Automated license checker for validating project dependencies for compatable Apache2 licenses.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import bbcApache2LicenseChecker from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@bbc/apache2-license-checker';


Apache2 License Checker

Automated license checker for validating project dependencies for compatible Apache2 licenses.

Use with your project

  • Run npm install @bbc/apache2-license-checker --save-dev
  • Modify your package.json to include apache2-license-checker as part of your test script

For example:

  "scripts": {
    "test": "mocha && npm run check-licenses",
    "check-licenses": "apache2-license-checker"

The license checker will fail with an exit code of 1 if there are any problems with the license, and will pass with an exit code of 0 if all checks are ok.

A temporary file licenses.json will be created containing a full license analysis based on output from the license-checker tool. You will probably want to .gitignore this file.

Creating Exceptions

If the license checker throws errors, and you've verified the errors as acceptable risks, then you may want to create an exceptions file in your local project. For example:


  "exceptions": {
    "cosmos-deploy@*": {
      "reason": "Not required, acceptable use for BBC internal deployments"
    "cycle@1.0.3": {
      "reason": "Public Domain; see: https://github.com/dscape/cycle/"
    "map-stream@0.1.0": {
      "reason": "MIT License; see: https://github.com/dominictarr/map-stream"
    "ua-parser-js@0.7.17": {
      "reason": "Public Domain; see https://github.com/faisalman/ua-parser-js"


To support

  • Check out the code
  • Run npm install
  • Run npm test

Modify scripts/whitelist.js to allow additional licenses or license combinations.

Modify scripts/exceptions.js to allow specific modules for a given reason.

Please push to a branch and raise a pull request, or fork and do the same.

Example output

In normal usage running npm run check-licenses produces an output similar to:

Acceptable project licenses (uses):
  (MIT AND CC-BY-3.0) (1)
  Apache-2.0 (3)
  BSD-2-Clause (1)
  BSD-3-Clause (1)
  ISC (15)
  MIT (23)
  Unlicense (1)
  WTFPL (1)

Acceptable project license exceptions:
    Reason: Not required, acceptable use for BBC internal deployments
    Reason: Public Domain; see: https://github.com/dscape/cycle/
    Reason: MIT License; see: https://github.com/dominictarr/map-stream

All licenses ok Licensed (46) Exceptions (0) Problems (0)

If there is a problem with the licenses, then expect an output similar to:

Acceptable project licenses (uses):
  Apache-2.0 (3)
  BSD-2-Clause (1)
  BSD-3-Clause (1)
  CC-BY-3.0 (1)
  CC0-1.0 (1)
  ISC (16)
  MIT (25)

Acceptable project license exceptions:
    Reason: Public Domain; see https://github.com/kemitchell/spdx-exceptions.json

Problems with the licenses for these dependencies:
    License:     CC0-1.0
    Repository:  https://github.com/shinnn/spdx-license-ids
    Publisher:   Shinnosuke Watanabe
    Url:         https://github.com/shinnn

Licenses not ok Licensed (46) Exceptions (1) Problems (1)