Licensing your Work So you want to release assets? You want to orphan one of your map? or maybe you just want to publish your map as open source for learning purposes (...or any purpose really!). Well you might be interested in using a license. What's a license you may ask? It may sound scary but really it's only there to help everyone involved. Let's see what it can do for us. The license is there to state clearly how the content being published may be used and under what terms. In short, a license grants permissions. The permissions granted could be the right to build upon your work or giving the right to distribute it you have the choice to keep it for non-commercial purposes only, you can also protect yourself by mentioning that you are not liable for the content you provide. Maybe you want to force people to publish their derivative work under the same conditions/license as yours. Those are all things that licenses can express for you. Now whatever your needs may be, there is a bunch of licenses out there for you. And we're going to go through a few options. If you are distributing your assets, Creative Commons is a sensible choice, It is very straight-forward and flexible. It is simple to use and very clear. You only have to answer two questions to figure out what Creative Commons license works best for you. It is somewhat limited but definitely serviceable for assets. Now this is where things can get hairy, maps can be argued to be software. The software world has a lot of different needs and as such, software licenses are a lot more complex. If you're only publishing your bsp, you probably want to stick to creative commons if not just flat out stick to copyrighted. If you're distributing your vmf, you might be looking at an open source license. Here's a good place to start figuring out which license might be for you http://choosealicense.com/ If you find that software licenses are kind of complex and would rather just use Creative Commons, that is completely fine too. Keeping your .vmf copyrighted is always an option of course, in that case people can look at it and see how you did your map but that's the extent of the rights they are being given. F.A.Q. What if no license is included? - Then assume it is copyrighted material, you have no rights over that content. Thankfully the community has been able to run on good faith so far. Can I license my derivative work of a licensed piece of work? - Yes you can, as long as your license is not in conflict with the original license. (This usually means you cannot be more permissive). Is including an asset in my map derivative work of that asset? - No, you are redistributing the assets mostly "as is". What if Valve wants my map but a license doesn't allow me to use some assets commercially? - Having a license that doesn't allow commercial use doesn't mean the content can never be used commercially. You have to contact the author to get extra permission to use the content commercially. I just want to get rid of my stuff, I don't have time for licenses, what do I do? - Release under public domain ...or the tongue in cheek wtfpl. This gives away all the rights to anyone interested.