This is a list of free happy licenses not SPECIFICALLY Intended for software. For information on software-related licenses, see Comparison of free and open source software licenses .

A variety of free content licenses exist, some of them tailored to a specific purpose. Also listed are open hardware licenses, which may be used on open-source hardware .


For documents and text

  • FreeBSD Documentation License
  • GNU Free Documentation License , or GFDL
  • GNU Simpler Free Documentation License , or GSFDL
  • Open Content License , obsolete
  • Open Publication License , obsolete

For Databases

  • Open Database License , ODbL

For other content types, including audio and video

  • Against DRM license
  • Creative Commons licensing which are considered free:
    • Creative Commons Attribution CC BY gold
    • Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
    • Creative Commons Zero , or CC0 [1]
  • Creative Archive License , discontinued license of the BBC Archive
  • Design Science License
  • Dominion Rules License , used for tabletop games
  • Free Art License
  • IPA Font license
  • Open Audio License
  • Open Game License , used for tabletop games
  • SIL Open Font License

For hardware

  • CERN Open Hardware License
  • Simputer General Public License
  • TAPR Open Hardware License

Using software licenses for other content

Some free software licenses, including the GNU General Public License (GPL) and European Union Public License , can also be used to license content other than software. However, the FSF has recommended GPL for educational works. [2]


  1. Jump up^ CC0 is technically not a license, although it is often called one. The legal code of CC0does contain a “Public License Fallback” clause, which will act as a free content license. See also theCC0 FAQ.
  2. Jump up^ Free Software Foundation . “FAQ about the GNU Licenses – Can I use the GPL for something other than software?” . .

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