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[java-nlp-user] Stanford Tagger Licence

Christopher Manning manning at
Thu May 19 19:03:39 PDT 2011

Hi Jan-Christian,

Yes, the "GPL v2 or later" means that you are allowed to use and build projects building on the tagger under GPL v3.

But I think you've got things the wrong way round here.  The compatibility between Apache v2 and GPL v3 means that you are allowed to produce a derived work including Apache v2 and/or GPL (v2 or later) or v3 code and license it under GPL v3.

But this does not mean that you can release such a project under Apache v2.  (If this were possible, this would completely defeat the copyleft provisions of the GPL....)

There are subtleties here.  If you have an Apache licensed framework, and one option of it is to load GPL components, then you are probably okay (ultimately, it's a legal question...).  For instance, the ClearTK people have such a setup:

which seems okay to me.  But if you've got one program which incorporates GPL code, then the only valid way to license it is under the GPL.

You might check here or on Wikipedia pages, etc.:


On May 17, 2011, at 11:34 AM, Jan-Christian Krause wrote:

> Dear all,
> I would like to use the Stanford Tagger in own an Open Source project licenced under the Apache Licence 2.0. The tagger is licensed under the GNU General Public License (v2 or later). My question is: does "later" mean that you licence it under GPL 3? The Free Software Foundation declares this licence compatible to the Apache License 2, but not GPL 2 [1]. This info would be very important for me.
> Greetings
> Jan Christian
> [1]
> _______________________________________________
> java-nlp-user mailing list
> java-nlp-user at

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