Section 3(a)(3) of the license CC BY 4.0:

If requested by the Licensor, You must remove any of the information required by Section 3(a)(1)(A) to the extent reasonably practicable.

While it does not explicitly say so in the license, might 3(a)(3) imply that the person that shares the Licensed Material ("You") has to offer a way to be contacted by the Licensor?

Or in other words: May someone share my work (licensed under CC BY) without giving me the chance to request removal of (parts of) the attribution?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a questions about contract law.
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 11:54
  • 5
    @EricGärtner I think this is a law question we can handle. Related meta discussion.
    – overactor
    Jul 14, 2015 at 12:01
  • 1
    Regardless, it has to do with licensing terms
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 14, 2015 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


No, someone may not share your work licensed under CC BY without giving you the chance to request removal of (parts of) the attribution. If you as the owner ask the person using your work to change the attribution, they legally MUST!

However you do not need to give contact information to the owner, the CC-BY license would not "imply" anything, implying things causes confusion. Nowhere in the license does it say you MUST provide contact information. If the owner wants to request a change it is up to the owner to get in contact with you.

This does not mean that out of courtesy you can't contact the owner and ask. After all, you are using their hard work, and it would be kind to ask rather than putting the owner through the trouble of finding you!

  • "No" to which wording of the question?
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 12:52
  • The very last part. Jul 14, 2015 at 12:52
  • OK, thanks. IANAL but I doubt that this is true.
    – user490
    Jul 14, 2015 at 12:54
  • @EricGärtner Yeah, I was wrong, I changed my answer! Jul 14, 2015 at 13:01

If it's not express in the license, it's likely that it's not required (because people can use the defense that this requirement was unclear if it comes to court).

In this case, I can't find anything in the license that indicates you must provide contact details, so it would seem to be OK.

However, many methods of releasing an open source project come with contact details attached. Publishing on GitHub? You can be contacted using your account. Even if you release a binary on your personal website, there's still a chance - unless you've deliberately obscured the whois information, it should contain a contact email address. And it's always possible that the registrar will give your contact details out, if law enforcement ask for it as a result of being informed of copyright violation.

The point of this clause is to specify that if you're contacted by the author and asked to change something, you must do so.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.