Study explores 'noncommercial use'

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Creative Commons has launched a research study into the differences between commercial and noncommercial uses of content. The study will look at what the terms mean in various communities and with a wide variety of content.

Creative Commons provides free copyright licences to creators who want to give the public certain permissions to use their works, in advance and without the need for one-to-one contact between the user and the creator. Works with the 'Noncommercial' or 'NC' term in their licence may be used by anyone for any purpose that is not 'primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation,' provided the use also complies with the other terms of the licence.

'The study has direct relevance to Creative Commons’ mission of providing free, flexible copyright licences 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 licence. We expect the study findings will help us do a better job of explaining the licences and to improve them, where possible.'

Research, which will be conducted by market research firm Netpop Research, is expected to be completed early in 2009. The findings of the study will be made publicly-available.