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IT Services at the University of Oxford acts as agent for the BNC Consortium in distributing the BNC under the terms of a User Licence (also available in pdf format) which sets out explicitly a number of conditions and restrictions. Please read it carefully before ordering. Some of the more significant conditions are summarized informally here:
  • The texts making up the corpus may not be redistributed in any way. This means that you are not permitted to exploit commercially or to publish any part of the BNC, other than under the fair dealings provision of copyright law. You may however exploit commercially the results of research carried out using the Corpus.
  • Both the names "British National Corpus" and "BNC" have been registered as trademarks of the BNC Consortium. This means you may not use them outside an academic or non-commercial context, except when so licensed.
  • You undertake to make available to the Consortium any changed or improved version of the Corpus texts which you may develop for your own use, at no charge to the Consortium.
  • You undertake to monitor all usage made of the BNC within your institution. In particular, you may be required to provide an annual report of any copies made for internal use, specifying their location and the person responsible for their security.
  • You undertake not to redistribute or make copies of the whole or part of the corpus except as permitted by the applicable license. In particular, where you hold a single-user licence, you undertake not to install the corpus on more than one machine or to permit access to it by more than one person.
Requests which cannot satisfy all the licensing conditions will be referred to the BNC Consortium, which may be willing to licence use of the corpus under different terms. The University of Oxford is not empowered to alter the conditions of the standard licence in any way.

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