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cc-licenses - Re: [cc-licenses] noncommercial guidelines draft: can I take this to the bank?

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: jonathon <jonathon.blake AT>
  • To: erostratus2004-cc AT, "Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts" <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: [cc-licenses] noncommercial guidelines draft: can I take this to the bank?
  • Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2007 23:26:02 +0000

Robert wrote:

> My use case is CC-NC images to illustrate a news site.
> We are thinking of using Adsense or something similar. The image is an

a) My suggestion would be to find suitable CC-BY or CC-BY-SA images.
Or public domain images.

Yes, you may run into unanticipated issues with them, but you won't be
nailed for either a copyright or license violation. Using an NC image
could easily result in either, or both of those effects.

b) The right to use the image is only the first of roughly a dozen
releases you might have to obtain. (I've yet to see a model release
go along with any CC licensed image.)

> However, I want to know how authoritative to view these interpretations.

That is about the closest to an official Creative Common Foundation
statement on what constitutes "commercial" and "non-commercial"
activity that you will find.

>Has the wording been vetted very much?

It has been changed several times.
The original page that laid out different scenarios appears to have
been deleted.

>Does it represent any sort of consensus among people who would be in
a position to know?

In theory, it simply represents what Creative Commons Foundation
thinks that the license should mean.

If two parties in a lawsuit were to claim that it misrepresents the
meaning of the license, then what it says won't hold any merit with
the court. OTOH, if either party in a lawsuit were to claim that
their understanding of the license is based upon the CC Guidelines,
then it would be considered by the court.

>The mailing list seems to disagree about the adsense use case. Is
there any reason why this analysis somehow is more persuasive?

The adsense usage is an edge-case.

If you are a 501(3)c organization with a couple of matching Form 990s
to go along with that exemption, then you _might_ be OK.

> Can I take this to the bank?

I wouldn't.

If you don't have a document that outlines what the creator of the
image considers the CC-NC license to mean, you will run into
unexpected, even unpredictable situations.

> I guess the best way is to consult an attorney, but I figure an attorney or
> two hangs around at CC and may have even glanced at the draft already :)

It requires more than a glance at the draft, to grok the effects of
the NC clause.

One _major_ issue is that the CC-NC license does not define
"non-commercial" usage.

The buma/stemra definition for "commercial usage" probably has more
legal weight/standing than the guidelines issued by the Creative
Commons Foundation. because the buma/stemra definition is part of a
legally binding contract.



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