I want to use third-party code as my front-end framework, for example Bootstrap. In the code for Bootstrap and jQuery, there's a license. For example in boostrap.css:

 * Bootstrap v3.0.3
 * Copyright 2013 Twitter, Inc
 * Licensed under the Apache License v2.0
 * http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
 * Designed and built with all the love in the world @twitter by @mdo and @fat.

/*! normalize.css v2.1.3 | MIT License | git.io/normalize */

Can we remove this text? In order to reduce HTTP requests, we want to make one CSS file so that Bootstrap will be combined with a customize CSS style.

My question is: can we remove this text, and if we do, would we be violating any laws? What should we do and don't do?

  • You can make the licenses on one line eg: /* Bootstrap v3.0.3 Copyright 2013 Twitter, Inc Licensed under the Apache License v2.0 http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 Designed and built with all the love in the world @twitter by @mdo and @fat. */ So minify the CSS and JS but keep the licenses intact, they add less than 0.01kb to the page when compressed. Jan 22, 2014 at 17:24
  • @bybe: thanks for your contribution, I think and agree with dan (in below answer and discussion). We must keep the license for reason : "appreciate who make it code for a long time"
    – john
    Jan 23, 2014 at 7:28
  • Okay! If I have 1000 html files and I am concerned about size of files and page load. Why should I add those extra comment lines on all pages just for licenses and copyright. My advice is to do a credit page on your website and reference all licences and credits to whom the honour and fairness is due.
    – Chimdi2000
    Jan 27, 2014 at 19:22
  • @Chimdi2000 Copyrights and attributions need to be retained in the specific source files in which they're found so that others who might use (or cache) them will be able to see the notices, as required by the licenses. See section 4.c. here.
    – dan
    Jan 27, 2014 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


You've really got two licenses there: The Apache License 2.0 and the MIT License.

Both have restrictions that require copyright and other notices to remain intact. As indicated here for the Apache License under Licensing conditions:

in every licensed file, any original copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices in redistributed code must be preserved (excluding notices that do not pertain to any part of the derivative works); and, in every licensed file changed, a notification must be added stating that changes have been made to that file.

And here for the MIT License under License terms:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

This is the reason why you're seeing these notices above. So legally, these notices shouldn't be removed from the works/files in which they're found.

As a benefiter of other people's work, it's also ethical to give them fair credit and honor their licensing terms.

  • 1
    Your answer is correct for distributing software that includes bootstrap/jquery, but for use in a website it's perfectly fine to strip out all comments. Jan 22, 2014 at 19:54
  • 3
    @DisgruntledGoat Fine to strip out copyright notices required by these licenses? According to?
    – dan
    Jan 22, 2014 at 19:59
  • 3
    If your website uses these files, you are distributing them. You need to comply with the licenses to be able to use them legally. Jan 22, 2014 at 21:54
  • @dan: perfectly and get more information here. I have two question, 1) if we recode of one line code that have license (ex: line 288 ; before=> color:#000 after=> color:#FFF). Its ok or not? and any should we do again? 2) If we rename file css become ex: from bootstrap.css become stylesheet.css, its ok or not (in this case, we have put lisensi on this file)?? Thanks
    – john
    Jan 23, 2014 at 4:28
  • @john Yes, both licenses allow for full modification of the source/works, providing you retain any notices contained in them and note that you modified them, often just done by adding your own copyright to them. See section 4 of the Apache License and MIT License.
    – dan
    Jan 23, 2014 at 5:17

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