61 votes
Accepted

Why is CC BY-SA discouraged for code?

CC's own FAQ addresses the reasons, which I find satisfactory, so I'm just going to reproduce it here and expand on the key points: Unlike software-specific licenses, CC licenses do not contain ...
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  • 8,463
30 votes
Accepted

Choosing the most restrictive open-source license

There is no free software / open source license that will satisfy your requirements. These licenses generally focus on the freedoms of end users, they are not trying to restrict anyone. The freedom to ...
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  • 33.2k
29 votes
Accepted

Is re-encoding an audio or video file permitted under CC-BY-ND?

CC BY-ND 4.0 says in section 2(a)(4): Media and formats; technical modifications allowed. The Licensor authorizes You to exercise the Licensed Rights in all media and formats whether now known or ...
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  • 30.9k
26 votes
Accepted

Why shouldn't Creative Commons licenses be used for software?

Short answer: because the CC licenses have not been designed for software and source code. This is answered by Creative Commons themselves in their FAQ: Unlike software-specific licenses, CC ...
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22 votes
Accepted

How could using code released under CC0 infringe on the author's patents?

Sparr's original answer was good, but he should have left in the bit about being sued. The point is that the language used in CC0 constitutes a legal hazard for anyone that receives a program under ...
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  • 8,645
19 votes
Accepted

Does the CC-BY-SA License require that source code of derivative works be shared?

Yes, they can publish a PDF without publishing the modified LaTeX sources. No, this is not DRM. CC-BY-SA is not an open-source license. It is intended for creative works such as photographs or ...
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  • 33.2k
19 votes

Can Wikipedia content be used on my website if I attribute it on my terms and conditions page?

You can use all the text, and most of the images, under some conditions, and those conditions include proper attribution. Wikipedias text is under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 ...
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  • 8,986
19 votes
Accepted

Can I "upgrade" the version of CC BY-SA from 3.0 to 4.0 in my modification?

The CC-BY-SA 3.0 license is “forward compatible” with later versions. In section 4(b): You may Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation only under the terms of: (i) this License; (ii) a ...
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  • 33.2k
16 votes

What are the consequences for downstream actors of redistributing a work under a wider CC license than the copyright holder authorized?

Company A violated the license by redistributing in a manner they were not licensed to do so when they changed from CC X to CC Y. Company B thought they were doing a permitted thing by taking what ...
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  • 975
15 votes
Accepted

What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?

In the large majority of cases, the software of a program and the artwork used by a program are not related to each other where copyright is concerned. An exception might be an image that was created ...
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15 votes
Accepted

Why aren't Creative Commons licenses appropriate for data?

Well, this gets complicated and legal. (Caveat: I am not a lawyer.) According to Creative Commons, their licenses: give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a ...
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  • 266
14 votes

How can I license a YouTube commercial which includes CC BY-SA Licensed music?

The Creative Commons organization has a page on Legal Music For Videos which states (emphasis mine): Under CC licenses, synching the music to images amounts to transforming the music, so you can’t ...
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  • 30.9k
13 votes

What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?

You only need to share the image under CC-BY-SA. This means your project will be multi-licensed. The important part is that only the image is currently under BY-SA. Since the only requirement of the ...
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  • 8,700
13 votes

Why is CC BY-SA discouraged for code?

TL;DR: CC-BY-SA is a technically perfect open source license. CC-BY-SA's use is discouraged because of the "license proliferation" problem. Going into more detail on the first point, first we need ...
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  • 2,839
13 votes
Accepted

What is considered proper attribution for a deleted Stack Exchange post?

In 4(c) of CC BY-SA 3.0 it is defined how attribution has to be provided. For the work’s URL, it says: […] (iii) to the extent reasonably practicable, the URI, if any, that Licensor specifies to be ...
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  • 5,300
13 votes
Accepted

Can derivatives of CC BY-SA works be licensed under CC BY-NC-SA?

No, it’s not allowed. It says on the license summary page: No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the ...
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  • 5,300
13 votes
Accepted

What are the consequences for downstream actors of redistributing a work under a wider CC license than the copyright holder authorized?

Company A is certainly liable for their misrepresentation of licensing terms. However, that does not legally excuse Company B's downstream distribution under those wrong terms; they have (accidentally)...
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  • 30.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Can someone re-license an adaptation of my CC BY-NC materials under commercial terms?

This interpretation is correct. The share-alike clause in other licenses is only relevant to contributions made by others than the original licensor. In fact, the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license does not grant ...
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  • 236
11 votes

Can I redistribute CC-BY works in DRM-protected app stores?

Your analysis seems to be sound except: You may be able get around this by Referring to the CC media rather than including it (downloaded from the web) Publishing a link (inside the app) to the CC ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Using CC-NC material inside a freemium app

I do not think this is a question that has a straightforward yes or no answer. The CC NC clause is really hard to get a grasp on, and Creative Commons do not provide much guidance about it. Their FAQ:...
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  • 8,645
11 votes

May someone else apply a license to CC0 material?

Bob can relicense it under any license he wishes. Taking credit for Alice's work is another thing. In jurisdictions that hold up moral rights, Bob can't. The moral rights cannot be given up by Alice, ...
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  • 10.8k
11 votes
Accepted

Is a government organisation commercial or non-commercial?

It depends. The type of user itself doesn't matter, at least according to Creative Commons. It is how you use it that matters. From their FAQ: Does my use violate the NonCommercial clause of the ...
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  • 8,463
10 votes
Accepted

Is the CC BY-ND an Open license?

No, CC-BY-ND isn't Open Source. It violates rule 3 of the Open Source Definition: Derived Works The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be ...
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  • 10.8k
10 votes

How could using code released under CC0 infringe on the author's patents?

Suppose that I patent an algorithm, X. Then I develop and release an implementation of that algorithm, Y. I release Y with an open source license, granting permission for others to use and distribute ...
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  • 1,059
10 votes

Can I apply one license to specific users and another to others?

You can license your intellectual property under different licenses to different people. But when your license follows the definitions of open source and/or free software, the licensees have the right ...
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  • 11.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Can I charge expenses for a work under CC BY-NC-SA?

The CC NC clause is really hard to get a grasp on, and Creative Commons do not provide much guidance about it. There certainly exists a lot of examples where it is not possible to give a ...
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  • 8,645
10 votes

Is it common to licence blog posts under Creative Commons?

The Creative Common licenses and thus especially CC-BY ones were designed as licenses for creative work like texts, like images, models etc. That includes of course work like texts in blog posts - and ...
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  • 8,270
9 votes

Could you apply a CC-BY license to a piece of land?

No. A piece of land is not a creative work. People can't copy it. It has nothing to do with licenses to copyrighted works.
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  • 8,986
9 votes

When does code become my own?

The code you're building on in BY-NC-ND, which requires attribution, forbids commercial use, and disallowed derivatives. If you build on that code, it's a derivative, which is not allowed by the ...
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  • 8,986
9 votes

Can I charge expenses for a work under CC BY-NC-SA?

One of the problems with CC NC is that when you say "I am not sure what "Commercial purposes" are", you are not alone in that. The relevant clause in CC BY-NC 3.0 reads You may not exercise any of ...
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