Creative Commons offers a series of licenses, some of which allow people to use your images commercially, while others prohibit commercial usage.

I have some images that lie somewhere in between. I don't want people selling them as postcards or putting them on mugs, T-shirts, etc. for sale. However, I do want people to feel free to post my images in media (including for-profit books) and on the Internet (as long as the images properly credit me, with a link to my website).

Since Creative Commons doesn't offer this type of license (as far as I know), what are my options?

Can I simply post my terms on my website, like this?...

You can use this image for personal use but no commercial uses except that you can include it in media (including books) and on the Internet (as long as you include the proper credit and link to my website).

It might be nice to have my images indexed by Creative Commons, but I haven't been able to find a license that meets my needs.

  • I contacted Creative Commons, and they confirmed that they don't have anything between a commercial and non-commercial license. They suggested I just use a commercial license, then grant exceptions on a case by case basis. Nov 18, 2019 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


The terms in the CC licenses have presumably been vetted by people who know what they are doing. It's possible that your impromptu license may have problems. (What is the definition of "media"? Have you properly waived certain rights that apply in other countries but not the US, to allow foreign users to safely use the material? Etc.)

That said, it is possible to offer both a CC-NC license, and a second restricted commercial license for those who want to take advantage of it. Users could use the material under whichever license applies to them. That would allow your images to be indexed.

  • I think I understand what you're saying..."If you want to use my image for non-commercial purposes, use THIS license, but choose the commercial license if you want to use it in a book. However, no commercial usage other than media is allowed." Is that what you mean? Nov 17, 2019 at 2:05
  • Yes, that's pretty much it.
    – D M
    Nov 17, 2019 at 2:27

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