I am working on an open-source GitHub project and I want to license the contents of it under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: CC BY-NC-ND so what should I include under the LICENSE file?

Would just be the name of the license be enough, or is there any content of the aforementioned license that should be pasted in the license file? If so what should be the contents of the file?

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    You should include the contents of the license in the LICENSE.md file: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/legalcode Jan 6, 2022 at 22:15
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    Also note that the CC BY-NC-ND is not an open source license as it doesn't allow commercial uses nor derivatives. It's still a valuable license (and is much better than no license!), but it's neither free nor open. Jan 7, 2022 at 1:32
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    I’m voting to close this question because it is not about Open Source as defined in the help center. Jan 8, 2022 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


Section 4.a of the CC BY-NC-ND license clearly says "You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for, this License with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform." Therefore it is not necessary to include the entire language of the license in your files, just a link is enough.

It may also be helpful to include an SPDX identifier in the files.

It should not be left unmentioned that the Creative Commons licenses were not created for software. They were developed for other types of content, like text, pictures, music, videos... You may want to reconsider your choice of license.

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