If an original work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY 4.0), can an adapted work (i.e. derivative work) be made from it and published under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)?

1 Answer 1


Yes, because CC-BY 4.0 is a permissive license.

Permissive licenses in general are much easier to redistribute, usually all that's required is that you preserve the copyright notice. In CC-BY 4.0's case, you just need to provide attribution in one of many ways.

It's why not just CC-BY 4.0, but many permissively-licensed works can be included in proprietary ones.

The one thing you cannot do is take away the attribution requirement, for example by distributing under an even more permissive license, such as CC0.

  • Thanks. This matches my understanding. I was hoping for an answer that would address the version number difference (e.g. re: database rights), but I don't think it is material in the case of CC BY -> CC BY-SA.
    – user3451
    Jun 7, 2017 at 14:28
  • 1
    Are there any requirements that exist in BY 4.0 (e.g., don't DRM or tivo-ize, or something even more obscure) that do not exist in BY-SA 3.0? If there were any 4.0-only terms like that, that seems like it could be a problem; if there are not, it might be worth mentioning the absence of any such issue. Or, if there is such a difference, but it's not a problem, I wouldn't mind hearing about that, either.
    – apsillers
    Jun 7, 2017 at 15:06

Your Answer

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