If I derive or adapt material offered under a Creative Commons license, which CC license(s) can I use?


If you make adaptations of material under a CC license (i.e. “remix”), the original CC license always applies to the material you are adapting even once adapted. The license you may choose for your own contribution (called your “adapter’s license”) depends on which license applies to the original material. Recipients of the adaptation must comply with both the CC license on the original and your adapter’s license.

BY and BY-NC material
When remixing BY or BY-NC material, it is generally recommended that your adapter’s license include at least the same license elements as the license applied to the original material. This eases reuse for downstream users because they are able to satisfy both licenses by complying with the adapter’s license. For example, if you adapt material licensed under BY-NC, your adapter’s license should also contain the NC restriction. See the chart below for more details.

BY-SA and BY-NC-SA material
In general, when remixing ShareAlike content, your adapter’s license must be the same license as the license on the material you are adapting. All licenses after version 1.0 also allow you to license your contributions under a later version of the same license, and some also allow ported licenses. (See CC’s license versions page for details.) If you wish to adapt material under BY-SA or BY-NC-SA and release your contributions under a non-CC license, you should visit CC’s Compatibility page to see which options are allowed.

BY-ND and BY-NC-ND material
The BY-ND and BY-NC-ND licenses do not permit distribution of adaptations (also known as remixes or derivative works), and prohibits the creation of adaptations under the pre-4.0 versions of those licenses. Since you may not share remixes of these materials at all, there is no compatibility with other licenses. (Note that the ND licenses do allow you to reproduce the material in unmodified form together with other material in a collection, as indicated in the next FAQ.)

Adapter’s license chart
The chart below details the CC license(s) you may use as your adapter’s license. When creating an adaptation of material under the license identified in the lefthand column, you may license your contributions to the adaptation under one of the licenses indicated on the top row if the corresponding box is green. CC does not recommend using a license if the corresponding box is yellow, although doing so is technically permitted by the terms of the license. If you do, you should take additional care to mark the adaptation as involving multiple copyrights under different terms so that downstream users are aware of their obligations to comply with the licenses from all rights holders. Dark gray boxes indicate those licenses that you may not use as your adapter’s license.

Abbreviation Key
BY = Attribution only
BY-ND = Attribution-NoDerivatives
BY-NC-ND = Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives
BY-NC = Attribution-NonCommercial
BY-NC-SA = Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike
BY-SA = Attribution-ShareAlike
PD = Dedicated to or marked as being in the public domain via one of CC’s public domain tools, or other public domain material; adaptations of materials in the public domain may be built upon and licensed by the creator under any license terms desired (Source)

Creative Commons, licensing, adaptation, revise, remix, compatibility, derivative works, public domain