News

Urgent: Your input needed for “NonCommercial” questionnaire

Mike Linksvayer, December 2nd, 2008

As previously announced, we’re running a questionnaire on understanding “NonCommercial” use. The questionnaire runs through December 714. It takes 15-25 minutes to complete.

Click here to start the questionnaire.

Your input is greatly appreciated. CC CEO Joi Ito explains:

“The study has direct relevance to Creative Commons’ mission of providing free, flexible copyright licenses that are easy to understand and simple to use,” said Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito. “The NC term is a popular option for creators choosing a Creative Commons license, and that tells us the term meets a need. However, as exponentially increasing numbers of works are made available under CC licenses, we want to provide additional information for creators about the contexts in which the NC term may further or impede their intentions with respect to the works they choose to share, and we want to make sure that users clearly understand those intentions. We expect the study findings will help us do a better job of explaining the licenses and to improve them, where possible. We also hope the findings, which will be made publicly available, will contribute to better understanding of some of the complexities of digital distribution of content.”

You can also help by sending your friends and colleagues to the questionnaire.


If you don’t have time to help CC in this way, remember that we’re in the midst of our annual fundraising campaign.

Contributing in both ways would be ideal. :-)

CC licenses are an important* part of the digital infrastructure and debate. Your financial contributions and your feedback are both crucial to the ongoing development of this infrastructure.

Click here to start the questionnaire.

* The ‘important’ link above points out a recent extraordinarily important and visible use of the CC BY license, which does not include the NC term. As Joi points out in the quote above, we also want to provide information about contexts in which NC is not appropriate. So please take the questionnaire if you care about public copyright licenses, even if you don’t like or don’t use ones with the NonCommercial term. Thanks!

14 Responses to “Urgent: Your input needed for “NonCommercial” questionnaire”

  1. Adam says:

    I understand non commercial to mean, that you can not make money from a derivative work unless you have made arrangements with it’s original author.

  2. Bill says:

    Any way you can create a NC-lite survey that only asks questions about the NC term? The current survey is way too long.

  3. joan says:

    The survey is long but it is full of very interesting questions.
    I found that reading the survey alone made me think about the NC term in new ways and about potential implications for various uses…

  4. Kay says:

    But that length will make this project very self-selecting — will make it limited to people who are very invested in the question at hand. If the goal is to get a more balanced cross-section of people responding, the survey probably has to be shorter. It’s a question of methodology, I think, more than individual opinions.

  5. @Adam, so what’s the difference between the BY-ND and BY-NC-ND licenses in your view?

    @joan, thanks, I really appreciate your effort and am especially happy that it proved though provoking.

    @Bill, @Kay and others saying the survey is too long. I hear you. It’s a nuanced question, requiring fine-grained questions to get at its heart. But in hindsight, we should’ve done user testing with the questionnaire before reaching out for wide response. Apologies for the frustration and thanks for the effort of those who made it all the way through (and those who tried). If we ever do a questionnaire like this again we’ll make it better — thanks for the candid feedback and care.

  6. Christian says:

    Thanks for all the efforts to try and clarify the “NonCommercial” term. I think it is very much needed, as people have lots of different opinions about what “commercial” might mean.

  7. Tomas says:

    I have one thought about CC. I think it lacks long term perspective. Some of the works that have license belong to authors with at some point will die. Yet their work may lived long after they do. Father more I think some of the works should naturally tent to go pure public domain with time. Yet the author may have forgotten about a particular work, etc. Is there a way to make the license have a natural transition which will increase its openness as time went on?

    Another subjection: I think all license work should be register in a common place which keeps tracks of the license for it self. Then have the work refer back to this place via a link or something. This way the author could get feedback and a way to commonly update the license for all its copies.

    Thanks,
    Tomas

  8. @Tomas, insightful comments.

    Yes, of course works should go to the public domain with time, and maybe they will, but that requires changes in copyright law. CC licenses are a voluntary mechanism that on purpose does not require legal changes. It is possible to imagine a CC legal instrument that offers some rights reserved now and none (PD) on a quicker schedule than the 50/70/95/infinity of copyright laws in various places. However, such a mechanism would be complicated, and any additional complication must bring very compelling benefits. One of the insights of the battle against extending copyright terms is that the present value of works in the distant future is miniscule — so anything that would lock up more works (or lead to fewer being unlocked) now for more freedom in decades (or for more control in decades … the argument is true no matter which side you’re on, and in fact the desire for copyright extension from some is about retroactive copyright extension, which has an impact right now) should be viewed with great skepticism.

    Regarding your other subjection, requiring registration is another barrier to participation. CC licenses must be available in any context, and a common place for tracking each license complicates that. In fact *the web* is that common place. We recognize that registration can prove valuable in some contexts, which is one reason why we’re experimenting with creativecommons.net and working with others building the digital copyright registry space — but the key is interoperability and leveraging the web, not creating and certainly not requiring a single monolith.

  9. mike volpe says:

    yeah… talk about a LONG survey.

  10. Scott Geoffrey says:

    I didn’t realize until partway through the 7-point scale questions that it was “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. I thought that it was just an agreement gradient. I might have gotten a better understanding if there was a “neutral” heading over option 4. In my experience that is how most surveys work and I feel that that would have clarified the question for me.
    (And yes, I did read the instruction, but it being the standard survey whatnot, none of it really registered.)

  11. Doug Holton says:

    I went through the first 10 screens or so and there was nothing about non-commercial.

    Commercial applies to a business or individual out to make money, a profit. That is the primary goal. Without a profit, the enterprise can’t continue.

    Non-commercial applies to educational institutions, non-profits, government or other organizations and individuals sharing stuff not for the purpose of making a profit.

    At the most basic level the NC license means: I am sharing this with you, but don’t sell it or try to make money off of it.

    Again, commercial = money. non-commercial = not for money.

  12. Doug Holton says:

    @Mike: “@Adam, so what’s the difference between the BY-ND and BY-NC-ND licenses in your view?”

    ND means you can’t modify it. NC means you can’t sell it.

  13. Jonathan Delgado says:

    I’m currently a film student. I’m currently helping a friend with her internship as a camera man. Through her connections she’s been able to attend and interview at events like Victoria Secret. I have shot and edited the video. It is a non paying job, which means non-commercial however my question is, when i edit the piece, i edit for online video post such as you tube and Telemundo in Naples, FL requests the footage to air on Fridays. Im currently doing this free to get the experience and connections. Now my question is that since im not getting paid, and i use in the edit that a network is going to use, and its going to be on youtube page that in not monetary. is that breach of anything. does that make it commercial though i’m not getting paid. and to add i do display the giving credits to the song i use all the time, i recently made a short and used 3 CCmixter songs and gave credits
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-hyMzxWZqA

  14. Jane Park says:

    Hi Jonathan, this question would do better posted at the CC forum: http://forum.creativecommons.org/

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