Open licenses

Open licensing is a method to make research data and outcomes openly and freely available. Licenses inform potential (re)users of resources about the legal conditions under which (re)use is possible.

Ready-made licenses

The most widely used ready-made licenses for research results and all types of intellectual creations are Creative Commons (CC) licenses, which can be applied to print publications as well as to digital content. In their current version (4.0) CC licenses are also applicable to databases. This was not true for older versions, which is why older databases are often available under Open Data Commons (ODC) licenses. For more information on changes that CC version 4.0 brought and their consequences (not only for language resource research), please consult the CLARIN white paper "Creative Commons and Language Resources: General Issues and What’s New in CC 4.0"

CC licenses are available in several modules. An explanation of their individual specifics with a focus on the aspects that researchers need to consider is offered by the guidelines "FAQs zu Creative-Commons-Lizenzen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Wissenschaft" provided by the University of Vienna (in German). The brochure "Free knowledge thanks to creative commons licenses" discusses the problems that can arise when the CC "non-commercial" module is applied. The report "CC0 1.0 Universal - Beurteilung der Verzichtserklärung und der Lizenzerteilung im Rahmen der Fallback-Klausel nach österreichischem Recht" examines the compatibility of the CC0 license with Austrian IPR law (in German).

Finding the right license

Especially in digital space, research in many different disciplines is increasingly producing not only texts and data(bases), but also code to process, analyze, and visualize the created data. In the spirit of Open Science, this code should also be made available as freely and as reusable as possible (Open Source). As code licenses and their compatibility (e.g. in compiled code) are a complex matter, we recommend use of the Public License Selector for determining the appropriate code license. This tool can also be used for data licensing.