Apache Software License

Definition of Apache Software License

The Apache Software License (ASL) is a permissive free software license created by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). It grants users the rights to use, modify, and distribute the software and its source code, while also protecting the original authors with specified requirements on attribution and licensing. This license encourages collaboration and the advancement of open-source projects by providing flexibility for developers and organizations to contribute and share their work.


The phonetics for the keyword “Apache Software License” would be:ə-ˈpa-chee ˈsɒf.twɛr ˈlaɪ.səns

Key Takeaways

  1. Permissive and business-friendly: The Apache Software License is an open-source license that allows for the free use, modification, and distribution of the software. It is designed to be easily compatible with both commercial and non-commercial projects, encouraging collaboration and innovation.
  2. Apache License 2.0: The current version of the license, Apache License 2.0, grants intellectual property rights, including protections against patent infringement claims. It maintains a balance between individual contributors and project users, fostering a healthy open-source community.
  3. Requirements: Users must include a copy of the license in any redistributed work, maintain copyright, patent, and trademark notices, and respect limitations on using the project’s name and trademark. These requirements ensure proper attribution and recognition for the original authors of the software.

Importance of Apache Software License

The Apache Software License is important because it is a widely used and highly permissive open-source software license that allows developers and organizations to make use of, modify, and distribute software, enabling cooperation and collaboration in the technology community.

Its primary goal is to promote the development, distribution, and use of open-source software while minimizing potential legal risks.

Developed by the Apache Software Foundation, the license ensures that intellectual property (IP) rights are protected, makes the software available to the public at no cost, and encourages innovation.

Moreover, it promotes a diverse and fair ecosystem where various entities can contribute without the fear of being locked into proprietary solutions.

In summary, the Apache Software License plays a vital role in driving the growth of open-source technology, fostering creative development and enhanced accessibility for developers and users alike.


The Apache Software License, also known as the Apache License, serves as a fundamental element within the open-source community as it is designed to spur innovation and collaboration within the software development sphere. Developed by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), its purpose is to provide a legally sound licensing framework that allows users to freely use, modify, and distribute software with minimal restrictions while simultaneously ensuring that the original creators are credited for their work.

The Apache License has evolved over time, with the current version being the Apache License 2.0, which has gained widespread acceptance among developers for its permissive nature, fostering the reuse and sharing of software components across diverse projects. This licensing model nurtures the spirit of open-source development and encourages a global community of developers to contribute their expertise to improve and adapt the software as needed.

It also allows commercial and proprietary adaptations of open-source software without compromising the original project or its core principles. Notable projects licensed under the Apache License include the Apache HTTP server, the Hadoop distributed computing system, and the cloud computing platform Apache CloudStack.

Examples of Apache Software License

The Apache Software License (also known as the Apache License) is a permissive open-source software license that allows users to freely use, modify, and distribute software. Here are three real-world examples of projects that utilize this license:

Apache HTTP Server: The Apache HTTP Server is a widely-used web server software that serves as the foundation for many online websites and platforms. It was one of the first applications released under the Apache License and remains one of the most popular projects within the Apache Software Foundation. Organizations like IBM, NASA, and The New York Times have used Apache HTTP Server in their web infrastructure.

Apache Hadoop: Apache Hadoop is an open-source distributed processing framework that enables large-scale data processing and storage. It is widely used by organizations in big data and cloud computing applications, including companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Amazon Web Services.

Apache Cassandra: Apache Cassandra is a highly scalable, high-performance distributed NoSQL database management system designed for managing large amounts of data across many commodity servers. It provides linear scalability and fault tolerance on commodity hardware or cloud infrastructure. Companies like Apple, Netflix, and eBay use Apache Cassandra as a key component in their data management infrastructure.

FAQ Section – Apache Software License

What is Apache Software License?

The Apache Software License, also known as Apache License, is a free and open-source software license published by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). This license allows the user to use, modify, and distribute software released under this license, with few restrictions in either source or binary forms.

What are the benefits of using Apache Software License?

Some benefits of using Apache Software License include minimal restrictions on code use and distribution, compatibility with other open-source licenses, simplicity of understanding, contribution to projects without sharing copyrights, and limited patent retaliation protection for contributors.

Is Apache software license compatible with the General Public License (GPL)?

Yes, the Apache Software License (Version 2.0) is compatible with GPL Version 3. However, it is not compatible with GPL Version 2 due to differences in terms, particularly concerning patent retaliation clauses. You can use Apache licensed software as a component in a larger project covered by GPL Version 3, but not GPL Version 2.

Can I use Apache licensed software for commercial purposes?

Yes, you can use Apache licensed software for commercial purposes. The license grants you permission to use, modify, and distribute the software without any fees, royalties, or other requirements, as long as you follow the terms of the license.

Do I need to open source my code if I’m using Apache licensed software?

No, you do not need to open source your entire code if you are using Apache licensed software. You can use the Apache licensed software as a part of your proprietary products, but you need to include a copy of the Apache License and any relevant attribution notices in your product documentation.

Related Technology Terms

  • Open Source Software
  • Apache HTTP Server
  • Permissive Licensing
  • Apache Software Foundation
  • Copyright Attribution

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