I've been developing a mobile app to help players and GM in a RPG titled Anima Prime. The game itself is licensed in Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.

I'm no native speaker of English so I don't really grasp what the license really means. Therefore, I used this as the guideline.

Quoting from the site:

Attribution - Share-Alike (CC BY-SA) - This allows you to use the CC-licensed work in nearly any way so long as you say where and who you got it from, and the new work is also issued under a BY-SA license.

So it means I must mention the site from which I download the rulebook and who the author is and the app I've been developing must be licensed in the same exact license as the rulebook, doesn't it?

But this wiki said that CC licenses are discouraged for software. So what license I should use for my app? I intend it to be an open-source software.

  • What does GM mean?
    – User
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 11:04
  • @User it means gamemaster. You can read about it here.
    – Dorklord
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 11:14
  • I deleted my answer to this post because it did not specifically address OP's problem.
    – elaforma
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 10:20
  • Yep, Creative Commons licenses are generally discouraged for software? Since you're up to choosing an open source license, what do you want people to do with it? Are there any restrictions or freedoms that you would like to provide?
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 2:32
  • This question would better be asked on opensource.stackexchange.com, although I don't know offhand if that was around in late 2015. Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


If I got you correctly, the game and the rulebook are licensed under a Creative Commons licence. Creative Commons licences are usually used to license content (texts, images, etc.) and not software code, as you already mentioned. So, assuming you are using texts from the rulebook, those texts are covered by CC-BY-SA. Thus, if you merely copy the texts into your app to display them to other users of the game, you need to place the texts (not your source code) under CC-BY-SA (as some kind of copyright notice in your app, for example).

Note that this only affects "using" the covered works (texts / images etc. from the rulebook). Developing an app to display that content should not in itself touch on the licence of the rulebook. It is IMO instead the creation of an entirely different work, for which you could choose any licence you might like (of course, if you include other Open Source software in your source code, you might need to adhere to those licences, but this was not in question here). One could regard the app as a vessel for information, like an MP3-player or a TV, which are usually independent from the content they display.

  • In other words, I'm not required to use CC licence for the mobile app?
    – Dorklord
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 14:18
  • as far as I understand what you're doing (using texts from the rulebook in your app) you don't need CC licence for the app source code (but for the texts you use). If you like a more definite answer it would help to describe in more detail what you're actually using :)
    – elk
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 14:24

May I recommend the Mozilla Public License?

For source code, any modified files must also be subject to the copyleft clause of the license. These derivatives must be released under the Mozilla Public license as well. However, new files aren't subject to this requirement.

Alternatively, there is the LGPL. This has a library-copyleft clause, where any file that is considered a part of the library must also be released under the LGPL.

  • Your answer should probably also address the concern that "So it means... the app I've been developing must be licensed in the same exact license as the rulebook, doesn't it?" since addressing that is a precondition to using any other license such as the MPL.
    – apsillers
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 11:51
  • The answer should depend on what the author wants to accomplish. Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 15:31

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