Open Source
Public domain

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

For an introduction to OSS licensing, see

The table below summarizes the dominant license of each project's components.


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 ImageJ and SCIFIO tutorials are licensed under CC0 (1, 2), waiving all copyright interest as allowed by law.

Project summary

Basics Required* Permitted*
Logo Project License Type Disclose source License and copyright notice State changes Commercial use Distribution Modification Patent grant Private use Hold liable Sublicensing
ImageJ 1.x
Imagej1-icon.png ImageJ1 Disclaimer Public
No.svg No.svg No.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg - Yes.svg No.svg Yes.svg
ImageJ software stack
Scijava-icon.png SciJava License BSD-2 No.svg Yes.svg No.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg - Yes.svg No.svg -
Imglib2-icon.png ImgLib2 License
Imagej2-icon.png ImageJ2 License
Scifio-icon.png SCIFIO License
Fiji projects
Fiji-icon.png Fiji Licenses GPL Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg No.svg No.svg
BigDataViewer License
TrakEM2 Readme
SciJava consortium
Cellprofiler-icon.png CellProfiler License BSD-3 No.svg Yes.svg No.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg - Yes.svg No.svg -
Bio-formats-icon.png Bio-Formats License
GPL Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg Yes.svg No.svg No.svg
Omero-icon.png OMERO License
Knime-icon.png KNIME License

* See for details.
See note below for details.

A note about ImageJ1

The ImageJ 1.x 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 ImageJ1 project includes substantial effort and code from individuals who are not U.S. government employees, making the legal status of ImageJ1 as a whole decidedly 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 ImageJ 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 ImageJ 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).