Comparison of open source licenses

Jan Krüger <>,

Version 1.0, 2011-03-11

 Apache 2.0Artistic 2.0BSD(L)GPLMITzlib
Must include sourcenononoyesnono
Viral1semi2seminoyes/semi (LGPL)3nono
Upgrade provisions4nononoyesnono
May charge for copies5yesno6yesyesyesyes
Retain copyright noticessource7yesyesyesyesno
Anti-misrepresent clausenoyesnooptional(v3)noyes
Anti-advertising clausenonoyesoptional(v3)nono
Anti-obfuscation clausenoyesnoyes(v3)nono
Prevent fork misrepresentnoyesnooptional(v3)noyes
Prevent copy protectionnononoyes(v3)nono
Include licenseyesyesyesyesyessource
Restrict distribution of forksnoyes8nononono
Limited disclaimer9yesyesnoyesnono

Artistic license

For distribution of forks, clearly document changes and (a) send upstream, (b) name differently and play nice with original, or (c) license it under a license that fulfills certain criteria. You must not charge licensing fees for packages that include the work. When the original work’s API/interface is not exposed, your derived work is not restricted by any other terms. The same applies if you distribute bugfixes or portability fixes.


Entries specific to version 3 (“v3” suffix) mean that the answer for version 2 is no.

General remarks

Accuracy: I do not guarantee that the information in this table is correct, even though I made every effort to check it. Some details are omitted, so you shouldn’t exclusively rely on this table, anyway.

License: This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

URLs: HTML version at, link to PDF version at

forks must relicense under the same terms
for contributions to upstream
LGPL: not for things that just interface with the work
people may opt to apply a newer version of the license if granted by the author
unless otherwise noted, nominal transfer fees are always allowed
except unmodified; see details section
and always include NOTICE file
except bugfixes, portability etc.; see detailed section
disclaimer allows for local laws that restrict completely disclaiming liability

This document was translated from LATEX by HEVEA.