At ESA, we want to ensure open access and thus broadest use and re-use of our images, videos and other content – in a way that is legally certain for both you as users of the material and for us. To this end, ESA has decided to release subsets of content, highlighted on this website ( under the Creative Commons IGO licencing scheme. While you may read about the legal terms and conditions of the licence here, we also appreciate that common sense and understanding are as important and have thus compiled the information on usage of our materials.

Conditions for images, videos or other content released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO) Licence

Where expressly so stated, images or videos are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO) licence, ESA being an Intergovernmental Organisation (IGO), as defined by the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licence.

The terms used with capitals herein are defined in the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licence.

The user is allowed under the terms and conditions of the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO license to Reproduce, Distribute and Publicly Perform the ESA images and videos released under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licence and the Adaptations thereof, without further explicit permission being necessary, for as long as the user complies with the conditions and restrictions set forth in the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licence, these including that:

(i) the source of the image or video is duly credited (Examples: “Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0”, “ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO”, “ESA/Photographer’s name, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO”), and

(ii) a direct link to the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO license text is provided, and

(iii) if changes were made to the original image or video, there is a clear statement on the Adaptation indicating that changes were made to the original content; Adaptations must be Distributed or Publicly Performed under the Applicable License, as set forth in Article 4b of the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licence.

The user must not use Adaptations stating or implying the endorsement by ESA or any ESA employee of the Adaptations that the user has made or in any other manner that might mislead.

No warranties are given. The licence may not give the user all of the permissions necessary for the intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how the user uses the material.

To view a copy of this license, please visit

Please also note

  • Data and other materials not released under Creative Commons licence are subject to individual rules or principles such as PSA acknowledgement, the Sentinel Free & Open Data Policy or the ESA Earth Observation Open Data Policy or ESA’s standard corporate image licence.
  • The Creative Commons licence does not extend to the ESA logo, its constituent elements or other elements of ESA’s corporate visual identity. The ESA logo is protected and must not be used by persons who are not ESA employees or who have not been granted permission for its use by ESA.
  • The credit should not be hidden or disassociated from image or video footage. Links should be active if the credit is online. See the copyright Q&A section on this page for guidance.

Q &A on Usage rights of ESA content released under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Q: Why do you only publish subsets of content?
A: Many of ESA’s images, videos and other contents are produced with partners, for example in science and industry. In the first phase of Open Access at ESA, priority is given to material that is either fully owned by ESA or for which third-party rights have already been cleared. But we’re constantly releasing more Open Access content.

Q: What is Open Access?
A: Generally speaking, Open Access stands for free and unrestricted online access to research results and findings. Usage rights are often granted via Creative Commons Licences. There is not one, but various statements and definitions of Open Access, such as the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, the Budapest Open Access Initiative or the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing.

Q: What is Creative Commons?
A: Creative Commons is a global non-profit organisation that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools – and continues to be a major partner and facilitator with ESA and other International Organisations in using and further developing the licences.

Q: I am a video producer/journalist/blogger/photographer wanting to use your CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licenced image/video. For this I have to adapt or transform your materials and cannot publish my production under the same (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO) licence – what can I do?
A: Just send us a short message.

Q: I am a TV/video producer who wants to use your images and video footage licenced under Creative Commons. Do I need to overlay the credit on the image?
A: No, you don’t, provided the credit is clearly visible and reproduced in full at the end of the programme.

Q: I want to use the footage in a YouTube video. Is it OK just to put the credit in the text description?
A: No, as this is hidden inside a tab and therefore not visible as we request. Also it is not visible if the video is embedded in another website. In the special case where you cannot credit the video visibly, please include the credit line ‘burned in’ or overlaid on the video, or clearly visible as a credit at the end.

Q: I want to to embed an ESA Video licenced under CC in my blog. Do I need to add a credit?
A: No, ESA CC licenced videos are already branded and have a credit at the end.

Q: I am an electronic game producer. Where should I place the credit?
A: As long as the credit is clearly visible and reproduced in full, for instance in a splashscreen, all is fine.

Q: I am an (image) editor for a newspaper/magazine. Some of your credits are quite long. Can’t I just use the first part of the credit?
A: No, as this breaches the licence. Please reproduce the credit in full.

Q: I am an image editor for a News Agency. We prefer to use our own name as credit for the images and not mention from where we got them. Is that ok?
A: No, as this breaches the licence. Please reproduce the credit in full.

Q: I want to use a picture on the cover of a book/magazine. Does the credit have to appear on the cover?
A: Of corse not. Provided it is clearly visible and identified as being the credit for the cover image, the credit can appear in another prominent place in your publication. This could, for example, be the back cover, the inside front cover or the editorial page.

Q: I am an editor of a publishing company. I want to use images from ESA in a book. How do I have to credit you?
A: If possible/feasible in direct conjunction with the image. If this is not possible, the credit can appear in another prominent place in your publication. This could be, for example, a clearly visible image reference page at the end of the book.

Q: Do I need to contact all the people named in the credit line for permission to use an image or video?
A: No. ESA Images and videos licenced under CC, unless explicitly stated otherwise, are cleared for reuse without needing to contact the individuals or organisations listed. Their names must not be removed from the credit, however.

Q: Do I need to send you a digital or physical copy of any products I have made using your imagery or footage?
A: It is in any case not mandatory to send a copy, but we of course appreciate receiving one, either digitally (image, PDF) or physically. Furthermore, we of course welcome any feedback on how, where and when our materials are being reused. You can let us know here.

Q: I would like to crop, modify, remix or otherwise change an image or video. Is this OK?
A: We consider the usual light edits of an image or video such as cropping, sharpening, color management and embedding to be in accordance with the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licence. If you plan  substantial modifications and cannot publish your derivative work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO licence, you need to ask us for a waiver of the SA (=Share Alike) module which requires you to distribute your work under the same licence terms as the original publication. So if you can’t do so and need a waiver, please contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Q: Can I just overlay the ESA logo instead of the credit?
A: No, credit must be given as described above. Also, the use of the ESA logo is controlled and it must not be reproduced without permission.

If you have further questions, or are in any doubt, please contact us.