In the case I want to clone a project from github that has the Apache License and that contains a NOTICE text file, what shall I do?

The Apache License does contain a paragraph on what to do, but to me that looks like some gibberish a lawyer has problems understanding:

If the Work includes a "NOTICE" text file as part of its distribution, then any Derivative Works that You distribute must include a readable copy of the attribution notices contained within such NOTICE file, excluding those notices that do not pertain to any part of the Derivative Works, in at least one of the following places: within a NOTICE text file distributed as part of the Derivative Works; within the Source form or documentation, if provided along with the Derivative Works; or, within a display generated by the Derivative Works, if and wherever such third-party notices normally appear. The contents of the NOTICE file are for informational purposes only and do not modify the License. You may add Your own attribution notices within Derivative Works that You distribute, alongside or as an addendum to the NOTICE text from the Work, provided that such additional attribution notices cannot be construed as modifying the License.

I would therefore appreciate if someone can explain - in Engish - what the heck this paragraph means, and what I have to do!


1 Answer 1


That paragraph of the Apache licence states that the attribution information in the NOTICE file must be made available also to the recipients of your cloned project.

The license allows three ways of making the information available

  1. a NOTICE text file that you distribute along with your project
  2. contained in some other way in the source code or documentation
  3. shown in the UI of the application

You can choose yourself which (one or more) of those mechanisms you want to use.

Furthermore, the paragraph states that you can add attributions and that you can remove attributions that refer to parts of the original project that are no longer present.

  • If the original project contains a NOTICE file, why not just keep it as it is? Just keep the NOTICE fie. Why a "NOTICE test" file?
    – Alex
    Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 12:59
  • 1
    @Alex, keeping the NOTICE file is one of the options. The word test was a typo. Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 13:30

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