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  • Basic OS Spring licensing


    I'm planning to use Spring as part of a tool I'm building. I plan to distribute it to customers. I thought it would be simple to find the license information I need to know if I can safely and legally distribute the tool. I am only looking at basic Spring itself - not Enterprise, etc.

    Could someone please direct me to the core open source license for those who wish to use Spring as part of an application, but who do not plan to subscribe to the paid license/support option. I did search on license, and have browsed around the site, but I just haven't found it. Thanks!


  • #2
    Re: Basic OS Spring license

    The Spring libraries are licensed under the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0.

    This information is included on the core Spring project page, in the license.txt file in the Spring download and can also be found using the site search function at the top right of the web page.

    Adam FitzGerald


    • #3
      Doubtful license information in source code


      I am planning to use the Spring framework V 2.5 in one of our customer projects. Before I am allowed to use open souce software in our projects our legal department demands to have this software "cleared". i.e inspected for possible licensing problems. Although the Spring Project Homepage claims that Spring is released under Apache 2.0 license, our clearing team found many places in the source code where Sun Microsystems claims to be the owner of this code and the use of it is prohibited.

      Here are some of these locations:
      \spring\spring-framework-2.5\lib\j2ee\servletapi.jar\javax\servlet\resource s\webapp_2_4.xsd
      \spring\spring-framework-2.5\lib\j2ee\servletapi.jar\javax\servlet\resource s\j2ee_web_services_1_1.xsd
      \spring\spring-framework-2.5\lib\j2ee\servletapi.jar\javax\servlet\resource s\j2ee_web_services_client_1_1.xsd

      As far as I know spring is used by Java devellopers all over the world. Could you please explain, why the license statements are in the code? Our legal department forbids the use of Spring until this is not clarified.


      • #4

        Thanks for your inquiry. First, you should be clear about what is and what is not the Spring Framework. All three of the files that you reference in your message are files created by Sun Microsystems and distributed by them (now Oracle). They are not files create by SpringSource and are not part of the Spring Framework. They are distributed as part of a convenience build of Spring that contains all dependencies for the Spring Framework. The Spring Framework itself is a much more narrow set of JARs all of which are covered by the Apache 2.0 license. Your clearing team should only be reviewing this more narrow set. This is clearly expressed in the readme.txt file in the root directory for Spring:

        The "lib" directory is only included in the "-with-dependencies" download. Make sure to download this full
        distribution ZIP file if you want to run the sample applications and/or build the framework yourself. Ant build scripts for the framework and the samples are provided.
        The Spring Framework is released under the terms of the Apache Software License (see license.txt).
        All libraries included in the "-with-dependencies" download are subject to their respective licenses.

        Please consult section 3 of readme.txt for a complete breakdown of what is in the Spring framework, what is a Spring module and what is an external dependency not covered by the Apache 2.0 license.

        I hope this helps.

        Adam FitzGerald