OpenORE will not host data (see our About page). Further, any  projects, data, code, and intellectual property that you link through OpenORE are your own, which means that you take responsibility for them. You need to be sure that it is a good idea to share it, and that have right to share it (i.e. you own it or have permission). In the site’s terms and conditions, you will indemnify OpenORE for all legal responsibility for your content. You should always seek the advice of a lawyer or other qualified professional when making these decisions. 

That said, sharing data or code can be a daunting process (just remember why you do it: impact, recognition, quality), and so we want to help make it easier. Again, we are not lawyers and nothing said here or anywhere on this site should be construed as legal advice.

Do I own it?

  • If you didn’t create it, then you don’t own it.
  • If you created it with others (including your supervisor), then you don’t own all of it, and you need to get their approval.
  • If it modifies previous work, you need to check the licensing of that work to see if you can share it.
  • If you are an employee of a company or university, you probably do not own it. You can still share, but you will need to get permission.
  • If you are a student, you probably do own it, but not always. You need to consider who funds your studentship as they may also lay some claim.

How should I proceed?

First, ask your supervisor or professor about sharing the code or data. He or she will probably direct you to your organization’s commercialization office. Even though this isn’t commercialization, they will have the relevant knowledge of IP ownership.

What about Licensing?

It is really important that you give your code or data a proper license or copyright. If you do not provide a license, normally default copyrights will apply, which may not give your content the legal flexibility you intended.

For code or software, check out choosealicense.com

For data sets or other static items, consider a creative commons license.

Navigating the legal stuff is not all that bad, just talk to your supervisor first.

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