I would like to include this picture from Wikimedia into a deck that I am using to film a paid course on Udemy. The image was created by Elizabeth Goodspeed and covered by CC BY-SA 4.0

While I know that I am free to:

  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format

  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

and I am fine with:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

I dont know about the last term:

  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contribution.

If I include the image in my deck without modifications and then make a video of the deck playing, with a voiceover:

  • am I remixing it?
  • am I building upon the material?
  • am I transforming it? (don't think so)

In summary: can I use it to film the video (screenshare of the powerpoint + voiceover) without sharing the whole video?

1 Answer 1


We have considered the issue of reuse of artworks licensed under CC-BY-SA here before (and also here). The upshot is that the best guide we have says that when a CC-BY-SA photograph was used unmodified as part of a cover image, the cover image in its entirety was considered not to be a derivative work.

That strongly suggests to me that you can use this image, with appropriate attribution, as a single slide in a deck, without having to share the whole slide deck under CC-BY-SA.

I am less clear about the implications of your proposal (which did not appear in the original question, but was disclosed following an exchange in the comments) to make a short video which uses this slide deck as background images while your voice-over features as the audio track. If the issue were reversed, and the CC-BY-SA work were the audio track, CC-BY-SA is very clear in s1a that the whole video would be a derived work, and thus subject to the share-alike requirement. I therefore suspect that what you propose may make the whole video a derivative work, but I am unsure, and hope that some of my colleagues here can shed light on the matter.

Of course IANAL/IANYL, and you should take professional advice before you rely on this or any other opinion here. And I would encourage you to take more time writing your questions, so that they accurately reflect what you desire to know.

  • Thanks a lot! I was unsure because the deck is used to film the video. ( sorry I think it was not 100% clear in my previous edit). I think your comments still apply?
    – kalu
    Oct 26, 2019 at 9:45
  • @kalu I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean about a deck being used to make a film. Do you mean that the licensed image will be used as a still in a video sequence, and if not, could you clarify? And if it gets to the point where you are happy with this answer, local etiquette is that you accept it (by clicking on the tick outline) - my apologies if you already know this.
    – MadHatter
    Oct 26, 2019 at 9:46
  • sorry for the misunderstanding. Yes the image will be used as a still in a video sequence. This is my full creative workflow: 1. Create a deck (powerpoint) with images formulas and text ( some of the images are re-used images from Wikimedia licensed under CC-BY-SA) 2. Play the deck on laptop and record the screen with video 3. Record voiceover 4. Edit final video Do you think your answer still applies to this workflow?
    – kalu
    Oct 26, 2019 at 9:48
  • I think the safest thing is to use CC BY. Especially if I you use images for voice over videos. Thanks for all your help @MaddHatter!
    – kalu
    Oct 31, 2019 at 12:03

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