Can I change CC license of my work from a more restrictive license to a less restrictive or vice versa?

Share this Share on Social Media

Consider this scenario where I am the author of a work which I have submitted under OER by giving it a CC license.  Now I want to change the license of my work, how can I do that? I know CC license cannot be revoked but can they be changed by the author?

Let’s take an example, the license which I chose earlier was CC-BY-NC-ND which was the most restrictive CC license and now I want to make it less restrictive license CC-BY-NC, can I do that? The answer I found was, Yes as an author or copyright holder I can change the license the way I want. But I cannot stop the users who have already downloaded my content with the previous license. Since my content was available online, there are chances that it might be used by many.            

The experts like Barbara Waxer who is a Freelance Author, Editor, Copyright & Media Presenter and Drew Roberts also agree “You can "change" any CC license to any other CC license. The practical effect though is that people can use the work under either of the licenses that you have offered that they choose. You however are not required to keep giving out copies under the license(s) you no longer prefer. You cannot however prevent people who got the work under the old license from continuing to give out copies under that license.”

That means, as a copyright holder I have full right on my content and can change the cc license for my content anytime. But then I can’t stop anyone who is using my previous version of license unless they are violating the terms of the license.

To make my work available under different license, either I can delete the earlier copy of my work and submit a new work with changed CC license or else I can make the changes in the previous copy itself.


This work is licensed under CC-BY, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.