Creative Commons — What is “commercial” use?
When Creative Commons licensing came out, I was skeptical. I’m supposed to assume that the garden-variety user knows CC BY-NC-SA from CC BY-ND?! Heck, I’ve got to refer back to the post before I cover the topic for my students at Hussian College.
It doesn’t help when an organization tries to enforce a baffling interpretation of those concepts. From Arstechnica:
… Great Minds … has developed K-12 curriculum used by schools across the US. The materials developed from the Washington, DC-based nonprofit hold US copyrights but are made publicly available under a Creative Commons (CC) license, which theoretically allows them to be freely shared and reproduced for noncommercial uses as long as the original source is credited. That CC license is known as BY-NC-SA 4.0.
But … it’s suing Federal Express, claiming the Texas-based delivery-and-copying company is reproducing its materials for teachers and schools without paying royalties to Great Minds. The educational company says that because FedEx is making a profit from reproducing the materials, it’s violating the CC license. That’s according to a federal lawsuit (PDF) the company has lodged against FedEx.
According to Great Minds, although it’s legal for a school to reproduce its materials for use in their classrooms, if they make those copies at a FedEx copy center, then FedEx owes Great Minds a licensing fee because they made money on the deal!
Here’s what that means to you as a creator…