[cc-licenses] 4.0 NonCommercial

Kerrick Long me at kerricklong.com
Sat Jan 21 22:50:05 EST 2012

I'm sorry to break it to you, but the only reason many people use CC-NC is *
because* it is so conservative. In some people's ideal world, everybody
would license using CC-BY-SA, but this is *not* an ideal world. Quite
frankly, if the CC-NC was any more liberal in its allowed uses, I would
simply discontinue use of Creative Commons. I use it so people can have the
photos for their desktop background, or print it out and hang it on their
wall at home, or share it on Facebook with their friends, or things like

I do *not* want a blog running advertisements to use it, nor do I want a
non-profit organization with a budget for other things using it, nor do I
want it to expire and automatically be transferred into a CC-BY-SA
license—if money is being made by using my work, or a budget could be
allocated to pay for its usage, I want to earn a living, and I don't want
that to stop in a set number of years.

I joined this mailing list because I wanted to introduce what real-world
content creators who make their living producing creative works think into
this discussion. I can tell from what I've been receiving that very few of
you put bread on the table and a roof over your head by creating content,
because many of you seem to be *completely opposed* to enabling anybody to
make money with works licensed under any CC license.

Also, let's be honest here: CC-NC is *not* a "gateway license" for any
purpose. Those who are reserving commercial rights to their work are highly
unlikely to open it up further in the future, they are simply using CC-NC
because it's a widely-accepted, well-understood, generally-written license
that allows people to personally enjoy and share their work, but still
allows them to make money with it at every possible venture. If CC-NC gets
more "liberal," if it allows broader usage, many people who currently use
CC-NC will likely go back to writing their own custom license that is
likely to be *more restrictive* than CC-NC, just to ensure they can still
make a living with their work.

Kerrick Long

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 5:14 AM, Gregor Hagedorn <g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com>wrote:

> > I agree with Greg. Is it not better to have people use CC-NC (and a
> > potential CC-NP) rather than keep a strict copyright and reserve all
> rights?
> > The plain truth is that not everybody is willing to make creative work
> and
> > give it away for commercial purposes, because they simply cannot afford
> to.
> > The good news is many of those people want to be able to let others use
> > their work for personal/private uses, so shouldn't CC try to enable them
> to
> > share their work as much as they are willing? A conservative NC license
> > would bring more content creators into the world of CC (possibly to give
> > more rights later), and a liberal license would make those already in the
> > world of CC happy. That's the main reason I propose having a conservative
> > and a liberal non-commercial-type license.
> I agree with others that there is little evidence that closed content
> NC-licenses pave the way to open content CC BY/CC BY-SA licenses.
> Personal experience rather tells me that people widely misunderstand
> the NC license as something better, and certainly fit for non-profit
> use. I think the ambiguity analyzed in the NC-perception study by CC
> also shows this.
> I cannot yet see a way for an operationally and internationally
> working definition of a non-profit license. If someone can propose a
> working definition, it may be a way to explore that as well. In the
> absence of a non-profit-enabled license (or rather, as long as the CC
> BY/CC BY-SA _are_ the non-profit licenses), my proposed solution for
> CC 4.0 is:
> a) make the definition of NC unambiguous. The only possible way to do
> this is to make it more conservative (else licensors could claim the
> did not intend the liberal rewording, and any licensee of this
> "liberal-NC" would be faced with unmanagable legal risks)
> b) change the name and code from NC to "CRR" = "Commercial rights
> reserved" to avoid the "positive feeling" of the NC phrase. In my
> experience many who have no commercial interest choose the NC license
> because they believe it is the more valuable commons, the one that
> they would like to see. They are not aware of the practical
> differences between non-commercial and non-profit or charity work.
> c) Perhaps, to in the end reduce license incompatibility
> proliferation, make the CC-CRR 4.0 license time-limited, i.e. provide
> it ONLY as a set of licenses where the CRR-term expires prior to
> copyright expiration.
> Thus, CC would no longer provide a direct successor for CC BY-NC or CC
> BY-NC-SA, but the CC 4.0 license chooser set would include:
> CC BY-SA-CRR(exp-2017)
> CC BY-SA-CRR(exp-2022)
> CC BY-SA-CRR(exp-2032)
> (5, 10 and 20 years expiration, i.e. in 2018, 2023, or 2033 the works
> become available under CC BY-SA)
> The license chooser would be updated each year to reflect the 5, 10,
> 20 year terms. The license itself would contain a clause that allows a
> maximum duration of such a license is 20 years, i.e. CC does not
> support, in the year 2012, an exp-2042 term - but in 2022 it does. I
> think this is doable, understandable, transparent, and operationally
> workable for licensees. The latter point is not true for licenses that
> state a duration, because typically it will be impossible to certainly
> proof the creation time of a work, even photo metadata are not
> reliable.
> The time-limited licenses in general have been discussed in a separate
> thread. For the purpose of CC 4.0 I propose to test them only for the
> NC/CRR case, however, to keep things relatively simple.
> Gregor
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