Any grant of access to LRs should ideally include not only the right to read the relevant content but also to allow transformative uses, dissemination and distribution of such resources and their derivatives, according to the needs and policies of LR owners and users. To limit the complexity of licensing, a range of recommended license setups are provided by META-SHARE in the form of templates for the members to choose from.

The META-SHARE model licensing scheme, with a firm orientation towards the creation of an openness culture and the relevant ecosystem for LRs, is organised on the following axes:

Creative Commons licences (starting with Creative Commons Zero (CC-0) and all possible combinations along the CC differentiation of rights of use) are the first level of legal machinery applied to data LRs (e.g. corpora, lexica etc.), . The second legal layer is a set of licenses that allow use and exploitation of the Resources while permitting the LR Owner to have full control over the Resource distribution. These “No Redistribution” licences will effectively help get “closed” resources safely out to the community.

Software tools and network services are ideally provided through one of the standard open source licenses or, if necessary, under a custom commercial license. Open source licenses proposed by META-SHARE include BSD, GPL, LGPL, Apache and AGPL. 

Other open licences are not excluded, but LR owners are being advised to always keep in mind certain selection criteria that will allow their LRs to be legally easy and straightforward to share. 

A set of legal document templates (non licences) is offered that is designed to help all stakeholders (resource owners, distributors and end-users) work in a friendly and transparent environment. These include a Depositor's Agreement (DA), a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Network members and the Service Level Agreement (SLA) attached in it. 

The following issues should be taken into account while using the licences

  • These ready-to-use licensing schemes are as quick and easy to apply as possible, in particular for new resources. Do not hesitate to refer to the META-SHARE IPR Helpdesk facility ( for any assistance you may have in understanding, choosing and using any of these licence and other legal tools.

  • The rights of use of the resource, any possible restrictions, as well as rights and restrictions on the original raw data are under the control and responsibility of the resource owners. The repository in which the resource resides acts mainly as a facilitator for the search-and-get procedure while providing guidelines and metadata curation activities.

  • Metadata elements regarding rights of use, availability and distribution are among the mandatory elements of the minimal metadata schema and are harvested by the central META-SHARE servers so that users (essentially language resource consumers) can promptly understand what they are allowed to do with a specific resource. Please always refer to these metadata before using any of the resources on META-SHARE.

  • According to the META-SHARE MoU, resources should ideally be open or shared at least for research purposes. The copyright conditions of the initial raw resource should be known, and in any case the Depositor should have all rights that allow for distribution through a network like META-SHARE. Likewise, processed and derivative resources (annotated web or other text, lexica extracted from parallel text, etc.) should ideally be open at least for academic/research purposes.

Based on these assumptions and guidelines, the following sets of licensing templates are proposed:

Creative Commons Set: the standard and well documented legal tool for sharing knowledge and creativity (links below point to the Creative Commons website).

One page overview of the Creative Commons licences and their attributes

META-SHARE No Redistribution Set: covers all expected combinations of licencing attributes excluding the distribution of the original resource(s). Before using any of the META-SHARE No Redistribution licences, please contact the Helpdesk for assistance. We will provide you with guidance as to which licence may be the most appropriate for you and how you could implement it. 

One page overview of the MS-NoRed licences and their attributes

Other legal documents

META-SHARE Depositor's Agreementthe legal document that precedes the deposition of LRs in META-SHARE

META-SHARE Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), including a Service Level Agreement (SLA)


Older licences

The following two lists of licences are older versions of licences proposed by META-SHARE, which will not be used any more. 

  • The licences of the first list (META-SHARE No Redistribution v1.0) have been replaced by a new version (v2.0), as presented above.
  • The licences of the second list (META-SHARE Commons) will be discontinued; there will be no new version.  

META-SHARE No Redistribution v1.0

META-SHARE Commons Set

One page overview of the MS-Commons licences and their attributes