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This page describes the legal structure of SciJava projects.

  • For information on their technical structure, see Architecture.
  • For information on their social structure, see Governance.

The ImageJ2 project, and related projects in the SciJava component collection, are licensed as open source software (OSS) projects.

For an introduction to OSS licensing, see

Project summary

The following table summarizes the dominant license of each project’s components.

Basics Required* Permitted*
Logo Project License Type

Disclose source

License and
copyright notice

State changes

Commercial use



Patent grant

Private use

Hold liable


ImageJ Disclaimer Public
ImageJ2 software stack
SciJava License BSD-2 - -
ImgLib2 License
ImageJ2 License
SCIFIO License
Fiji projects
Fiji Licenses GPL
TrakEM2 Readme
BigDataViewer License BSD-2 - -
SciJava consortium
CellProfiler License BSD-3 - -
Bio-Formats License
OMERO License
KNIME License

* See for details.
See note below for details.
BigDataViewer libraries are licensed BSD-2; the BigDataViewer plugin for Fiji is GPLv3.


Since each project consists of many components, some may be licensed differently. You can always find the license of each project in a LICENSE.txt or similar file of the relevant repository on GitHub. That said, in general, the table below is accurate with very few exceptions. When there is an exception, it is often licensed more permissively than the rest of the project—for example, the core of Bio-Formats is licensed under BSD-2 (1), and the ImageJ2 and SCIFIO tutorials are licensed under CC0 (1, 2), waiving all copyright interest as allowed by law.

A note about ImageJ

The original ImageJ project is developed at the National Institutes of Health, a United States government organization. Hence, pursuant to U.S. copyright law Title 17, Section 105, no copyright applies. However, that waiver of copyright applies only to U.S. law, and does not apply to other countries. Furthermore, the ImageJ project includes substantial effort and code from individuals who are not U.S. government employees, making the legal status of ImageJ as a whole unclear. For further reading, see the Wikipedia article “Copyright status of work by the U.S. government”.

Developers: How to use this page

If you will be creating and/or consuming open source code, you should familiarize yourself with the options for managing copyright information. There are numerous tools for assisting in license management; in SciJava projects, for example, the license-maven-plugin is used to maintain file-scope copyright notices.

Linking to these libraries

If you are writing code (open source or not) that will use one or more of these libraries, you should first familiarize yourself with the type of license(s) used by your library(ies) of interest to determine the compatibility with the licensing of your own project. Then follow the corresponding License text column entry links to the actual document (if any) that needs to be distributed with your code.

Applying these licenses

If you are writing open source code and aren’t sure how to license it, you can use this page to get a feel for how other software layers are licensed, and thus what might be appropriate for your project. You can follow general tutorials on applying open source licenses, or use the fantastic to guide your choice (which also includes How to apply this license instructions for each license).