[cc-licenses] Raising the floor: suggesting a redefinition of noncommercial

David Chart bydosa at davidchart.com
Thu Dec 29 23:34:58 EST 2011

On 2011/12/30, at 4:11, Heather Morrison wrote:

> For the  
> avoidance of doubt, educational use is not considered commercial for  
> the purposes of this license, and is therefore permitted.

I don't agree with this suggsted change.

I make my living from two sources, writing and editing books, and teaching. When I am a writer, I make my living by selling books. When I am a teacher, I make my living by selling education. Both of these activities build the culture in which I live. (Assuming I do them competently.) I see no reason at all to distinguish them; a teacher being paid to teach is using the material commercially. Of course, I can give writing away, and that's non-commercial, and similarly I can give education away, and that's non-commercial.

Of course teachers would like to be able to make money off things licensed for non-commercial use only. But that doesn't mean they should be allowed to.

On the practical side, are you going to exclude online education? Are you going to make teachers liable under copyright law if students skip class? If not, you're going to find it very hard to stop people selling the stuff by charging "course fees", providing the "course material", and offering to provide feedback just as soon as the student submits the draft of the 100,000 word dissertation. Note that you can't really put a requirement on the standard of the feedback, either. Is it only available to good teachers?

I think this is even harder to define than derivatives only.

So, I'm afraid I think it's philosophically unjustified, and practically unrealisable.

David Chart

More information about the cc-licenses mailing list