Apache provides NOTICE boilerplate for a new software projects which are going to be released under this license. I'm going to release my project under that license, so it actually doesn't contain any code from ASF, but boilerplate states that

This product includes software developed at
The Apache Software Foundation (http://www.apache.org/).

Can I drop this part?

Can I drop NOTICE at all?

  • The NOTICE file is optional for your own project. But if you fork someone else's Apache-licensed project that already has a NOTICE file, you have to retain it. See here for details, which already answer your question: Apache 2.0 license - NOTICE, CHANGELOG
    – Brandin
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 6:33

2 Answers 2


The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) draws a distinction between Apache-licensed software that is produced by the ASF, and your own software that is distributed under the Apache 2 license. The rules applied to the NOTICE change whether your software falls in one category or the other.


How should I apply the Apache License to my own software?

You should include a copy of the Apache License, typically in a file called LICENSE, in your work, and consider also including a NOTICE file.

It is also valuable to tag each of your source code files in case they become detached from the LICENSE file. To apply the Apache License to your source code files, one approach is to attach the following boilerplate notice to as a comment at the top of the files. You should replace the Copyright templates with your own identifying information: ...

If your project is not an Apache Software Foundation project, but just happens to be Apache 2 licensed, you're not required to even keep a NOTICE file.

The NOTICE file is where you would mention if parts of the code have a different copyright, or are under different a different license. The LICENSE file should remain unmodified, taken straight from the official license.

According to this page from OSEHRA, https://www.osehra.org/wiki/how-apply-apache-20-license-your-software-project , the NOTICE should be used to identify the following information:

  • The copyright holders (and potentially patent holders)
  • The portions of the source code for which they hold the copyright (and that potentially can be covered by their patents)
  • The License adopted for that portion of the code

Whether or not you consider OSEHRA to be an authoritative source for that kind of information, you should keep the NOTICE short, because it will need to be redistributed by "downstream" users of your software (that's rule 4d of the license). i.e. don't add anything to the NOTICE that isn't legally relevant.

Regarding your specific example

Your question asks about the validity of the following the specific notice text:

This product includes software developed at
The Apache Software Foundation (http://www.apache.org/).

If your code wasn't developed at the Apache Software Foundation, then I wouldn't write that in the notice. It would be false information. Perhaps this was obtained from an example NOTICE only applicable to new software projects specifically from the ASF?


In general license information needs to be placed in LICENSE not NOTICE. Also there is no need to list copyright information in NOTICE. There only a few instances where copyright info needs to be listed, for instance where software was donated to the ASF and the original copyright notice removed from the original code headers or the original code headers and copyright notice was relocated with permission. Some licenses require information to be placed in NOTICE but they are in general incompatible with the Apache license. If your project is not an ASF project, in general there is no need for it to have a NOTICE file.

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