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Policy on the Use of GPL+Classpath Exception by Eclipse Projects

Approved 2015-05-20


The GNU General Public License version 2, plus Classpath Exception (GPL+CE) is a widely used license in the Java ecosystem. This policy outlines how an Eclipse project may request approval to use or distribute a GPL+CE-licensed library, and the steps they will have to make use of it.

This policy relies upon and uses the terms from the Guidelines for the Review of Third Party Dependencies, and the Eclipse Due Diligence Process.


  1. Distribution of any GPL+CE-licensed prerequisites by an Eclipse project will require super-majority approval by the Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors. Use of a GPL+CE-licensed library as a works-with dependency will require approval by the EMO.

  2. Do not create any derivative work from the GPL+CE-licensed code outside of the GPL+CE licensed component. Where possible and reasonable, it is recommended that changes made to the GPL+CE licensed component be offered back upstream to the original source of development. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

  3. Many open source projects do not provide binaries for their GPL+CE-licensed code. If the Eclipse project builds the executable form of the code from source, it must provide all source and build scripts such that a third party may attempt to re-build the distributed binary.

If you have any questions or concerns about this policy, please contact

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