1.7. Intellectual property

Intellectual property includes (1) CamCOPS code itself, (2) the tasks contained in and distributed with CamCOPS, and (3) software libraries that CamCOPS relies on.

1.7.1. CamCOPS itself


British English: licence noun, license verb. American English: license noun and verb.

CamCOPS is free and open-source software, licensed under the GPLv3+. See Licences.

Why the GPL?

  • We want CamCOPS, and any derivative works, to remain free and open-source to all users. That requires a “copyleft” licence.
  • CamCOPS uses Qt under the LGPL; See Licences. The GPL is a copyleft licence compatible with the LGPL. Also, some parts of Qt are only available under the GPL for open-source users.

Note also:

1.7.2. Tasks, scales, and questionnaires distributed with CamCOPS

CamCOPS comes with several tasks, scales, and questionnaires. Their permissions cover a spectrum:

  • Some are in the public domain.
  • Some were created for CamCOPS and have the same copyright/licensing arrangements as CamCOPS itself (see above).
  • Some are subject to copyright, and are included with the prior or explicit permission of the copyright holder.
  • Some tasks may only be used in certain settings (e.g. only in a non-commercial environment). CamCOPS enforces this by requiring you to specify the environment you are working in (see Settings ‣ Intellectual property (IP) permissions).
  • Some may permit reproduction and use by some institutions but not others. For some such tasks, CamCOPS provides a “skeleton” task without any scale text. This is implemented using an XML string file. Without this file, the task is approximately useless, as it will just display “missing” all over the place. However, if an institution is legally permitted to use the scale in this way, it can create an XML file containing the scale test (using CamCOPS’s internal names for the various pieces of text)
  • Some do not permit reproduction at all. However, it’s still useful to be able to capture data electronically! If you have a licensed copy of a paper-based task, then you may still wish to avoid paper capture and transcription to some suboptimal data management system (like Excel). For some tasks, CamCOPS provides a bare-bones skeleton, with prompts like “Question 1” that do not contain any part of the task/scale in question. This makes the CamCOPS task useless for anyone who doesn’t own the task in conventional form, but potentially useful for those that do.
  • For details on each task, see their individual descriptions.

1.7.3. Software libraries

The CamCOPS app and server rely on some third-party software; see Licences.