What's the most recommended OSI approved license (here's the list) closest to our current license is Creative Commonns Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International?

Also, why aren't the Creative Commons Licenses OSI approved? OSI itself is licensed by Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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    I can answer the why portion. The CC licenses are not intended for use to license software source code. The OSI list is a list of software licenses. You'll also notice the absence of the GNU Free Documentation License. Jan 24, 2017 at 16:36
  • Ah I see. Would you happen to know a restrictive open source software license? Something on the lines of people not allowed to make money off of it but they can utlilze the code etc
    – gabbar0x
    Jan 24, 2017 at 16:39
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    To be clear, are you just looking for a copyleft license that is appropriate for software? The most famous copyleft license is certainly the GNU GPL.
    – apsillers
    Jan 24, 2017 at 19:14
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    @bholagabbar no OSI license would restrict making money. Otherwise it would not be on the list. Jan 25, 2017 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


The Creative Commons licenses aren't approved simply because they weren't designed to operate on code.1 Software has different components, especially source code and compiled code, which the Creative Commons licenses weren't exactly designed for (CC licenses are primarily designed for media).

You're probably wondering why the content of the OSI site is under CC. Simply put, it's the most appropriate license to place - a licensed designed for text. Yeah, Apache and others may work, but the best is CC, and it's used there. Just because the OSI maintains a list of software licenses doesn't mean that they must use one on their site.

The closest license to CC BY-SA is probably the GPL or LGPL.

1. An application was made for CC0 to be declared open source compliant, however, CC eventually withdrew their application due to the immense debate with certain issues of the license

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    Wouldn't the AGPL also be close to CC BY-SA? Really any of the GPL derivatives should be good, since they require attribution and distribution under the same or compatible license, the core aspects of BY-SA. It would just depend on the nature of your software which was the most appropriate to use. Jan 25, 2017 at 15:02
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    @ThomasOwens The main difference between the GPL and APGL is just the server copyleft clause, which doesn't make a difference to BY-SA. Technically, CC defines an adapted material as anything derived from or built-upon the licensed work, which doesn't make it necessarily equivalent to GPL, but more LGPL (I would maybe even say MPL in certain cases). But all members of the GPL family are essentially equivalent.
    – Zizouz212
    Jan 25, 2017 at 21:45

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