This question was originally asked on StackOverflow but since licensing questions are off topic I move it here. So here comes the original question about this open source library:


I want to use the Java PDF Library iText in a commercial Project (for generating simple PDF reports), wich is distributed as CDs. I dont plan to change the original source-code from iText - just using it. So as far as I know it uses the AGPL after Version 2.1.7 , but before it uses MPL/LGPL.

My questions are:

  1. Can I use it in my commercial Project?
  2. Can I choose which licence to use (MPL/LGPL)?
  3. Is it enough to ship the licence texts or do I need to ship the Source code (from iText) too?
  4. Is it okay if I wrap everything in one Exe-File or do I need to have the iText jar in a seperate Folder?
  5. Do I need to mention the use of iText inside my Program (like a Info message or something) ?

And the answer was:

First, please note, I am not a lawyer!

For iText LGPL/MPL version 2.1.7:

  • Q: Can I use it in my commercial Project? A: Yes if you comply with LGPL.

  • Q: Can I choose which licence to use (MPL/LGPL)? A: There is no "choosing" the license is LGPL/MPL. You can however choose to comply to the LGPL license OR to comply to MPL license (which better suits your needs).

  • Q: Is it enough to ship the licence texts or do I need to ship the Source code (from iText) too? A: E.g. a download link should suffice

  • Q: Do I need to mention the use of iText inside my Program (like a Info message or something)? A: Yes

For iText AGPL version > 5.X

  • Q: Can I use it in my commercial Project? A: Yes if you open source your whole project (thus also AGPL it) otherwise no.
  • Q: Can I choose which licence to use (MPL/LGPL)? A: There is no "chosing" the license is what it is: AGPL

  • Q: Is it enough to ship the licence texts or do I need to ship the Source code (from iText) too? A: You have to supply the whole sourcode of everything - but a download link should suffice.

  • Q: Do I need to mention the use of iText inside my Program (like a Info message or something)? A: Yes

Whether you should still use an old version of iText (pre 5.X) is a totally different question.

  • 1
    It seems you copied this answer from somewhere. Could you provide proper attribution, e.g. a link to the original answerer? – amon Aug 13 at 14:59
  • Update: I found the original link. Only visisble to users with enough reputation though... – Lonzak Aug 14 at 13:00
  • 1
    For transparency sake: The original question on SO, which is now linked in this question, was also self-answered by @Lonzak. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Aug 14 at 15:10
  • Thanks for the flowers ;-) but just for clarification: Answered but not self-answered. I posted it here since I wanted to link the answer for several other questions... – Lonzak Aug 14 at 15:28

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