So though Creative Commons has stated that when things are licensed under their license, it couldn't be revoked, but could I choose to re-license under a less stricter license? Like from CC BY-SA to CC BY (giving up Share-Alike restriction) or like CC BY-NC-SA to either CC BY or CC-BY-SA. As I'm putting down restrictions, is it possible to do such things?


1 Answer 1


By the terms of the CC license, you cannot "cancel" or "revoke" it. But as the copyright owner, you may separately release under a different license: a less restrictive CC license, or a completely different license such as the GPL or the MIT license.

You could even release under a more restrictive CC license, going say from a CC-BY to a CC-BY-ND or a CC-BY-SA. You could remove all mention of the earlier license from any website or app you control. Anyone who had obtained (or later obtains) a copy under the earlier release could use it or give it to others under the terms of that license, but anyone who did not so receive it, but instead gets it from you under the different terms it could only use it under the terms of the later release.

By the way, although the CC license describe themselves as irrevocable, there is under US law, a five-year period during which any license grant may be canceled, provided the proper procedures are followed. This is under 17 USC 203, and the period starts 35 years after the license was granted, or 35 years after the work was published.

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    "but anyone who did not so receive it could only use it under the terms of the later release." Are you sure? I think anyone who did receive it, can still give it to someone that did not so receive it.
    – nl-x
    Nov 25, 2021 at 21:48
  • @nl-x You are correct, I wrote in an unclear way. I will edit the answer to correct this. Nov 26, 2021 at 15:14

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