Content Licensing

Learn how to build to enable users to specify a content licensing license for their Publications.

Content licensing is the process where the owner of creative work grants permission to others to use, share, or reproduce the content under specified conditions. Licenses can be customised to suit particular purposes and may include restrictions on usage, distribution, or modification of the work.

In Lens, content licensing can be included directly in the Publication metadata. This means the terms of how the content can be used are embedded within the Publication itself, providing blockchain-native licensing information that is linked to the Publication and the ownership and transfer of any token minted from it (e.g., Collect NFTs).


The Lens Publication Metadata Standard provides the capability to specify the license for a publication's content.

Lens metadata supports 36 different license choices, ranging from strict to more permissive licenses that allow commercial remixability. Additionally, it's possible to apply different licenses to each media item within the publication metadata.

Not all publications on Lens have a license. If a publication does not specify a license, the publication for copyright purposes is unlicensed.

The following examples demonstrate how to specify licensing for various types of content.

import {  audio,  MediaAudioMimeType,  MetadataLicenseType,} from '@lens-protocol/metadata';
const metadata = audio({  title: 'Great song!',  audio: {    item: 'ar://3jQsSRK9X2w5u2S9rtZkZEW1ceWBrxXQhcW3qS4PmVg',    type: MediaAudioMimeType.MP3,    artist: 'Jane Doe',    cover: 'ar://bNb2ER7LPE9IvmHKJPiddV3Yi3sZIbRFhPE2fpc7X1U',    license: MetadataLicenseType.TBNL_C_ND_NPL_Legal,  },});

Supported Licenses

The Lens Publication Metadata supports both Creative Commons licenses and Token Bound NFT licenses, a licensing standard native to NFTs.

While the metadata offers a range of licenses to foster innovation and flexibility, the most commonly chosen and comprehensive licenses include:

  • CC0: This license allows anyone to use the content without any restrictions.

  • TBNL-C-D-NPL-Legal: This license grants the NFT owner commercial rights.

  • TBNL-NC-D-NPL-Legal: This license grants the NFT owner personal rights.


Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licenses provide a robust set of public licenses, allowing creators to share their work globally. These standardized and publicly accessible licenses enable creators to distribute their creative works while maintaining specific rights. They offer a flexible framework for granting permissions for various usage types, including commercial or non-commercial use, creation of derivative works, and sharing with appropriate attribution.

The breakdown of Creative Commons licenses is as follows:

  • CC0 (Public Domain Dedication): This license permits both commercial use and the creation of derivative works, without the need for attribution.

  • CC BY (Attribution): This license allows both commercial use and the creation of derivative works, but requires attribution to the original creator.

  • CC BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivs): This license permits commercial use but does not allow the creation of derivative works. Attribution to the original creator is required.

  • CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial): This license does not permit commercial use but allows for the creation of derivative works. Attribution to the original creator is required.

Use the table below to understand the permissions and requirements of each Creative Commons license.

IdentifierCommercial UseDerivativesAttribution
CC BYYesYesRequired
CC BY-NDYesNoRequired
CC BY-NCNoYesRequired

Token Bound NFT Licenses

Token Bound NFT Licenses provide a native and modular standard licensing system for NFTs, offering a selection of 32 license options. See the full license standard.

These are the key components of the Token Bound NFT Licenses:

  • Commercial (C) vs. Non-Commercial (NC): Specifies whether the license allows for commercial use. Commercial licenses permit making money from merchandise and other uses of the work, whereas Non-Commercial licenses do not.

  • Derivatives (D), Derivatives-NFT (DT), Derivatives-NFT-Share-Alike (DTSA), No-Derivatives (ND): Determines the extent to which derivative works are allowed. Derivatives allow for unrestricted derivative works, Derivatives-NFT requires derivatives to be NFTs, Derivatives-NFT-Share-Alike requires derivative NFTs to carry the same license, and No-Derivatives prohibits derivative works entirely.

  • Public-License (PL) vs. No-Public-License (NPL): A Public-License grants the public broad rights to reproduce the work, whereas a No-Public-License restricts rights to the licensee only.

  • Ledger-Authoritative (Ledger) vs. Legal-Authoritative (Legal): Ledger-Authoritative means blockchain ledger status is always authoritative for ownership and rights under the license, even in cases of theft or mistake. Legal-Authoritative allows for legal intervention to correct ownership in cases of theft or fraud.

Use the table below to understand the permissions and requirements of each Token Bound NFT license.

IdentifierCommercial UseDerivativesPublic LicenseAuthoritative