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I spent an hour looking for an answer to this question, although I would think a quite common situation, I did not get a totally clear answer to my specific case:

So I am selling a (P)roduct which is distributed as binary. As a library to enable certain features I would like to make use of an (A)pache License Version 2.0-licensed code written by a 3rd party within that binary.

Am I allowed to do that if I specifically state that I am using (A), include all copyright notices and include the Apache License 2.0 with reference to (A)?

What if I made modifications in (A), does this change anything, am I still allowed to publish as a binary, and if so, am I obligated to state which modifications I made in (A)?

  • 1
    Your use of (A) is confusing. Do you mean the Apache License or the library which uses the license? – Brandin Nov 11 '17 at 10:43
  • Thank you for your comment. I will clearify: It is an arbitrary library which happens to be licensed under Apache License 2.0. – metafa Nov 13 '17 at 10:18
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AFAIK if you are simply linking to an Apache Licence 2.0 library your only obligations are to include attribution, copyright notices and disclaimer and you may modify the original code as long as you state that you have done so not necessarily including details of what your modifications are. You don't even have to release your modifications in source form but if your changes are fixing bugs or adding widely missed features it is considered good manners to at least offer them back to the original project.

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  • Thanks a lot! This clears up my question, and I can proceed! The modifications are not really general bug fixes but changes for the library to be able to be used in conjunction with other libraries used in (P). – metafa Nov 13 '17 at 10:20
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See Apache License, Version 2.0, paragraph 4, especially 4a and 4d. In addition to all other requirements of that license, You have to give recipiets of your product (P) a copy of the Apache 2.0 License text (in a human readable form). You also have to add the attribution notices from the original NOTICE file to at least one of the following locations

  • within a NOTICE text(!) file distributed as part of the Derivative Works

  • within the Source form, if provided along with the Derivative Works

  • within the documentation, if provided along with the Derivative Works

  • within a display generated by the Derivative Works (e.g. in an About dialog from the About menu or Help menu)

Applying my ethics I would choose at least two of those places. Giving attribution ensures that people make more good stuff.

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