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Rel-License is a simple, open, format for indicating content licenses which is embedable in HTML or XHTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML. Rel-License is one of several microformat open standards.

Specification 2005-02-06


Tantek Çelik (Technorati, Inc., formerly of Microsoft Corporation)


Per the public domain release on my user page, this specification is released into the public domain.

Public Domain Contribution Requirement. Since the author(s) released this work into the public domain, in order to maintain this work's public domain status, all contributors to this page agree to release their contributions to this page to the public domain as well. Contributors may indicate their agreement by adding the public domain release template to their user page per the Voluntary Public Domain Declarations instructions. Unreleased contributions may be reverted/removed.


This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy, e.g. per the W3C Patent Policy, and IETF RFC3667 & RFC3668.


Rel-License is one of several microformats. By adding rel="license" to a hyperlink, a page indicates that the destination of that hyperlink is a license for the current page. E.g. with the following hyperlink:

<a href="" rel="license">cc by 2.0</a>

the author indicates that the page is licensed under a Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution Required license.

Multiple Licenses

Multiple such rel="license" hyperlinks indicate that the page is available under any of the referred licenses. E.g. the following hyperlinks could be used to declare that a page is available under either a Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution Required license or the Apache 2.0 license:

<a href="" rel="license">cc by 2.0</a>
<a href="" rel="license">Apache 2.0</a>

XMDP profile

The following is an XMDP profile for the rel-license specification.


This profile is hosted as a separate XMDP file on


Profiles are referenced in (X)HTML files in the <HEAD> tag, e.g.:

<head profile=''>


<dl class="profile">
 <dt id="rel">rel</dt>
   <a rel="help" href="">
     HTML4 definition of the 'rel' attribute.</a>  
   Here is an additional value as defined in the
   <a rel="help start" href="">
   rel-license specification</a> 
   <dt id="license">license</dt>
   <dd>Indicates that the referred resource is a license for the referring page.</dd>


List of Licenses


This section is informative.

Articles about rel-license, most recent first. When this section gets too big, we can move it to rel-license-articles.


Normative References

Informative References

see also