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How To Define “Non-Commercial” Use License Terms

There are many creative commons licensing terms that can be quite overwhelming but let us understand one such term which

Free for non-commercial use.

The human understandable creative common license for non commercial usage is here but in very simple terms:

  • Commercial use is – There is direct or indirect financial benefit of item being used.
  • Non-commercial use – Anything other than commercial use is non-commercial use.

Let us take an example of a copyrighted image (I normally use images from these 4 sites) being used to understand the commercial / non-commercial use.

  • If you are using an image for advertising your business, it is a commercial use.
  • If you are using an image as a decorative item on the office wall, it may still be termed as commercial use because you do business in the office. There may be an indirect benefit out of decorating your office using that image.
  • If you are using an image as a decorative item in your house, it is non-commercial use.

Commercial use is not only confined to profit being made directly with the product like reselling it or bundling it with other products and selling it but also indirect benefits to business.

In creative commons license, if you see an NC

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It means you can only use it non-commercially.

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