The original library has this statement in its readme, with a link to CC0 1.0.

To the extent possible by law, [redacted] Company, LLC has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this library.

If I forked this library and modified it, would I be able to publish the fork under the MIT license?

  • 4
    I don't see why not. However, you might want to talk to a lawyer who specializes in copyright law. Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 20:12
  • 2
    Related question on Open Source: May someone else apply a license to CC0 material?
    – unor
    Commented Apr 27, 2016 at 16:41
  • 2
    That's not public domain. Public domain is a very different thing! Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 8:54
  • "The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law" Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 13:49
  • Yes Rahat, but that actually does not put it in the public domain, no matter what they say. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

You won't find an absolute answer to this question anywhere, but the general consensus seems to be, "Yes, with attribution, depending on your jurisdiction."

The CC0 is not a copyleft license, so it does not require re-licensing under the same license for derivative works. In my (non-lawyerly) opinion, as long as you are attributing the creator/owner of the work, there shouldn't be an issue with you publishing your modified version of the code under the MIT license.

From the CC0 FAQ:

Just like anything in the public domain, it will be possible for others to use or adapt it however they wish without attribution.


Just like anything already in the public domain today, anybody will be able to use your work for any purpose, even in ways you may find distasteful or objectionable. They can also make money off of your work, and they may give you credit or they may not.

From answers to the question linked to above by @unor:

consider the author's moral rights. In some jurisdictions, this include the right to be attributed properly, and this is a legal requirement.


There's no legal requirement [in the USA] that the CC0 license and authorship information be retained.


The answers so far assume that it is definitely unmoral to not attribute work published with CC0 and it will be seen as such at court (given appropriate jurisdictions).

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