I am creating a project with an AGPLv3 license. In another repo I am creating the documentation associated to the previous project and the template (in LaTeX) used for the documents is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. I did the template along with another partner. The documentation includes user manual, physics and architecture of the different modules.

Is there any incompatibility issue if I will put an AGPLv3 license in the repo which contains the documentation?

  • What is your reason for wanting to put an AGPLv3 license in the repo with the documentation? As I understand from the question, this repo only contains documentation and no code from the project. Oct 3, 2019 at 8:08
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau I was going to ask just the same thing. A freely-redistributable project without freely-redistributable documentation strikes me as not a terribly good idea, if it can humanly be avoided. If it's just an issue of template licensing, I for one would much rather the doco I'm using is freely-usable than pretty.
    – MadHatter
    Oct 3, 2019 at 8:17
  • Because I want to put some embedded snippets inside the documentation. So my concern about the compatibility of the licenses. I did not know so much about the extent of the AGPL and its interaction with CC by-nc-sa.
    – CarlosMJ
    Oct 3, 2019 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


Is there any incompatibility issue if I will put an AGPLv3 license in the repo which contains the documentation?

No, I don't think so. But only if you:

  • Create some LICENSE-README document clarifying that your intention is to license code as AGPL and to license documentation as BY-NC-SA.

  • For each and every document where it'd be hard to tell if they are code or documentation (e.g. large snippet embedded or elsewhere included with the documentation), the actual license is explicit in a clearly identifiable header.

  • There's technically no compatibility issue either way, but failing to clarify these details will confuse people and scare them off. For that matter, using a noncommercial license will scare people off too -- those licenses are generally not useful at all -- but that's another story.
    – Daniel
    Nov 3, 2019 at 13:27

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