Suppose I have published a project under the Apache 2.0 (or similarly permissive license). Internally I have another version of the same project, which provides significantly extended functionality and is intended to be sold commercially.

The commercial version obviously is heavily based on the open source code.

What license must I apply to the commercial version? Does it apply to all the code, or only the original open source files?

  • When you sell the closed source version, you would use a proprietary license which is not really in scope of this website.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 18:13
  • Yes, but the underlying code is still half/half. Consider an Android phone which contains both AOSP and Android code.
    – kdopen
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 18:17
  • 2
    @Philipp: Asking about the implications of open source license is in my opinion very well in the scope of the website, but you might want to take this question to Meta.
    – Mnementh
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 0:10

1 Answer 1


First of all: if you or your company are the only contributors to the commercial project and you don't use contributions made by thirds to the OS-part, you can do whatever you like.

If you use contributions made to the OS-version of your software you are bound to the license it is under (or you have an Contributors license agreement, but let's assume you have not). That means in the case of Apache 2.0 not much: you have to credit the original contributors mostly. As long as you keep these conditions inflicted by the OSS-license, you can create a license for the commercial version as you like.


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