[Maker’s Note- subplot] Things You Need to Know about Licensing

by Yun-Han Lin


Every creator/builder should have a basic understanding of licensing regarding creative content. Over the past year, I have met many people with backgrounds in education and social media due to the prevalence of open-source design. I found that many people actually have little knowledge in different types of copyright notices. Therefore, here are a few case studies you may want to take a look!

Cases that we often see…

1. Thingiverse: Creators can determine the licensing specifications for the content they are sharing. Viewers can click into the page of each design, and there will be regulations concerning licensing at the bottom. Most of the designs adopt one of the six Creative Commons licenses.

2. Instructables: Creators can determine the authorization specifications for the contents they upload. The specifications are printed under the headline of each article introducing designs, which can be hard to find sometimes. Most articles on Instructables also adopt one of the six Creative Commons licenses.

3. Soundcloud: A very popular music sharing platform. Most of the background music you find in our videos come from here. Most music producers specify their permission and license in their personal profile. Should you have problems finding it, you can check Comments to see if someone has brought it up in the past.

4. Youtube Music Library: Set up by Youtube with various tools and materials for music production. All music and soundtrack provided are labeled with “Attribution required” and “Attribution not required.”

Attribution required:

Regulated under Attribution (BY) license, where contents can be used outside YouTube channels.

Attribution not required:

There are 2 possibilities for this label; either no copyright notice has been claimed on the specified content or has purchased the license of the music from its producer. If Youtube has purchased the license of the intended music, the music then is not allowed to be used elsewhere than Youtube channels.

5. Noun Project: A platform providing 2D illustrations that are all regulated under Attribution (BY) license with default source statement to each icon. Noun Project also offers icons for purchase with a perpetual license so that users no longer have to provide source statement for the icon in future usage.

License at Casual at Work

All designs by Casual at Work are regulated under CC BY-SA license, short for Attribution (BY)- Non-profit (NC) – Share-alike (SA). Different licenses shall be applied, should there be creations of different kinds. Therefore, viewers, users, schools of all levels, and non-profit organizations are all welcome to create and adaption their works using materials we provid. That being said, make sure to specify the source in your work and share the content under the same CC license.


The information above seems rather tedious compared to contents regarding hands-on practices; however, as creators and Makers, it is important that we appreciate the effort of people who set an example for us with the same and even higher standard, before we ask all viewers and users to value and make fair use of the contents we provide.