Let's say I want to distribute a movie of a fireplace I found on the internet, released under CC BY 3.0 to Netflix. Am I allowed to do that? As far as I know, Netflix uses DRM.

The license summary page says:

No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits

Is DRM a technological measure? Using DRM doesn't change the experience for the end-user and end-users are still able to visit the source video by the attribution.

  • Related question on Open Source SE: Can I redistribute CC-BY works in DRM-protected app stores?
    – unor
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 23:45
  • 1
    Are you planning to upload someone else's CC BY movie to Netflix (not possible AFAIK), or are you planning to redistribute a Netflix movie on the grounds that you believe it has a CC BY license?
    – user6726
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 1:39
  • @user6726 I'm planning to upload someone else's CC-BY 3.0 movie to Netflix. Thank you! Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


You can give an unmodified copy to Netflix, under the CC BY license. That is the end of the issue, from your perspective, as long as you also follow Netflix rules. Since I have no idea how you would upload content to Netflix, I don't know of any TOS regarding doing this, but I feel confident that there is one. Presumably, in uploading a film, you have to assert certain things and promise to do certain things: you would have to assert that you have the right to upload (or some similar thing), you would have to grant them a license to further distribute, and you probably have to indemnify them against your errors and misdeeds, if they get sued because of what you uploaded.

If, for example, Netflix distributes the movie with some DRM restrictions inserted, that is not allowed by CC-BY, and they should not have done that. They could get sued: then because of that indemnification clause, you may be on the hook. It would all come back to the conditions under which you were allowed to upload the file. If they require you to execute a particular license allowing them to use the file (where the license is more restrictive than CC-BY), you can't do that so don't do that. You may not sublicense the work (always read the actual license).

DRM is a technological measure. If Netflix sets it up so that there are no actual restrictions, then that's okay.

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