Question: What does sublicense mean?

Rob Myers robmyers at
Wed Apr 6 08:53:57 EDT 2005

On Wednesday, April 06, 2005, at 01:41PM, drew Roberts <zotz at> wrote:

>That is how I saw things and wrote him a nice heads up to alert him to a 
>possible problem. He seems to think the sublicense clause will cover the 
>Perhaps it will if "royalty-free collection" has some special meaning in the 
>industry (I am trying to find that out as well) but just for plain english, I 
>could put together a collection of CC BY and BY-SA works and sell them and, 
>so long as the buyers used them in keeping with the licenses, I don't see the 
>legal problem.
>So again, I gather he thinks he is clarifying the license. I am not yet sure. 
>I think that, unless there is some accepted industry standard as to what 
>rights a "royalty-free collection" must come with, this could be additional 
>agreements which are outside the license and thus have no validity.

As with the Groklaw disclaimer, if it's a clarification it needs to be phrased as such, not made to look like an additional condition.

If the licensor wants to stop the work being used in a """royalty free""" collection, this would presumably be handled both by the no sublicensing clause and by 8e, which wouldn't allow addition of the usual """royalty free""" restrictions. The no-DRM clause might come into effect as well. IANAL, though.

So something like: "Note that since this Creative Commons license does not allow sublicensing or the addition of extra licenseing conditions, this work may not be included as part of a licensed 'royalty free' artwork collection".

Maybe, IANAL, etc.

- Rob.

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