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I am totally confused by these tons of copyright licenses that protect the libraries. I noticed that a lot of libraries are using the Apache License 2.0 and obviously I took a look at the license but I could not even understand a single word. (1. I am not a lawyer + 2. English is not my first language) Then I found an FAQ page with the question "I am not a lawyer - What does that all mean?" I went through this section, but I still do not completely understand the things that I have to do. The section was about "Apache softwares", and my interpretation of that word is "software made by the Apache Foundation". So, what do I have to do when it comes to libraries, that are using the license but are NOT made by Apache, for instance the GSON library for Java?

So, the questions are:

  1. The license says that I have to include a copy of the license in the project when I used an Apache-licensed library. If the library already contains the license, do I still have to copy and include it into my project file? If yes, where do I have to paste it?
  2. The license says that I have to write down which libraries are licensed by the license. Is there an official form for doing that or is it enough to just write a short notice?
  3. Do Apache-licensed libraries also count as "Apache softwares"?*
  • Have you had a look at the other questions tagged apache-2.0? If yes, did they help you understand the requirements? What requirements do you already understand and for which ones do you need more explanation? – Zimm i48 Nov 21 '16 at 14:07
  • @Zimmi48 Hello, thanks for the reply. I now read the other question tagged apache-2.0, but what I do not understand about this license are the following points: 1. The license says that I have to include a copy of the license in the project when I used an Apache-licensed library. If the library already contains the license, do I still have to copy and include it into my project file? If yes, where do I have to paste it? 2. The license says that I have to write down which libs are licensed by the license. Is there an official form for doing that or is it enough to just write a short notice? – Kenta1561 Nov 21 '16 at 14:50
  • Thanks for the details. It would be better though if you edited your question to include them there. – Zimm i48 Nov 21 '16 at 14:55
  • Ok, I'll do that. But may I know the answer to that question? – Kenta1561 Nov 27 '16 at 9:01
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    @PhilippeOmbredanne By "Do Apache-licensed libraries also count as "Apache softwares" ?" I want to say the following: On the Apache homepage, there is a page that explains the Apache license roughly. They say that I have to for instance copy the license etc. if I want to use Apache softwares. I want to know if this rule is also valid for Apache-LICENSED libraries such as GSON, because I do not know if Apache softwares are literally Apache-licensed libraries or only softwares MADE BY Apache. – Kenta1561 Dec 17 '16 at 17:48
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The license says that I have to include a copy of the license in the project when I used an Apache-licensed library. If the library already contains the license, do I still have to copy and include it into my project file? If yes, where do I have to paste it?

If a third-party library already contains a copy of the license you do not have to copy yet another of the license text, though it is fine if you do.

The license says that I have to write down which libraries are licensed by the license. Is there an official form for doing that or is it enough to just write a short notice?

Just a simple list in a text file bundled with your software would be enough. If you have a GUI, having some mention in an About page of sorts is not required but a nice thing to do.

If the library has a NOTICE file, then this NOTICE should also be included (especially if it was not included in the library).

Do Apache-licensed libraries also count as "Apache softwares"?

Not all the libraries using the Apache license are from the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). So in the Apache FAQ the ASF references their own software.

When a library is not from Apache (say for instance Google GSON) the same terms apply but the author is Google not Apache and you can likely substitute the "Apache software" references by the "Google GSON software".

  • Thank you for your detailed explanation about Apache License v2.0. I really appreciate that. Now I understood what the license says and what I am obliged to do. Even though it gets a bit away from the actual topic I would also like to know what the GPL license v2 says, and especially, what I have to do if I, for instance, use two libraries, one with the Apache license and the other one with GPL v2. (In my case that would be Apache POI for Excel + MySQL JDBC Connector) Besides that, what does it mean if one license is compatible with another one? (e.g. Apache v2.0 & GPLv3) – Kenta1561 Dec 26 '16 at 16:01
  • @Kenta1561 Do you mind entering a new question for this? – Philippe Ombredanne Dec 26 '16 at 16:03

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