I want to upload a SVG document with a CC BY-SA 3.0 license to an online wiki with a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

Will these licenses conflict with each other, or can they coexist?

  • 1
    Do you own the copyright to the CC BY-SA document or is it someone else's? Jul 9 '17 at 3:44
  • I made it myself.
    – posfan12
    Jul 9 '17 at 20:50
  • 1
    Then you can do whatever you want! The license doesn't apply to you. Jul 9 '17 at 23:14
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    As the copyright holder you can do whatever you like with your own creations. Licenses are ways of standardising exceptions to copyright law for other people. Under copyright law others can do almost nothing, except a little bit allowed (in some jurisdictions) under fair use. Licenses give some freedoms to others. But as the copyright holder you're completely free. You can publish your own creations under any licenses you want. Jul 11 '17 at 3:30
  • 1
    Sure, but as the copyright owner you can publish your creations under any license they want you to, if you're willing to that is. Jul 16 '17 at 1:55

As curiousdannii said licenses do not apply to the original author since they are defining the terms of the re-use of the creations. The author always able to release (or re-release) his/her own work using any license, or no license, or no permissions at all. (But when something is released under a non-revokable license then the author have no way to forbid the usage within the said license terms, but have the right to release it again under a different, more or less restrictive license.)

Other aspect is when there is a document licensed using License-A (by its original author who is not you) and you want to use it in a project using License-B. There is two sides of the story:

  • You cannot (easily) include it into the project if License-A is more restrictive than B, since A won't allow you to release it under terms not supported by the license.
  • You may include it in the project if B is more restrictive than A, since B permits it to be used there; however ShareAlike states that the project have to keep the license intact and include it with the artwork, so people using it are informed of its specific license and able to utilise their rights.

This is generally true when it's a collection, like a package of otherwise intact and separate works: the whole collection does have a license but its parts may have more liberal ones. The collection isn't allowed to restrict the more liberal licensing of its part but may utilise its restrictive license to the collection as a whole.

(Wikipedia does the opposite, which is also possible, but much harder to ensure: they include some more restrictive licensed works and explicitly and visibly state that their license is different from the collection's. This is legal but it's very hard to ensure that for every possible way of use the end-user is properly informed about the restrictions.)

  • I read elsewhere recently that an artist can't enforce a license upon (for instance) the book in which a piece of art is published. I.e. the piece of art will always be under whatever license the artist chose. But the book as a whole can be whatever license the book's author wants. I would like clarification on this.
    – posfan12
    Oct 20 '17 at 1:32
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    A book author can only use a piece of art when the artist and the author agree upon the terms of use (=license) about how the author is allowed to use the art. If they have agreed that the author can use the art under an agreed set of conditions then there is no further way the artist can enforce anything further about the book. The author cannot use a license for the book which would violate the license the artist provided. Think of it as a chain of licenses, where the later licenses may be anything as long as they do not violate the former ones.
    – grin
    Oct 25 '17 at 8:53

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