[cc-licenses] Version 4:0:Rebranding "noncommercial" to "commercial rights reserved"

Gregor Hagedorn g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com
Fri Apr 13 05:32:37 EDT 2012

We tried to analyze whether we can safely use NC-licenses and the
result was: almost no organisation can do that... Whenever a charity
or non-profit uses an image, it obtains a commercial advantage by
saving the money it would (and does) otherwise spend on image license
fees. It is furthermore not clear, which level of immediacy the
"primarily" refers to: week, project, reporting, year, saving the
world... Many actions or re-use of licensed works may in the short
term be viewed to be simply directed towards a commercial advantage,
whereas in the longer term, one may be able to claim that this is an
action towards some ultimate, abstract goal (peace, happiness).

There are valid uses of NC, like private fan-dom sites, so I am not
arguing that the NC license is worthless.

However, I would very much like to see the license being
rebranded/relabeled. In our own experience, trying to convince more
people to release their works, which they do not intend to make any
money off, under an open content license, we almost always get into a
quagmire of misunderstanding. First.

* "But Wikipedia use the Creative Commons Non-commercial license!" (no
it does not, Wikipedia is Open Content, the NC-license is closed
* So Wikipedia is commercial? (yes, the Wikimedia Foundation, like
almost all charities or non-profits, are commercial entities. But in
fact this does not count for the license at all, works under an NC
license can be used by non-profits as well as huge for-profit
* "I am non-commercially minded!" (Well then the NC is the wrong one
for you as a licensor, it is intended for the commercially minded ones
who want and do make a profit from selling their works...)
* "But non-commercial is good, it is better than commercial!" (...)


Bottomline: I believe the "non-commercial" tag of the NC license
SOUNDS much too attractive for normal people. They associate it with
something that is more desirable than the truly open content licenses.

Proposals rebrand the closed content licenses under a less positive
brand than CC: +1

But if that is unlikely, just renaming the counter-intuitively named
"non-commercial" license would be great advantage in correcting the
false perception of the NC-license.

I proposed to rename it to "commercial rights reserved" license and
believe this captures the action much better.
The renaming would have no detrimental effects, since the actual legal
texts could remain almost unchanged, and the NC-3.0 license and the
CRR-4.0 license would remain compatible.

Any better proposals?


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