In the CC-BY-ND human readable summary, there is the sentence

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license , and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

(Emphasis mine)

I assume they want to express that it has to be indicated that changes to the license must be indicated. For me, when first reading the license, it seemed that I have to indicate whether or not I made changes to the product, which is a bit confusing, because ND means that you're not allowed to make changes.

Does the comma make the difference in this case?

  • 1
    It definitely refers to the product, not the license. If you click on the words in question in your link it gives a popup that specifies that point. The ND refers to No Derivatives. You're not allowed to remix a song, for instance. There are other changes you could make, cutting a clip from a video, for instance, that would not be derivative. Feb 11, 2015 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


You are free to share the material
But you must

  1. give appropriate credit
  2. provide a link to the license
  3. indicate if changes were made

The three clauses all apply to "what you must do to be able to share the material" and "changes" in the third clause doesn't refer back to "the license" in the second clause. I think the comma is in there to make that clearer, although the real clarification is a link to click on over "indicate if changes were made" that says:

In 4.0, you must indicate if you modified the material and retain an indication of previous modifications. In 3.0 and earlier license versions, the indication of changes is only required if you create a derivative.

  • Ok, so my first impression was right and I only got confused by thinking of how this works together with ND. (Seems I want a different licence) Feb 11, 2015 at 22:24
  • @ThomasW. I didn't dig too deep into it, but I don't know what level of changes cause something to become a derivative work. If it's an image and you crop it slightly to fit a page layout, and you mention that you cropped it, my guess it would be an allowable use under this license.
    – ColleenV
    Feb 11, 2015 at 22:27

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