AGPLv3 1.05%

External links

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