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I know there are a lot of Q/As in legalese or plain English. I am wondering if anyone could provide a real life example of the text that needs to be included with the distribution of software using code with Apache License Version 2.0.

For example, if an app uses Apache Commons Math, a Java library with Apache License Version 2.0, what is the text regarding this license needed to be included in its distribution?

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The boilerplate notice for the Apache License is:

Copyright [yyyy] [name of copyright owner]

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

There is also the complete Apache License v2 available in HTML and TXT formats.


If you are distributing a source code for a project, you should place the complete license in a text file called LICENSE at the root of the project. If you need a NOTICE file (projects run by the Apache Software Foundation require one), it goes at the same level.

If you are distributing a binary for a project and are providing a JAR or a tarball, then the LICENSE (and NOTICE) files must be at the top level. That is, when you uncompress the file, you should see a LICENSE (and NOTICE) file in the target.

If you are distribute a single file (such as a Gist on GitHub), then you are probably OK with putting the boilerplate notice at the top of the file.

If you are using Apache License v2 licensed software in your project, you need to include the LICENSE and NOTICE files for that library. The way I usually do this is that I have a lib directory in the root of my project. I would extract the library distribution into a subdirectory of the lib directory. Assuming that the author packaged their application properly, it will contain the appropriate license files.

  • Thanks a lot for the quick answer, Thomas. It looks like my question is not very clear. Your last paragraph is the answer that I was looking for. I have an Android library using multiple Apache License v2 licensed library jars. I added a sub-directory to directory lib with a text file, but I could not find anything related to the newly added text file in the library's aar file. What should I do in this case? The aar file will be used by multiple Android apps. – Hong Jan 18 '16 at 14:29

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