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I'm currently working on a project that uses work covered by the CC-BY-SA license:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In the license, it states that I can:

Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

And must:

ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

My project itself can definitely be considered a derivative of the licensed work, or at least builds on it in a way that I'm happy to accept it needs to be shared under the same license as above.


What I'm unsure of is:
If I sell my derivative work, am I also required to share it for free? Or can I sell it how I like?

I'm aware that no matter how I distribute my work; I would have no right to prevent anybody else redistributing it for free (or even make money from it themselves). But it's quite a different situation if I'm also required to provide it for free.

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The price is not one of the terms and conditions of the CC-SA license. You may chose to attach a price to a derivative work (which you have the right to create under license section 3.b). But any person who receives the derivative work legitimately (from you or from someone who got it from you, directly or indirectly) must get it under the CC-SA license, and has the right to redistribute it, and may do so at no charge if that person so chooses. Also, you may not impose any copy protection or other technological measure that would prevent exercise of the reuser's rights. Whether selling a work that may be redistributed freely is good business is your decision.

  • Thanks very much for clearing this up, this answers exactly the thing I was worried about/not understanding before. – Bilkokuya Jun 11 at 14:36
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Nothing in the license requires you to distribute an derivative work you create. But if you distribute it, you must put your contributions under the same license as the original. This means as you already noticed, the person who you are selling it to, can redistribute it for free.

Article 3 of the license gives you certain rights. Article 4 contain restriction, but distribution is no requirement:

a. You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only (...)

b. You may Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation only (...)

c. If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the Work or any Adaptations or Collections, You must (...)

d. (...) if You Reproduce, Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work (...)

Article 8 specifies you only need to offer the license to the recipient:

a. Each time You Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work or a Collection, the Licensor offers to the recipient a license to the Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this License.

b. Each time You Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation, Licensor offers to the recipient a license to the original Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this License.

  • Thanks very much for the answer. The bit that still makes me unsure is: "a license to the Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You" - does "same terms and conditions" include the price I was given, or can I sell my product at any price whatsoever (and provide no alternative free version)? – Bilkokuya Jun 11 at 12:23
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    It says: on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this License. So this applies only elements in the SA-BY license itself. If you have received a license with additional grants, you are not forced to relicense those grants to the recipients. But also, you are not allowed to add additional conditions to the recipients. As the license does not forbid to ask a fee when you distribute a derivative work, you are free to do so. But you may not add the requirement (or forbid) to ask for a fee to the recipients when they want to redistribute it themselves. – wimh Jun 11 at 14:18
  • Thanks for clearing that up, that makes a lot of sense. – Bilkokuya Jun 11 at 14:35

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