I want to use an image under CC-ShareAlike in my video. The image has not been changed, however I have applied a slight zoom & pan motion to the image in the video. The video contains other images which either have expired copyright or are under CC but not share-alike.

If I use the image under CC-ShareAlike in my video, does that mean I have to make my video CC-SA as well?


  • Your question in the current state hardly can be answered unambiguously. It depends on what the image is it, why do want to use it, and above all what place it would take in your video. And on jurisdiction, of course. You have to study ‘fair use’ laws of your country. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 14:33
  • A great benefit of the CC system is that it encourages the user to contact the creator to negotiate additional rights. So, my recommendation would be to send the person who created the image an email and request permission to use his image on your video. Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 7:02
  • Hmm, one thing that isn't really worth it's own answer, but worth pointing out. If the usage would fall within fair use, then the work including it would not need to be licensed as following the license would not be necessary since fair use supersedes the copyright which makes a license a requirement.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 3:42

3 Answers 3


Yes, that's the core condition of the CC-ShareAlike license. Any derivative or work that contains the image has to be distributed under the same license for the entire video. Even if you create a long video with only one image that is licensed under CC-SA, you will have to use the same license. Using a different license would be a violation to the terms of use. This makes it complicated to use videos and images that were distributed under diverse licences, which is the main disadvantage of the CC-SA license.


It really depends on whether your video constitutes a collective work or a derivative work. The legal deed for the CC-BY-SA licence makes this distinction:


"Collective Work" means a work, such as a periodical issue, anthology or encyclopedia, in which the Work in its entirety in unmodified form, along with a number of other contributions, constituting separate and independent works in themselves, are assembled into a collective whole. A work that constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a Derivative Work (as defined below) for the purposes of this License.


Therefore, were you to use the image as a stand-alone work within your video (like a slide in a presentation), then you would not need to license your video under a CC-BY-SA licence because the use would not constitute a derivative work. The only exception to this is music licensed under CC-BY-SA licences and that's because when you put music to moving images, it changes the context of the music and that IS considered a derivative work.


No you do not.

While in all practicality the answer is Yes; but there is a very important assumption that many people are making.

The condition of CC-SA licence is that if you distribute the derivative work you must distribute it under the terms compatible with this licence. Firstly this implies that there is a chance to find a different licence, which is compatible with it. Secondly, you can chose not to distribute the work and not to perform it to the public. This can be a family video that we are talking about here, that you intent to only watch yourself or with a close friends/family (which can be argued as not being "performance"). If that is the case, nobody is going to demand that you release the work to the public under any licence at all.

Unfortunately i was unable to find the text for CC-SA licence on CC website, but here's what CC-BY-SA say:

Section 3 - License conditions
Your exercise of the Licensed Rights is expressly made subject to the following conditions.

  a Attribution.

    1. If You Share the Licensed Material (including in modified form), You must:
    2. You may satisfy the conditions in Section 3(a)(1) in any reasonable manner ...
    3. If requested by the Licensor, You must remove any of the information required by Section 3(a)(1)(A) to the extent reasonably practicable.
  b ShareAlike.
    In addition to the conditions in Section 3(a), if You Share Adapted Material You produce, the following conditions also apply.

    1. The Adapter’s License You apply must be ...
    2. You must include the text of, or the URI or hyperlink to, the Adapter's License You apply...
    3. You may not offer or impose any additional or different terms or conditions on, or apply any Effective Technological Measures to, Adapted Material that restrict exercise of the rights granted under the Adapter's License You apply.

As you can see everywhere it talks about conditions on the distribution, and not the use of the work in question. That is because it is impossible to limit the use of the work by using copyright, since only the act of copying, exhibition, and broadcast can be limited. Otherwise you would be unable to sell a book that you've bought, having to get the licence to do so from the author/publisher.

  • @AJHenderson Licence, but its very nature, only enters into play when copyright does. And copyright doesn't matter in regard to something that is not being copied. It's like you don't have a right to copy the book, but you can sell it to anybody you want without ever having to ask for licence from the author. No new copies, no copyright, no need for a licence.
    – v010dya
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 16:52
  • @AJHenderson Added text from the licence itself.
    – v010dya
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 17:02
  • 1
    Ok, I missed that part. In this case, yes, it only applies for distribution, however copyright can apply in some jurisdictions to modification of works. This is why photographers are able to require that their works not be modified as a condition of release. First sale says that once a copy is sold, it can be resold as it is not a new copy, but in some jurisdictions, modification and use in a derivative work is considered making a copy. That's irrelevant in this case though as CC-SA appears to only place content under the license for redistribution.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 17:40

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