OME is open by name and by philosophy. All our code is freely available through various open source licenses and our web resources are covered by Creative Commons.


All OME formats and software are freely available, and all OMERO and Bio-Formats source code is available under GNU public “copyleft” licenses or more permissive open source licenses, or through commercial license from Glencoe Software.

For questions about the GNU license refer to the Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses page.

Please cite our work in your own publications to help us secure grant funding for future development of OME products.


Under the terms of the GNU public "copyleft" license, any software package linking to Bio-Formats, either directly or indirectly, cannot be distributed unless its source code is also made available under the terms of the GPL. Some components which provide reader and writer implementations for open file formats, are released under a more permissive BSD-2 license which enables non-GPL third party software. For a complete list of which file formats are included in the BSD license, see the BSD column of the supported formats table. Developers of non-GPL software wishing to leverage Bio-Formats components not covered by the BSD license may purchase a commercial license from Glencoe Software.

OME Files

OME Files is released under the terms of a permissive BSD-2 license which enables it to be used in non-GPL third party software. This means it may be used and redistributed with or without modification as long as the copyright notice is retained.

OME Model Schema files

The core OME Model Schema files (.XSD) use the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, and as such you are free to share or adapt them as long as you attribute the OME consortium as follows; "This work is derived in part from the OME specification. Copyright (C) 2002-2016 Open Microscopy Environment". See further information about using OME-XML in your work.

This website is also covered by the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License - you are free to share or adapt content as long as you credit the Open Microscopy Environment. The exception to this is the screenshots and videos which can only be used for non-commercial purposes.

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