Apple Public Source License

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Apple Public Source License
Author Apple Inc.
Latest version 2.0
Published August 6, 2003
DFSG compatible No[1]
FSF approved Yes[2]
OSI approved Yes
GPL compatible No[2]
Copyleft Yes
Linking from code with a different license Yes

The Apple Public Source License is the open source and free software license under which Apple's Darwin operating system was released. A free software and open source license was voluntarily adopted to further involve the community from which much of Darwin originated.

The first version of the Apple Public Source License was approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).[3] Version 2.0, released July 29, 2003 conforms to the Free Software Foundation guidelines, and is also approved by the OSI. The Free Software Foundation approved the Apple Public Source License 2.0 as a free software license and say it is acceptable for developers to work on projects that are already covered by this license. They recommend, however, that developers do not release new projects under this license, because the partial copyleft is not compatible with the GNU General Public License and allows linking with files released entirely as proprietary software.[4] The license does, however, require that if any derivatives from the original source are released externally, that the source be made available.

Many software releases from Apple have now been relicensed under the more liberal Apache License, such as the Bonjour Zeroconf stack, but not OpenPlay.


  1. ^ "Apple Public Source License (APSL)". The Big DFSG-compatible Licenses. Debian Project. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Apple Public Source License (APSL), version 2.x". Various Licenses and Comments about Them. Free Software Foundation. Archived from the original on July 16, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  3. ^ Raymond, Eric. "OSI clarifies the status of the APSL". Linux Weekly News. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ FSF website

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