I did a google search and read through some license information, blog etc. here and there but I'm just not sure whether I can use CC-BY/CC-0 Music in my OpenSource Project no matter what license I use for that.

Should I use a software license that is compatible with the music I use or look for music that is compatible with whatever software license I am going to use (in case they are not compatible)?

EDIT: To answer the question about changing the music: It doesn't have to be changed, if the license doesn't allow it that'd be ok.

  • 2
    The CC BY license is compatible with almost everything. The CC 0 license is compatible with everything. Jun 16, 2016 at 2:18
  • You can use CC-0 for a software project if you want but it is not advised to use CC-BY or any other creative commons license for a software project however: creativecommons.org/faq/…
    – Zimm i48
    Aug 17, 2016 at 16:02
  • Are you changing the music file? Aug 18, 2016 at 16:17
  • @MichaelHogan Not necessarily, but aren't there CC licenses that allow changes to the content?
    – Minzkraut
    Aug 19, 2016 at 6:24
  • @Minzkraut Yes, but file modification can affect the answer and is useful info others may need to answer your question. Aug 19, 2016 at 8:58

2 Answers 2


Without knowing more details about the software you want to build I would argue, that the music is only data used by your program. As such neither your program is a derivative work of the music, nor the other way around. This would mean, that you can freely chose the Free Software license you prefer for your project.


They are compatible with almost everything.

When using CC-0 you have the right to do everything and when using CC-By you just need to give credits to the creator and point out changes. For example in the Readme.md

  • CC-BY also requires you to note changes. Jun 17, 2016 at 19:03
  • 1
    CC0 in no way gives you the right to do anything. Default copyright laws still apply: in some places, moral rights can't be revoked.
    – Zizouz212
    Jun 18, 2016 at 20:19
  • @Zizouz212 CC0 grants a very permissive copyright license as a backup.
    – EMBLEM
    Jul 18, 2016 at 18:52
  • @EMBLEM Which still can't override laws.
    – Zizouz212
    Jul 18, 2016 at 22:39

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