What happens if I use a material offered under a CC license and the author decides to remove or change the CC license?

CC licenses are irrevocable. This means that if someone decides to change their mind about the license they are using, you can still use it under the terms that it was offered to you. However, sometimes this could potentially make someone wary of using a work under a CC license, because how might you prove that the material was offered to you under a CC license? 

A good idea is that whenever you are using and reusing material offered to you under a CC license, you do one (or both) of the following:

  • Upload the photo to Wikimedia Commons: using the Upload Wizard, you can add the source where you find the material, alongside with the tutorial. The Upload Wizard offers a step by step guide.


If you paste the URL in that box, it will create a “snapshot” of the page, with a unique URL. You could potentially also use that URL as an alternative source when using the “TASL approach” (more on that in the next section). 

 Lastly, an important point is that you might wish to respect the desires of the author that decides to change the license to their content, avoiding reusing that content in the future, even when you might have the snapshot of the website.