What do you do when you find a work online that the artist says is "No copyright" but doesn't have an explicit license?

And what if they also say "You must credit me"?

@emacsen Ask the artist if you can do such and such thing, save the email thread as a file named COPYING, and you're done :)

@emacsen There is a problem when such a license contains inappropriate or contradictory fragments. For instance, the SQLite license is contradictory (anyone can do many things, but only if you live in some countries) and (by that) xenophobic. Most software distributions think that you can take out the parts that sound stupid.

Pass them a note that you would like to use the work under the terms of X license (even CC0), and credit them as instructed.

If it's just something personal / not widely distributed, I'd go ahead and use it with a note like "By so-and-so, used with permission."

@emacsen You could explain copyright and the creative commons licenses to them but knowing most people, that wont go anywhere.

@emacsen Maybe explain that one contradicts the other and point them to Creative Commons?

@emacsen If the artist seems nice, I'll ask directly about licensing, but haven't gotten a response. If the "no copyright" statement is specific and actually suggests dedication to the public domain, I take them at their word and credit them as a courtesy like I would any CC0 work with a known author, but won't pass that request along. If it's not in either of those categories or if the "no copyright" statement isn't clear, it "doesn't exist."

@emacsen Creative Commons license embed another protection for the licensee - they explicitly state that the licensor can't change their mind in the future and "unlicense" the work for the folks that have already used the work. I'm not sure what protections copyright laws in various countries provide for the same problem otherwise.

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