Notes on licenses

Comments on what licenses mean—appropriate caveats about how these are my notes for me, not for anyone else, and I'm to be held blameless for any misinterpretation or bad spin I've put on this stuff.

Apache license

An instance can be found here.

What it means:

  1. You can modify the code and you don't have to tell anyone that you did it nor do you have to give those changes to any authority, Apache or otherwise.
  2. If you publish anything using the code, you must offer a copy of (this) license.
  3. You must say in the code that you have changed something.
  4. You can add your own notice alongside the Apache one, but you must be careful not to claim that Apache is somehow an author of your product (derivative work).
  5. Neither Apache nor anyone else, but yourself can be held responsible for the original and derivative code or its impacts of use.
  6. How to apply this practically. You attach a boilerplate notice thus:
Copyright [yyyy] [name of copyright holder]

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

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
express or implied. See the License for the specific language
governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Free BSD license

You can pretty well do just about anything you want except resell the code itself. You can sell a derivative product based on it. More to come someday...

GNU license

You can't bloody do anything with GNU-license code except use it, display its copyright and caveats, and make any derivative products based thereupon completely open source. You also have to give back any changes you made. Basically, if it's GNU, don't use it, go find help elsewhere or get a job in a university where you're paid because the school doesn't care to sell products. More to come someday...

XXXXX license