Like, if some graphical illustrations are available for free under CC0 licence and are provided by a website.

Is it possible for the website to restrict free downloads of those graphics in future? It is clear that people have downloaded them earlier under CC0 licence and are using them for commercial purposes, didn't it make all of them permanent free?

  • 1
    You should probably ask in Law.se. Primarily cc0 is about the author that waives rights on the work others may do as they wish. So yes they can do that in many ways, but off course if you know the work is cc0 then you can allays use it from another source. PS: didn't down vote, but copyright is a really complex thing so answering this is really hard.
    – joojaa
    May 10, 2016 at 6:59
  • @joojaa Yes, that's what I was confused about. Should I remove this question from here and post it in Law.Se? May 10, 2016 at 8:53
  • Related question on OpenSource.SE: May someone else apply a license to CC0 material?
    – Cai
    May 10, 2016 at 9:03
  • and on Law.SE: Sell CC0 Images
    – Cai
    May 10, 2016 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


The CC0 licence clearly states that any waiver is permanent and irrevocable. Excerpt from CC0 1.0 Universal (emphasis added on relevant text):

To the greatest extent permitted by, but not in contravention of, applicable law, Affirmer hereby overtly, fully, permanently, irrevocably and unconditionally waives, abandons, and surrenders all of Affirmer's Copyright and Related Rights and associated claims and causes of action, whether now known or unknown (including existing as well as future claims and causes of action), in the Work (i) in all territories worldwide, (ii) for the maximum duration provided by applicable law or treaty (including future time extensions), (iii) in any current or future medium and for any number of copies, and (iv) for any purpose whatsoever, including without limitation commercial, advertising or promotional purposes (the "Waiver"). Affirmer makes the Waiver for the benefit of each member of the public at large and to the detriment of Affirmer's heirs and successors, fully intending that such Waiver shall not be subject to revocation, rescission, cancellation, termination, or any other legal or equitable action to disrupt the quiet enjoyment of the Work by the public as contemplated by Affirmer's express Statement of Purpose.

Wether there is any legal condition that would allow you to go against this is something that would be better asked on law.stackexchange.

It's worth noting that it's possible for someone to "restrict free downloads" without going against the CC0 license. There is nothing stopping anyone from commercially selling those images, restricting downloads from their website, etc.

  • A third party can charge for the cc0 license even relicense it in certain cases.
    – joojaa
    May 10, 2016 at 8:43
  • Thanks for the explanation. This means that the people who downloaded those designs earlier are still free to use/reproduce them? right? May 10, 2016 at 8:52
  • @joojaa you are right, you could relicense the image!
    – Cai
    May 10, 2016 at 8:53
  • @ShabazKhan yes, anyone can sell or relicense or do whatever they want with the image, but the image you downloaded is still CC0 licensed.
    – Cai
    May 10, 2016 at 8:54

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