I am creating a fictional world to be the setting of my RPG campaigns, and using a wiki website to store my content. Being on the internet, I figured I might want to apply a license to my work to allow reuse if someone wants to, but of course I don't want a company to take it and publish it as their own, so I was considering putting a CC-BY-NC-SA license on it.

The thing is, once I do that, am I preventing myself from using it in a commercial setting ? I don't think I would publish it but if I want to stream it would it breach the NC clause ?

Additionally, by doing that, would I be preventing anyone from using it on stream ? Or is there a way that as the licensor and creator, I can give express permission to someone for using it ?

Lastly, in case CC-BY-NC-SA is not what I need, what license could be ?

  • Why would you need a license for content you created, unless you sold exclusive rights to someone else?
    – ColleenV
    Sep 7, 2021 at 11:05
  • If the answer to this question is yes, are you planning on suing yourself if you breach it? If not, who is it that you imagine would be able to sue you?
    – JBentley
    Sep 7, 2021 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


A license is permission given by the copyright holder to someone who would not otherwise be legally able to use the content lawfully. Since the holder may freely use his or her own content in any way, a license to oneself is superfluous, and does not bind the owner.

This is similar to the fact that one can put up "No trespassing" signs on one's property, without preventing oneself, or those one invites, from using the property.

Moreover, a copyright owner can grant two or more different and incompatible licensees to the same content. Such licenses can be granted to different people, or all can be granted to the general public. Granting one license does not preclude later granting a different and incompatible license. Anyone who has been granted two or more different licenses may use the content under the terms of any valid license.

Many open source and permissive license, such as CC licenses, are, by their terms, permanent and may not be canceled, except as the law of a particular country may grant cancellation privileges regardless of license terms. (US Copyright law, for example, permits cancellation during a 5-year period starting 35 years after creation or publication, regardless of previous agreements.) But the owner can always grant additional licenses on different terms.

Not all streaming is commercial. An NC license provision would prohibit commercial streaming, but not other streaming. But the owner could always grant an additional license for commercial streaming.

I do not know of a standard public license that permits commercial streaming, but no other commercial uses. But an owner is not limited to pre-written standard licenses. Any owner may issue a license with whatever terms the owner wishes, although in creating one's own license, it may be wise to consult a lawyer to avoid unexpected and unwanted results.

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