I have been working on an open source software. The software is in its final stages of testing and I will soon publish it under a CC license. I would like to release it under the least strict license (to provide users full access to do whatever they wish to it).

My question:

Is the CC-BY license the best license to use if I want to release it under no conditions or rules?

  • Relevant information: CC-BY is an attribution license
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 21:06

2 Answers 2


The use of Creative Commons licenses for software is not recommended. The CC licenses do not address concerns specific to software (such as the source code/object code relationship, or patent issues), and are incompatible with most open-source software licenses.

If you want to license your software "with no conditions or rules", you probably want either:

"Releasing into the public domain" has the problem that not all jurisdictions permit you to simply abandon your copyright to a work; to get around this, CC-0 and WTFPL both retain copyright while relinquishing all rights to the greatest extent permissible by law; of the two, CC-0 is probably the better written.

If you want to retain the requirement of being attributed for your work, you want one of the highly-permissive licenses such as the three-clause BSD license or the MIT license. These are similar to CC-BY, but are designed for the needs of software.

  • Not sure if your concerns really apply to CC-BY, or only to CC-BY-SA. Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 16:52

CC-BY still demands proper attribution. While some jurisdiction ask for that anyways, it is not everywhere the case. Public Domain (with sources included) or CC0 are the most permissive options. They demand basically nothing.

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