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

Frances Pinter frances at pinter.org.uk
Fri Apr 13 10:56:32 EDT 2012

As a publisher trying to convince other publishers to use the CC licenses at
all - changing NC to 'commercial rights reserved' seems to make good sense.


On 13/04/2012 10:32, "Gregor Hagedorn" <g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> content)
> * 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
> companies...)
> * "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?
> Gregor
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Frances Pinter
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Tel: +44 (0)20 7431 7849
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