[cc-community] PRESS RELEASE: Creative Commons Launches Study of “Noncommercial Use”

Eric Steuer eric at creativecommons.org
Thu Sep 18 16:05:49 EDT 2008

PDF attached; text below

Creative Commons Launches Study of "Noncommercial Use"

San Francisco, California, USA — September 18, 2008

The nonprofit organization Creative Commons has launched a research
study that will explore differences between commercial and
noncommercial uses of content, as those uses are understood among
various communities and in connection with a wide variety of content.
Generous support for the study has been provided by the Andrew W.
Mellon Foundation.

Creative Commons provides free copyright licenses to creators who want
to give the public certain permissions to use their works, in advance
and without the need for one-to-one contact between the user and the
creator. "Noncommercial" or "NC" is one of four different license
terms that creators may choose to apply to their Creative
Commons-licensed content. Works distributed under a Creative Commons
license including the NC term may be used by anyone for any purpose
that is not "primarily intended for or directed toward commercial
advantage or private monetary compensation," provided the use also
complies with the other terms of the license. Works distributed under
a Creative Commons license without the NC term may additionally be
used for commercial purposes, an option that promotes creative reuse
in a broader range of contexts.

"The study has direct relevance to Creative Commons' mission of
providing free, flexible copyright licenses that are easy to
understand and simple to use," said Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito. "The
NC term is a popular option for creators choosing a Creative Commons
license, and that tells us the term meets a need. However, as
exponentially increasing numbers of works are made available under CC
licenses, we want to provide additional information for creators about
the contexts in which the NC term may further or impede their
intentions with respect to the works they choose to share, and we want
to make sure that users clearly understand those intentions. We expect
the study findings will help us do a better job of explaining the
licenses and to improve them, where possible. We also hope the
findings, which will be made publicly available, will contribute to
better understanding of some of the complexities of digital
distribution of content."

"Developments in technology, social practices, and business models are
pressing the question of what should count as a commercial use,"
explained Creative Commons Special Counsel Virginia Rutledge, who is
leading the study. "The answer to that question should come from
creators, who should be able to specify what uses they want to permit,
subject to the limitations and exceptions to copyright or other
applicable law. Creative Commons is fortunate to have a stellar group
of legal, public policy, and information technology experts advising
on this project, as well as the help of its extensive international
network of affiliates."

Research is expected to be completed early in 2009. The study will
investigate understanding of noncommercial use and the Creative
Commons NC license term through a random sample survey of online
content creators in the U.S., a poll of the global Creative Commons
community, and qualitative data gathered from interviews with thought
leaders and focus groups with participants from around the world who
create and use a wide variety of content and media.

Advisors on the project include distinguished academicians Christine
L. Borgman, Ph.D., Professor and Presidential Chair in Information
Studies, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies,
University of California, Los Angeles; William H. Dutton, Ph.D.,
Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, Professor of Internet
Studies, University of Oxford, Fellow of Balliol College; Deborah R.
Hensler, Ph.D., Judge John W. Ford Professor of Dispute Resolution and
Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Stanford Law School; and Daniel E.
Ho, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Law and Robert E. Paradise Faculty
Fellow for Excellence in Teaching and Research, Stanford Law School.

Research will be conducted by market research firm Netpop Research,
LLC. "The potential impact of this study is profound, given the number
of creators turning to the Web to distribute and share their works,"
said Josh Crandall, managing director of Netpop Research. "We are
excited to be a part of it."

Since Creative Commons licenses were introduced in 2002, they have
been translated into 47 legal jurisdictions and adopted by content
creators around the globe, from remix musicians to educator consortia,
bloggers to book publishers. At present over 130 million works are
available on the Internet under Creative Commons licenses, each work
tagged with metadata expressing the rights and permissions associated
with it. This wealth of pre-cleared material is locatable through
functionality built into major search engines Google and Yahoo!, as
well as through the Creative Commons website and many online content
providers and services.

About Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001,
that promotes the creative re-use of intellectual and artistic works,
whether owned or in the public domain. Through its free copyright
licenses, Creative Commons offers authors, artists, scientists and
educators the choice of a flexible range of protections and freedoms
that build upon the "all rights reserved" concept of traditional
copyright to enable a voluntary "some rights reserved" approach.
Creative Commons was built with and is sustained by the generous
support of organizations including the Center for the Public Domain,
Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, The John D. and Catherine
T. MacArthur Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation,
as well as members of the public. For more information about Creative
Commons, visit http://creativecommons.org.

About Netpop Research, LLC

Netpop Research, LLC is a San Francisco-based strategic market
research firm that specializes in online media, digital entertainment
and user-generated content trends. Netpop Research has fielded
numerous studies for major profit and nonprofit entities, and is the
creator of the Netpop tracking study of Internet usage among broadband
consumers in the United States and China.


Virginia Rutledge
Special Counsel, Creative Commons
virginia at creativecommons.org

Press Kit

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