Setting up a license


With the new General Terms and Conditions of Use (GTCU) coming into effect in 2024, all OpenEdition Journals and OpenEdition Books sites will be required to display a licence.

If no licence is filled in when the new GTCU come into force, anything previously published will retain its licence, if it was already set (such as the OpenEdition Books licence which applies to all books which aren’t Creative Commons)1, or will be “All rights reserved” for OpenEdition Journals.

Recommended licences and default licences

OpenEdition recommands a CC licence per platform:

  • OpenEdition Books: for the websites and books: CC BY-NC-ND
  • OpenEdition Journals: for websites, issues (or annual collections), and documents: CC BY-SA.

However, this is recommendation.

The publisher chooses (subject to the agreement of the authors) its own default licence, i.e. the licence that applies to its Publisher Site and, in principle, to all text content published after the date of entry into force of the new GTCU, unless otherwise stipulated when the content is put online (ex: a book). In other words, if the publisher does not fill in the licence filed at the time of uploading text content (ex: a book, an issue), the default licence chosen by the publisher will also apply to this content.

The publisher can choose:

Possible exceptions

Exceptions to the default licences are however possible. As a reminder, here are the licences and exceptions accepted by platform:

Example of an exception
A site is licenced under CC BY-SA but an article or book is licenced under CC BY-NC-ND.
→ This licence must then be filled in at the level of the article or book in question, in the editing form before publication, via a double-column selector.

Capture of licence choice in the book editing form

Capture of licence choice in the article editing form


Illustrations may be under a different regime than the text of the book or article. The licence of the document therefore applies unless otherwise stated.
Example of a different regime for an illustration
A CC BY book contains illustrations (chart, table, image, etc.) under “All rights reserved”. The mention “All rights reserved” must then be indicated in the “Illustration credits”.


As of now, it is possible to choose the default licence for the site. To do this, simply send a message to the following email address cgu[at] (with a copy to the usual contact address books-support[at] for OpenEdition Books and revues[at] for OpenEdition Journals) with the following information:

  • the name of the site concerned and its URL;
  • the chosen licence;
  • from when the licence applies (for future publications only or also for documents already published, with the agreement of the authors).

Evolution of the choice of licence

Subject to the agreement of the authors, the licence can evolve over time towards a greater openness but it is not possible to restrict the possibilities of use already offered.
Example of evolution
A statement “All rights reserved” can be changed to a CC BY-SA licence. On the other hand, content published under a CC BY licence cannot be changed to a CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Embedding a book or chapter on a page

On OpenEdition Books, the HTML version of books and chapters can be displayed by anyone on another website, using the iframe sharing feature.


For more information on licensing:

Cite this blog post
amandinetexier (2022, November 17). Setting up a license. OpenEdition Journals Support - Lodel 1. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from

  1. This licence allows all open access and freemium books to be deposited in the Directory of Open Access Books. []

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