The FAQ states:

ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

That makes sense - if I want to include a graphic under that license and modify it, then I have to make that modification publicly available under the same license. But does that apply to the rest of my code? Whether or not I include a modified or the original graphic in my application?

I have no issue with attribution or releasing my modifications of affected graphics, but I don't want to publish my code.

2 Answers 2


The basic question is: does your code, or the creation of it, in any way rely on that particular image.

If you somehow derived your code from the image, then your code would be a derived work and you would have to publish your code under the CC-BY-SA license.

However, and this is more usual, if the image is just something that gets displayed in the context of our application, but it could just as easily have been a completely different picture under a different license, then the two are not related as far as copyright is concerned and the CC-BY-SA license of the picture doesn't affect your code.

  • Thank you! So the keyword is replacability? I am writing a game and don't want to violate anyone's rights. Since I could replace any sprite with a different one my game doesn't strictly depend on the sprite and I don't have to publish my code, right? One last question, since you seem to know your way around this stuff, if I do modify a sprite and include it in my game (so the graphic is a derivate of the original) do I have to release it under the same licens independently from the game to comply with the license? Jul 19, 2015 at 15:36
  • 1
    @AndreasHartmann: Yes, you would have to release the modified sprite under the same license as the original, which can be a different license that the code. Jul 19, 2015 at 17:58

If you create you program so that it loads the image at run-time (it is not linked): the user of the program must be able to change the image (customisation), if not then it is linked. Then the program should not be affected, it would be like an image viewer, it is not affected by the images that it views.

I am not a lawyer. Please read the licence, and applicable laws carefully and consult your legal department.

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