Let's say I have a blog post, and I want to release it under a Creative Commons license. I later publish this post to my blog.

  • How do I apply a license to my blogpost?
  • Do I need to state how it is licensed at the bottom of the post?
  • 1
    Just follow the steps on creativecommons.org/choose
    – user114
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:01
  • Just place a notice. The content is under license under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0 License, and include a link to the license.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:04
  • @Zizouz212 Did you follow the page to the end? The last step is to include the license information in your work.
    – user114
    Jun 25, 2015 at 19:04
  • Exactly, but it's not clear.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 25, 2015 at 19:04
  • It is not? What is missing?
    – user114
    Jun 25, 2015 at 19:17

2 Answers 2


Generally you just state that you put the content under a license.

That includes:

  • defining the scope: which content is affected
  • defining the license: which license is used

You also should do this if necessary:

  • if the license demands attribution: naming the contributor(s)
  • if the work is derived from other works: referencing the original works in the proper way

It may be helpful to put links as appropriate, for instance to the license. Some licenses have formulated a way to put something under this license, in this case you should follow the lead.

For Creative Commons you have an interactive license chooser, which allows you to enter all relevant data and creates an proper HTML or text-fragment to include.

If you put something under an open source license, then you have two goals with declaring your license:

  1. You want to enable other people to use the rights you give them over your work through the open source license.
  2. You want to secure the rights you keep (for instance the demand that derivates have to released as open source if it is a copyleft license), so you can assert them if needed.

For both points it is massively helpful, if your intention is as clear as possible for everyone looking at it. Confusion is not helpful to reach these goals.

Some examples:

Look at the bottom of the Stackexchange-sites, they state the following:

site design / logo © 2015 stack exchange inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

So we know, all user-contributions are cc-by-sa and logo and design are non-free property of stack exchange inc. The cc-by-sa is linked to the license. The attribution required part is actually somewhat bad, as it is unclear and demands in the linked post stuff that isn't covered by cc-by-sa.

Another example may be Wikipedia. They set at the bottom of each site this text (focused on the part relevant for the license):

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

Again, the license is linked.


In general, you need a license note somewhere in that blog post, usually at the end. If you want to license all your blog posts a certain way, a good way to do that is to put that license note in the footer.

The details depend a bit on the license:

  • The GNU FDL requires you to post the whole license on your page (see addendum)
  • The CC license chooser gives you HTML to put on your blog post.
  • You can combine multiple licenses by saying what you want. For example like this:

Copyright © 2015 XXXX.

Verbatim copying and distribution of entire articles is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Alternatively, you may, at your choice, copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

As a third option, this work by XXXX is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

So the short version is this: All you need is a sentence saying that your text is under license X (maybe with a link to the license so people can find it) unless a license requires you to take specific other steps.

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