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Course & Subject Guides

Open Licenses: Creative Commons and other options for sharing your work

Balancing the rights of creators and users. Open licenses grant users some permissions to use and distribute a work, permission not granted by the default "all rights reserved" of copyright.

Share Alike CC-BY-SA


If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license, or a compatible license as used in the original work.

The  share alike is a copyright left license, that allows other to re-use, re-mix, and modify works but requires that any derivative work be distributed under the same terms and conditions. The Creative Commons Share Alike is one of the most widely used Copyleft licenses. The other widely used Copyleft License is the GNU-General Public License for software.

Because the Share Alike license only applies to derivative works it can not be used with the No Derivative condition.

At this time (September 2021) Creative Commons only lists the Free Art License 1.3 and GNU-GPLv.3 as compatible licenses.


Similar to the No Derivatives license you need to be aware of what an adaption is.  Some common examples include: cropping an image, shortening a video, changing colors, making a collage, putting text over an image or video, recording music, syncing sound to a video, translating a work, or incorporating copyrightable material from the original work into a new one.

If you won’t be licensing the adaptation under the CC-BY-SA license or a compatible license, avoid creating an adaptation. Simply use the work as provided. Or if you do create an adaption do not share it with others.