The Language Archive takes ethical and legal questions related to archiving language data seriously.

This means that, although the situation may vary from country to country and from resource to resource, we have to respect two kinds of moral and/or juridical rights:

  • The individual rights of privacy of the persons that have been recorded or in other ways contributed with, perhaps sensitive or private, materials. By no means a person should be harmed in any way by having data about them or their relatives archived at TLA.
  • The intellectual property rights or rights of authorship etc. of the persons that have been recorded and of the collectors and/or the members of the research projects who contributed time and effort in creating annotation, analysis and metadata.

We urge all persons that access any of the materials at TLA, be they freely available or not (see below): please respect these rights and behave ethically.  This means, in particular, if you make use of some of these materials, always recognize the authorship and cite the materials, referring to the original location at TLA (the handle).

In order to be better able to support the proper handling of these moral and/or juridical rights, TLA has implemented four levels of access:


  1. Open resources can be accessed immediately.
  2. Restricted open resources can be accessed by registered users which possibly (as in the case of DOBES) have to agree with a Code of Conduct.
  3. In addition to the conditions that hold for restricted resources, protected resources can be accessed on request only. The responsibles (usually the depositors) will examine the request and, if they grant access, they may do so for a specific use or limited amount of time, which may have to be agreed upon in a usage declaration.
  4. Some sensitive “closed” resources can be accessed only by the depositors (and, e.g., members of the respective speech community).