For an open source project is it OK to modify the original LICENSE.txt file from https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.txt and also the source file headers to use https instead of http for the links to the license?

I do not want my users to accidentally follow non-https links.


Sure, this is not a material change IMHO. You could also contact the Apache Foundation on the legal-discuss list to discuss this change.

But for practical purposes, changing an original license text even if just for a single character is not a great idea. You could instead create your NOTICE with the proper HTTPS url.

As a side and funny note, the bare link to https://apache.org/ is reported as not having a proper SSL certificate in FF. ;)

  • that's funny indeed :D. Good that https://www.apache.org/ has proper certificate.
    – tsachev
    Jul 25 '16 at 14:04
  • The reason for the HTTPS issue is just that wildcard certs (*.apache.org) are not valid for the domain without wildcards (apache.org). That's why the cert is not accepted. Someone should probably report this to the Apache guys.
    – rugk
    Aug 8 '16 at 17:16
  • with let'sencrypt, acme and certbot not having a valid SSL cert is so 1999! Aug 9 '16 at 18:37
  • FWIW, I contacted the Apache infrastructure team and they are aware of this. Aug 14 '16 at 1:02

As long as you get the same result for either URL right now it shouldn't be a violation of their license (as determined by following that URL at this time). However, as far as I know the question of having substantive parts of the license contained in a document referenced in this way has never been tested in court, and there are a substantial number who question the applicability. This is because you are allowing a third party, that is not a party to the license, to change the license terms at any time, without notice. Usually doing that is not allowed.

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