META-SHARE and Open Access
META-SHARE is an open, integrated, secure and interoperable sharing and exchange facility for LRs (datasets and tools) for the Human Language Technologies domain and other applicative domains where language plays a critical role. As such, it seeks to produce a common open “space” where language resources are to be shared with the lowest possible transaction costs.
It advocates that LRs should be open to use, reuse, sharing, improve and deploy in order to advance research and foster development. Firmly believing that open access speeds research progress, productivity and knowledge transfer, META-SHARE seeks to provide the necessary conditions for discovery and re-use of LRs.
focuses on the existence of standard and reliable metadata and the fostering of
interoperability. This is further facilitated by the adoption of open data and the encouraging
of open source and open formats. In terms of web services these have to
provide a minimum of open search and browsing of metadata.
Licensing LRs through META-SHARE
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. Users are asked to always refer to these metadata before using any of the resources on META-SHARE.
Any grant of access to LRs through META-SHARE should 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.
The META-SHARE model licensing scheme
The following layers are foreseen for the licensing of resources:
- 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.
- The second legal layer is a CC-based 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.
These ready-to-use licensing schemes are as quick and easy to apply as possible, in particular for new resources. A META-SHARE helpdesk facility (email@example.com) has been set up for assistance in understanding, choosing and using any of these licence and other legal tools.
Choosing the appropriate licence for a resource
The following issues should be taken into account while using the licences:
- 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 Memorandum of Understanding (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.
Further information and the complete list of recommended licenses is here.
The Depositor's Agreement is the legal document that precedes the deposition of LRs in META-SHARE. It contains important information regarding the terms and conditions of depositing Language Resources in and making them available through the META-SHARE Network. Any LR provider wishing to contribute his/her resources to META-SHARE needs to sign it. It is downloadable from here: META-SHARE Depositor's Agreement.
Memorandum of Understanding
The META-SHARE Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regulates the obligations and rights of the members of the META-SHARE network for LR sharing and exchange. It follows the principles laid out in the META-SHARE Charter. The META-SHARE MoU stipulates the basic principles, code of conduct and modi operandi of the META-SHARE members.
Notice and Take Down Policy
If a rights holder is concerned that s/he has found Language Resources (LRs) on one of the META-SHARE repositories, for which s/he has not given permission, granted a licence or is not covered by a limitation or exception in national law, such rights holder is asked to contact META-SHARE through the META-SHARE Legal Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org in writing stating the following:
1. His/Her contact details;
2. The full bibliographic details of the LR;
3. The exact and full URL where s/he found the LR;
4. Proof that s/he is the rights holder and a statement that, under penalty of perjury, s/he is the rights holder or an authorised representative.
Upon receipt of notification the ‘Notice and Takedown’ procedure is then invoked as follows:
1. META-SHARE will acknowledge receipt of the complaint by email or letter and will make an initial assessment of the validity and plausibility of the complaint.
2. Upon receipt of a valid complaint, the LR will be temporarily removed from the META-SHARE catalogue pending an agreed solution.
3. META-SHARE will contact the member who deposited the material. The META-SHARE member will be notified that the material is subject to a complaint, under what allegations, and will be encouraged to assuage the complaints concerned.
4. The complainant and the META-SHARE member will be encouraged to resolve the issue swiftly and amicably and to the satisfaction of both parties, with the following possible outcomes:
a. The LR is replaced on the META-SHARE inventory unchanged.
b. The LR is replaced on the META-SHARE inventory with changes.
c. The LR is permanently removed from the META-SHARE inventory.
5. If the META-SHARE member and the complainant are unable to agree to a solution, the LR will remain unavailable through the META-SHARE inventory until a time when a resolution has been reached.
Terms of Service
If you HAVE registered to META-SHARE, you have to comply with the Terms of Service for registered users.
If you HAVE NOT registered to META-SHARE, you have to comply with the Terms of Service for unregistered users.
In common with most websites, the META-SHARE website and services log certain information about every request sent to them. This information is used for system administration and for producing usage statistics. Summary statistics are extracted from this data and some of these may be made publicly available, but these do not include information from which individuals could be identified. Relevant subsets of this data may be used as part of investigations of computer misuse involving this site. Data may also on occasion be used to enable investigation of technical problems on the website. Otherwise logged information is not passed to any third party except if required by law.
From time to time the META-SHARE Service Providers may use electronic forms on this site to gather personal information for purposes directly related to a service, function or activity of the META-SHARE service. When the Service Provider will do so it will let users know the purpose for which the information is being collected (including if the information is to be published). Completion of and submission of any form on this website is entirely at the discretion of the user.
Data Protection Statement
In using and submitting content on the META-SHARE services users agree that the Service Provider may use any personal data that users supply through contributing content or by filling in electronic forms. The META-SHARE Service Providers respect users’ privacy and seek to protect their personal data.