Copyright and licensing

[This is information is also avaiable in PDF format.] Created for 1/1/15, last updated 11/8/19, author CST, licence: International (CC BY-ND 4.0) licence.

Licensing (since 1/1/2015)

The Core System Trust (CST) holds the copyright in the CORE instruments. Any modification or translation of them without our explicit permission (contact us) is both extremely disrespectful and illegal. Contact us to discuss translations or any changes you feel are vital.

The instruments have always been free to reproduce on paper provided that they were not changed, the reproduction was not for profit and copyright was acknowledged.

To 31/12/2014 CST had licensed essentially a single provider – Core Information Management Systems Ltd (CIMS) – to reproduce the CORE instruments in software. The rationale for this has been the high initial investment required to develop the software and the need to provide training and ongoing support to users, the costs of which had to be supported by a relatively limited number of users (themselves mostly poorly funded).

CST has in addition, over the years also licensed the reproduction of CORE instruments in software to a number of researchers and CIMS has sub-licensed the reproduction of CORE instruments in software to a number of organisations.

Creative Commons licensing as of 1/1/2015

By the end of 2014 CST and CIMS are agreed that the widespread usage of outcome measures has matured to the point where any organisation should be free to reproduce CORE instruments in software, as well as on paper. In line with this we placed all the measures into the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) licence. This ensures, in perpetuity that, subject to certain conditions, any CORE instrument can be reproduced in software without payment of any fees, as has always been the case for reproduction on paper. See for a human readable summary of this and for the licence itself.

Conditions summarised

The conditions are

  • that the content of the measures may not be changed in any way,
  • that attribution to the ownership and creation of the instruments by CST be given (ensured by retaining the copyright line at the bottom of each page of all instruments)

Limitations on changes: what can and can’t be done?

Under the terms of this licence the instruments may not be changed in any way. The object of this limitation is to ensure that scores will remain comparable. It would be a breach of the licence to change the order of the items or to cut any items or add any new items or text. Translations may not be done other than working with CST. However, the inevitable small differences in how different software displays the text is not a copyright violation. Where there is no need for the client and other identification/demographic details from the top of the form because these are captured in the software elsewhere then this is allowed but please contact us to check that the changes are acceptable. Similarly, we recognise that sometimes services or projects wish to have localisation and perhaps branding on their forms, provided that the form makes it very clear what content is copyright to CST we generally approve such modifications but they are a breach of copyright if not individually approved so again, contact us to get permission.

Limitations on translations

Where a translation of an instrument has not already been done to our requirements an independent translation is a copyright violation as it changes the instrument. We are, as we always have been, keen to work with anyone wanting to translate the instruments but this must be done in collaboration with CST and to our quality standards for translations. Contact CE before starting any translation. If you find a translation that is not on the list of approved translations, please notify CE.

What are CORE instruments covered by this licensing?

CORE Instruments include the CORE Outcome Measure and all derivative works produced by CST whether by shortening (CORE-SF/A, CORE-SF/B, GP-CORE, CORE-10, CORE-5), adaptation/extension (LD-CORE, YP-CORE) or by approved translations.