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Use of the Lightbend Platform and/or ConductR in development requires acceptance of the terms outlined in the Lightbend Subscription Agreement.

Production deployment of the Lightbend Platform requires the purchase of a Lightbend Subscription and acceptance of the terms outlined in the Lightbend Subscription Agreement.

Simple Build Tool (sbt) is available under the BSD License.

Akka, Lagom and Play Framework available under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Lightbend Consulting and Services Engagements are covered by the Lightbend Consulting and Services Agreement.

Scala and the Scala IDE for Eclipse are available under the Scala License.

Frequent Questions about Software Licensing for Lightbend, Inc. (“Lightbend”)

Where can I find the license for Akka, Play Framework and Activator and other Lightbend computer software distributed under an open source license?

The license for Lightbend Project is the Apache License Version 2.0 (“Apache Software License”):

I'm not a lawyer. What does it all MEAN?

Describing legal documents in non-legalese is fraught with potential for misinterpretation. Notwithstanding the text that follows, the actual text of the license itself is legally binding and authoritative.

That said, here's what the Apache Software License says in layman's terms:

It allows you to:

  • Freely download and use Lightbend Project, in whole or in part, for personal, company internal, or commercial purposes;
  • Use Lightbend Project in packages or distributions that you create.

It forbids you to:

  • Redistribute any piece of software licensed under the Apache Software License without proper attribution;
  • Use any marks owned by Lightbend in any way that is not consistent with the Trademark Policy.

It requires you to:

  • Include a copy of the Apache Software License in any redistribution you may make that includes Lightbend Project;
  • Provide clear attribution to Lightbend for any distributions that include Lightbend Project.

It does not require you to:

  • Include the source of Lightbend Project itself, or of any modifications you may have made to it, in any redistribution you may assemble that includes it;
  • Submit changes that you make to Lightbend Project back to Lightbend (though such feedback is encouraged).

Is 'Lightbend' a trademark?

‘Lightbend’ is a trademark of Lightbend, and is usable by others only with express permission from Lightbend. Please see our Trademark Policy for more details.

Is software from Lightbend free of charge?

Yes. Akka, Play Framework and Activator software and certain other software developed by Lightbend is freely available without charge from Lightbend's websites.

Is there a fee for using Lightbend Project in a commercial Project?

No. We do not distinguish between personal, internal, or commercial use of Akka, Play Framework and Activator and certain other Lightbend software. Packaging and redistribution of any of it is subject to the terms of our license, however.

May I license my own software under the same license as Lightbend?

Certainly. The Apache Software License was designed to be reusable and often has been reused by parties other than The Apache Software Foundation.

May I re-use (and modify) Lightbend Contributor License Agreements (CLAs) for my own purposes?

Yes, you are allowed to use and modify them. However, you should consider using the Apache Software Foundation versions of the Contributor License Agreements which were designed to be reusable and are the basis for Lightbend Contributor License Agreements. The Apache Software License Contributor License Agreements often have been reused by parties other than The Apache Software Foundation.

We recommend that you obtain your own legal advice so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

Also, if you adopt these agreements for your purposes, you have to make sure that the phrase 'Lightbend' or any confusingly similar references or parts that specifically refer to the Lightbend organization do not appear in your version of the agreements (except to note that your version is derived and differs from the original provided by Lightbend).

I've made improvements to Lightbend Project; may I distribute the modified result?

Absolutely -- subject to the terms of the Apache Software License, of course. You can give your modified code away for free, or sell it, or keep it to yourself, or whatever you like. Just remember that the original code is still covered by the Apache Software License and you must comply with its terms. Even if you change every single line of Lightbend Project you're using, the result is still based on Lightbend's licensed code. You may distribute the result under a different license, but you need to acknowledge the use of Lightbend's software. To do otherwise would be stealing.

If you think your changes would be found useful by others, though, we do encourage you to submit them to Lightbend for possible inclusion.

May I call my modified code 'Lightbend'?

You must comply with Lightbend Trademark Policy.

I have made changes to a Lightbend Project and I want to distribute them. Do I need to contribute them to Lightbend?

No. You can keep your changes a secret if you like. Maybe your modifications are embarrassing, maybe you'll get rich selling those improvements. Whatever. But please seriously consider giving your changes back! We all benefit when you do.

May I translate the Apache Software License into my local language for my redistribution of Lightbend Project?

Yes, you may translate the license text into your local language. However, any such translated text is only for the convenience of understanding, and is not legally binding. Only the English-language version of the license, which you must continue to include in your packaging, is authoritative and applicable in case legal interpretation is required.

Is the Apache Software License compatible with the GPL (GNU Public License)?

This information from the Free Software Foundation website applies:

Apache License, Version 2.0

This is a free software license, compatible with version 3 of the GPL. Please note that this license is not compatible with GPL version 2, because it has some requirements that are not in the older version. These include certain patent termination and indemnification provisions.

What is the scope of patent grants made to Lightbend?

This is actually a four-part question:


If I own a patent and contribute to a Work as defined in the relevant Lightbend Contributor License Agreement, and, at the time my contribution is included in that Work, none of my patent's claims are subject to Grant of Patent License, is there a way any of those claims would later become subject to the Grant of Patent License solely due to subsequent contributions by other parties who are not licensees of that patent.




If at any time after my contribution, I am able to license other patent claims that would have been subject to Grant of Patent License if they were licensable by me at the time of my contribution, do those other claims become subject to the Grant of Patent License?




If I own or control a licensable patent and contribute code to Lightbend Project, which of my patent claims are subject to Grant of Patent License?


The only patent claims that are licensed to Lightbend are those you own or have the right to license that read on your contribution or on the combination of your contribution with Lightbend Project as it existed at the time of your contribution. No additional patent claims become licensed as a result of subsequent combinations of your contribution with any other software. Note, however, that licensable patent claims include those that you acquire in the future, as long as they read on your original contribution as made at the original time. Once a patent claim is subject to Grant of Patent License, it is licensed under the terms of that grant to Lightbend and to recipients of any Lightbend Project.


What is a Lightbend Project?


The Lightbend Project is Akka, Play Framework and Activator and other Lightbend software licensed under the Apache Software License Version 2 and documentation or other Project owned or managed by Lightbend

Another Place to Look

If you have questions about Lightbend, its projects, or its software, we recommend contacting us at

If you have a question specifically about these licenses or distribution of Lightbend software, and it has not been answered by this page, you may send a message to requesting clarification.