Can I add a resource that is offered under a different CC license than the default CC license I’ve chosen for my content?


Generally, it is okay to collect works under CC licenses, as long as the attributions are clear, and there is a note in the material that mentions that some material might have more restrictive licenses. You could simply add “Except otherwise noted” in the main CC license notice, which indicates that the materials might contain some resources governed by different terms and should therefore be treated as specified by the original author. Or you could add a more specific note: “Original material in this course is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license; however, please respect more restrictive licenses of adopted content where attributed.”

If, for example, your content is mostly CC-BY but you have incorporated CC-BY-SA materials into your work, you can still release your work under a CC BY license with the added phrase “Unless otherwise noted” in the licensing notice. This means the content is CC BY licensed but it contains some resources that are marked with different licenses, such as CC BY-SA, and those resources should be treated as specified by the original author intended.

The exception would be in the case of adapting the BY-SA materials. Any adaptations would have to be shared alike under the same license (BY-SA) per the ShareAlike condition. But if the BY-SA materials are included verbatim, faculty need only make note of those materials and the separate licenses governing those materials.

Keep in mind that you can only ever CC license rights to work that you own. In general, please make it a practice to clear all copyright issues before releasing your work with a CC license. In order to avoid distributing copyrighted work, faculty should make a practice of stripping their courses of copyrighted material before sharing to the Commons.

For more information about combining works under different CC licenses, see the CC FAQ (Source).

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