I want to publish a blog post under a Creative Commons license (e.g., CC BY-SA 4.0). This post includes several quotations (to the extent allowed by copyright law) from works which are not licensed under a compatible license.

As recommended by Creative Commons, I’ll write this in the post’s footer:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons […] License.

But the quotations, although part of my work, are not licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0, because I can’t make this decision for the quoted works.

Do I have to do something about this? Like mentioning that the license does not apply to quotations? Or is it well known (or even specified in the CC license?) that licensing doesn’t affect quotes?


2 Answers 2


Quotations are permitted by exceptions and limitations to copyright (e.g. "fair use" in the USA), and accounted for my sec. 2(a)(2) in the CC licenses, which says:

Exceptions and Limitations. For the avoidance of doubt, where Exceptions and Limitations apply to Your use, this Public License does not apply, and You do not need to comply with its terms and conditions.

So all the public license does not apply to any quotations embedded in your blog post. As far as the CC license goes, there is nothing that is required of you.

As noted in the answer by Trevor Clarke, civil and academic norms requires you to provide proper credit for any material reused under exceptions and limitations to copyright - but that follows from civil and academic norms - not from the CC license.


Sort of:

If you have quoted text from other websites you should source where the text came from somewhere in the page.

For example your page might look like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum quis aliquet turpis. Quisque faucibus augue pharetra, finibus nisl at, luctus quam. Vivamus elit felis, lobortis vitae auctor eget, tempus a mi. Ut sed ante placerat, pharetra ipsum id, gravida dui."Your quoted text from another article"[1] Sed quis scelerisque eros. Vestibulum sed arcu id risus tincidunt vehicula in vitae quam. Aliquam non nisl viverra, gravida velit nec, fermentum purus. In non interdum magna. Sed rhoncus libero a elementum efficitur. Praesent scelerisque vulputate lectus. Proin sagittis nec diam eget porttitor. Aenean malesuada nisl elit. Sed a imperdiet libero.

[1] "Example Domain." Example Domain. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 July 2015.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons […] License.

In this scenario there is no issue with licensing the entire page (including your quote), you are licensing the work that you did, your not licencing the original text from the original website your licensing the quoted (and cited) piece of text. This is allowed.

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