In accordance with the Guidelines for the Financial Exploitation of Research Results at ETH Zurich, all software developed at ETH Zurich and made available to third parties must be reported to ETH transfer.

This reporting process does not apply to software and scripts made available under an open source licence recognised by the Open Source Initiative. However, open source software and scripts must still be registered with the ETH Data Archive.  This also includes scripts that you would like to publish as part of research data publications. In addition, the responsible professor must ensure that all requirements for open source licensing are met in accordance with the guidelines.

Instructions and information on the registration process

Publication in the Research Collection

After successful registration at the ETH Data Archive, you are welcome to publish your open source software with the corresponding license text in the Research Collection. To do so, upload the license text as a separate file together with the scripts/source code or include the license information in the header of the script. Alternatively, you can create a "Metadata Only" item in the Research Collection and link the ETH Data Archive item created during registration to the Research Collection.

If you publish your software in the Research Collection under the publication type Software (not as part of a dataset), you can also assign one of the following open source licenses in the publication process. In this case, the license is displayed on the landing page of the software publication.

Licence nameLicence text
Apache License 2.0
BSD 3-Clause License
BSD 2-Clause License
GNU General Public License 3.0
GNU General Public License 2.0
GNU Affero General Public License 3.0
GNU Lesser General Public License 3.0
MIT License
Mozilla Public License 2.0
Common Development and Distribution License 2.0
Eclipse Public License 1.0

If you would like to license your software under a license not included here, please contact us before uploading the files.

Definition of "Software"

In Switzerland, copyright protects works, i.e. intellectual creations of literature and art that have an individual character. This includes literature, music, paintings, sculptures, films, operas, ballets and pantomimes. Computer programs (software) are also protected by copyright.

The requirements for the individual character of computer programs are very low, so that to date there are only a few examples worldwide where a court has ruled that a computer program does not have an individual character.

Therefore, every computer program can in principle be regarded as protected by copyright and necessarily requires a licence for distribution to third parties, regardless of whether the computer program is small or large. Thus, not only complete software packages, but also scripts that you have created in the context of research data publications and may wish to publish are subject to registration under the ETH guidelines and require a corresponding licence if the software is passed on.