My software is a static analysis tools for old languages. I'm currently writing new tests and I wanted to use some files from open-source projects on GitHub. However, I'm kind of lost with licenses compatiblity in my case.

My software is licensed under Eclipse Public License. I wanted to use files from project using MIT and GPL v3 licenses. My software will not execute the piece of codes from other project but just read it when testing.

I would like to distribute the test on my GitHub project.

Can I use some random files under theses licenses or is it incompatible with mine?


Say for instance you use either the proprietary Microsoft Office or the FOSS LibreOffice.

Can you read any document regardless of the document license (some of which have a CC license, some GPL, some MIT, some confidential/proprietary) and process and print it?

Yes, sure!

And will this impact the licensing of the proprietary Microsoft Office or the FOSS LibreOffice tool you use to read these files?

The answer is no.

Will these files keep their original licenses?


So in you case:

  1. you can use test data files under any license that allows redistribution
  2. this does not impact the licensing of your code
  3. each test data file stays under its original license and you should document their origin and license properly (including adding copyright, license notice and texts as needed) for each file.
  4. For clarity to your users, you can provide a note explaining that these files are test files and use multiple licenses, as documented and are not part of the primary code of your tool.
  • 1
    Thank you, I did put a header with a copy of the licence, a line explaining files origin with GitHub project links, and a text explaining it's partial test files only. – Waldo Aug 4 '17 at 15:45

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