Let's say if there's a software A licensed under Apache License 2.0. I have a software named B and I want to make A a part of my software and I made some minor modifications to the source code of A. But I want to distribute my software B in a closed-source way. Apache License 2.0 says that I have to 'cause any modified files to carry prominent notices stating that You(I) changed the files'. But as I distribute in a closed-source way, nobody will know I stated I changed the files in those files. Does that mean I have to distribute at least those modified files in open source?

1 Answer 1


That clause of the Apache license does not require you to openly publish the modified sources, so you can prove to the public that you are following the license terms.

The worst case that I can see happening is that there are other indications that you are violating the license, a copyright holder takes you to court and demands that you prove in court how you are complying with that clause.

On the other hand, I would recommend that you add the notice to the modified files anyway, just in case someone later on decides to publish the sources of that modified version of A anyway.

Additionally, I would recommend that where you mention that you are using A, that you include a mention that it is a modified version of A.

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