Can one build a server that uses a cc by sa database for computation but does not respond with the cc 4.0 without giving attribution or follwing the terms of cc 4.0?

  • The simplest answer is that if no CC-licensed material (in original or derivative form) is ever transferred to another person's machine/possession, then the CC license places no obligations on you. However, it is not fully clear to me whether this simple answer describes your specific case or not.
    – apsillers
    May 20, 2020 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


To answer your question: no, since you are redistributing the material, you need to give attribution. Both to the original database as well as to the content if it is under a by-license.

Assuming you haven't modified the content under the license, then from the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 licence text you need only to

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.

You cannot redistribute without giving appropriate credit, but any reasonable manner can be interpreted quite leniently.

I would suggest that you both add the attribution in the API documentation, as well as strongly consider adding attribution notice in the actual API response, either in a copyright or license field.

  • I am not really distributing it as it will be used only for computational work. May 20, 2020 at 9:14
  • Its like request -> processing -> result stored in server and another irrelevant data sent to user May 20, 2020 at 9:15
  • This processing will use the database May 20, 2020 at 9:15
  • 5
    @compenthusiast, can you update your question with information on how you are using the database? May 20, 2020 at 9:28

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