What constitutes "non-commercial use"?

Creative Commons is surveying people on what they believe constitutes "non-commercial use".

Creative Commons is conducting a study on the meaning of “NonCommercial” and you can weigh in by answering a detailed questionnaire on the subject. We’ve extended the deadline for participation to December 14 (originally December 7) as we’re still getting healthy response via all those who blogged about the questionnaire this week.

Read more about the survey. As a fair heads up, it's a long survey (it just took me about 20 minutes to complete) but was certainly thought provoking. I'd love to hear what others had to think here in the comments below -- please weigh in.


Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.


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There's the Rub

Anonymous's picture

I was wondering how long it would take before this became an issue for Creative Commons. The definition of Commercial is very much up in the air on the Internet. If you post something on YouTube, is it commercial? Google runs YouTube and they are commercial - and they sell advertisements around the videos. What if you use it to teach at the community college, where participants each pay you $5 for material and labor costs? What if you host it on a non-commercial indie website, and one day the website is sold for a million dollars, or instead you leverage your new reputation to get a new job.

Seems to me that just about every action has the potential for being considered "commercial". The attribution part of the CC licenses is more important than the commercial part, anyway. People are just hung up on money and the fear someone might make some off their work.

Non-Commercial use is what

Anonymous's picture

Non-Commercial use is what fake open source and free software licenses use to pretend they're open. Think Microsoft's Shared Source, which also, if I recall correctly, has a non-disclosure clause and most other companies avoid it like the plague for fear of Microsoft's ever-too-ready IP threats.