Worlds collide: Copyright, CC, and wedding photos

Offbeat Bride book jacketIn general, I treat this blog as a professional outlet and try to keep my personal life out of it, but I had little online colliding of worlds recently and I decided it’s worth sharing here as well, with apologies for the blurring lines. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Creative Commons licenses and wedding photography for the Offbeat Bride Tribe on Ning (a private, member only space), and it got picked up by the Offbeat Bride blog. I tweeted about it, then Creative Commons tweeted about it, and I didn’t really think about how online your personal you and your professional you tend to bleed together, especially if you only use one Twitter account for everything. So now the news is out: I’m getting married. To a fellow copyright nerd. And I negotiated with our photographer to attach CC licenses to our wedding pictures. The post I wrote about the experience for Offbeat Bride is below – please keep in mind that this is written for an audience that mostly never thinks about copyright, in a context that is generally very informal. Also, I should warn you, it’s pretty long.

If you’re interested in this kind of thing, it’s worth heading over to the post on the Offbeat Bride site because the comments have been lively. Lots of photographers weighing in, which shouldn’t have surprised me.

Copyright, Creative Commons, and your wedding photos

I’m really excited by the amazing success we had negotiating with our wedding photographer around copyright, and I wanted to share what we did with the Offbeat Bride community.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, I’m a librarian with a background in publishing who frequently does outreach and education about copyright. None of this is legal advice, etc.

Okay. So before I explain what our photographer is doing for us, you need a very very abbreviated introduction to copyright. (I’m sorry, I’m a librarian, I have to teach you things, I can’t help myself).

1) The purpose of copyright law is to promote the progress of science and art. Hardly anyone knows that anymore. So many people think it’s about generating profit for the music industry and giving individual artists total control over their work, but that’s just not true. Once upon a time, copyright law was balanced between the needs of creators and the needs of the public. Things have gotten really unbalanced over the last 40 years, but the goal of serving the public and promoting progress is still in there.

2) Copyright protects creative works that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. This means that in order for something to be protected by copyright, it has to be recorded some way, on paper or on a hard drive some other physical thing. There are several classes of creative work that qualify for copyright protection: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, choreographic works, pictorial, graphics, and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, and architectural works.

3) Copyright does not protect ideas or facts. Those are free for anyone to use, even if it makes them look like they’re biting someone else’s style. A work has to be at least a little bit creative to qualify for copyright protection. Something that is purely factual, like a phone book, does not have enough creativity to be copyrightable even if it takes a lot of effort and hard work to make it.

4) Copyright attaches to a work automatically the moment it is recorded. There is no need to register the copyright, or to put a little (c) on it, or even claim it. If a work is relatively new (created in the last 50 years or so) creative, and recorded in some way, it’s almost definitely copyrighted. Copyright also lasts a really long time (currently, life of the creator plus 70 years after the creator dies). This means that most of what you find online is under copyright, even if there is no copyright symbol and no attribution and no source listed.

5) Copyright comes with a set of exclusive rights. These are things the copyright holder can do with the work that other people mostly cannot do (there are some important exceptions, but it would take way too much space for me to go into them here). The rights that come with copyright are: 1) The right to make copies. 2) The right to distribute copies. 3) The right to make derivative works. 4) The right to perform or display the work. The copyright holder may keep these rights to herself, or she may give some or all of them away, usually with a contract or a license.

So what does any of this have to do with your wedding photos? Everything. The way the default rules of copyright ownership work, the photographer you hire to shoot your wedding holds the copyrights in your wedding photos. She is free to sell them, publish them, Photoshop them, and share them. You are not. I hear all the time from people who believe that because they are the subjects of the photos, or because they are the ones who hired the photographer, then they are the ones who hold the copyright in the photos. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Those exclusive rights are hers, not yours.

But that’s just the default. You can change all that with the contract you sign when you hire your photographer. Most wedding photographers these days do retain the copyrights in the photos they take of your wedding, but they may give you a license to make personal, non-commercial uses of your photos. This is especially common when photographers offer a CD or DVD containing the high-res files of all your pictures. You usually have to pay extra, but a license like this means you can print copies yourself, post your pictures on Facebook, and send them to your friends, without asking for permission and without violating your photographer’s copyright. These are all good rights to have, and I highly recommend reading your contract carefully to see if you get them, and if you don’t, to ask.

For me and my boyfriend, a personal license was absolutely the bare minimum of what we would accept from our photographer. We’re both copyright nerds, and we knew we needed a license to use our own wedding pictures. But what we really wanted – and ended up getting – was more. A couple of weeks ago in the post about the XKCD save the dates, Ariel alluded to something called Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a system that allows creators to attach a license to their work that gives certain permissions to the whole world. There are several Creative Commons licenses to choose from. All the licenses require that whoever uses the work must attribute the creator and provide a link back to the original. Other options permit only non-commercial uses, forbid derivative works, or require people who build on a work to share the new work under the same license as the original. Many photographers, artists, musicians, and authors – including the ones who make a living from their art – now use Creative Commons licenses because they recognize that it is good for them. They always get credit as the creator, and it’s easier for people to discover and fall in love with their work when fans are free to copy and share it. I love love love Creative Commons because it has made possible a huge pool of new creative material that we are free to use and build on without worrying about copyright infringement. This is especially exciting to librarians and educators like me and my boyfriend, but anyone who loves remixes or mashups or funny cat pictures on the internet should appreciate how much better life is when people feel free to build on the creative work of others.

So back to wedding photos. Instead of a license that would just allow me and my boyfriend to use our wedding pics, we wanted a license that would allow anyone in the world to use our photos. We wanted a Creative Commons license. I really didn’t think we’d be able to convince a professional photographer to license our photos this way, but we did, and it wasn’t even that hard. First, we found an amazing photographer who already offers a personal copyright license along with the CD of high-res files. This way, we already knew we had someone who didn’t feel the need to retain complete control over the images. Once we’d gotten past the initial email exchange figuring out whether she was available, telling her how much we loved her work, describing our offbeat wedding plans, etc., I explained in an email a little bit about Creative Commons and why it was important to us, and I provided a couple of links to information where she could learn more. I was afraid we’d lose her right there, but to my surprise, she was just excited to be working with people who actually understood copyright law, and was totally open to hearing more about CC. Then we set up a phone call where we could talk about all the usual stuff you talk about with a photographer, but in addition we discussed the CC license. I explained again why it was important to us, and talked about ways in which it could be good for her as well. We agreed that it would have to be a non-commercial license – anyone who wanted to make a commercial use of a photo, like for advertising, would have to contact her for permission. Her biggest concern was that if the license was attached to high-resolution versions of the photos it would be too easy for people to make infringing uses, especially in print. Ultimately, we compromised with an agreement that we would be allowed to attach a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license only to low-res versions of the files. This is enough to allow for web-based reuses of our photos, but was limited enough that our photographer was comfortable giving it a try. We edited the language in her standard photographer contract to reflect the new license, and that was it.

Contracts can be intimidating and full of legalese, but it’s really worth taking the time to understand what is in your agreement with your photographer, and to negotiate for more rights if they’re not in the standard agreement. I was surprised by how much we were able to get just by asking.

If you want a concise overview of what Creative Commons is and why it is valuable, I highly recommend this video.

DLF Forum: Library of Congress and Flickr

Women at work on bomber, from the Library of Congress

Phil Michel and Michelle Springer from the Library of Congress presented on the LOC’s Flickr Pilot Project. The Library of Congress was the first cultural heritage institution to partner with Flickr to share photographic content and invite user participation and comments. With 15 institutions participating in what is now the Flickr Commons, it is an idea that caught on quickly and has been quite successful. I’ve been very excited about this project since its launch, and so I was motivated to clean up and blog my rather extensive notes on the session. For more information about the project, check out this LOC webcast.

Background

The motivation for the project came from a desire to explore including user generated content (UGC) in LOC descriptive processes. Photos seemed like a good place to start because there is no language barrier, there was already a big collection of photos online, and because they’re fun.

Initial investigations showed that bringing tagging to LOC collections would have had high technical barriers if handled in-house. There was a desire to keep initial expenditures low, and so they started looking around for existing web 2.0 sites that were doing the things they wanted to do.

The project had three goals: Increase awareness of LOC collections; gain better understanding of social tagging; gain experience participating in the kinds of web communities that are interested in LOC materials

There were a number of principles that guided the development of the pilot project: The involved content must already be available on the LOC site; the agreement with the third party site must be non-exclusive; access to the content must must be free; there must be an option to control or exclude advertising on the account; LOC should be clearly identified as the source of the images; must allow LOC to remove and moderate user-supplied content to prevent inappropriate tags and comments; UGC must be clearly distinguishable from Library generated content; must be possible to accurately convey copyright status.

Flickr had a great deal of appeal as a partner: It recently announced the upload of its 3 billionth picture, and has an active user community of over 23 million members. It had a pre-existing, vibrant community built around photography and a conversation that included notes, comments, and tags. From a technical standpoint, it also had APIs that allow for batch uploads and batch downloads of UGC, and a history of dealing with alternative copyright status (Creative Commons licenses).

Getting it off the ground

Flickr programmed the “No Known Restrictions” option especially for the LOC partnership, and it is now used by most of the institutions participating in The Commons. Every institution has its own page in its own webspace the explains exactly what they mean by the statement.

Some time and effort was required on the part of the General Counsel’s office to work with Flickr to create a modified Terms and Conditions agreement that could deal appropriately with the Library’s status as a government institution.

Technical process: Someone (I missed who – Flickr, LOC, or both) built a Java(?) app called Flickrj to push and pull content between the LOC databases and Flickr’s. They chose selected MARC fields whose content would go to Flickr along with the photos: The MARC 856 field was used as unique machine tag value, and so was the DublinCore identifier field.

All together, getting the project off the ground took about 100 hours of work for technical staff.

The photos all went to Flickr in their rough state. LOC folks didn’t do any cropping, color fixing, or clean up of dust or scratches. Part of the curiosity was to see how the public would respond to the images in this rough form.

Startup investments: The Library of Congress purchased a $24.95 Flickr Pro account, which offers members unlimited uploads and stats about traffic to photos. The Pro account is an annual expense that will go on as long as the project does. All Commons member institutions have pro accounts. There was no full time staff assigned to the project, but it required General Counsel involvement, some big conference calls, and eight staffers who contributed about 20 hours each to collaborate with Flickr on development.

Launching and maintaining

This was the first project that LOC ever announced without a press release. There were announcements on the Library of Congress and Flickr blogs, and the organizers considered it a soft launch. Though it involved no mainstream press, there was an enormous initial response, totally out of proportion to what was expected. The result was some near-immediate revisions of plans for maintenance and direct staff involvement; the scale was too big to be as involved as they’d planned.

A number of LOC staff share responsibility for monitoring all new comments, notes, and tags. They use the Flickrj app to pull all the new UGC at once. It takes about 2 hours a week to moderate comments/notes/tags for spam and inappropriateness. Sometimes users call attention to these things before staff find them. There are very few problems with inappropriate tags or comments; the Flickr community is quite well-behaved. LOC staff don’t correct spelling or syntax or remove seemingly useless tags. Staff do accept group invitations from public group administrators, but they only join public, nudity/vulgarity-free groups, so monitoring the group invites also takes time.

Updates to the images themselves take 15-20 hours a week. These involve corrections to descriptive information, fixes in the LOC catalog, and occasionally image fixes. Sometimes the orientation of images is wrong. First they fix it on the LOC server, then they generate new derivatives, and then send corrected versions to Flickr. In general, they limit edits to very basic changes and real errors. Sometimes they’ll point people from the LOC catalog back to Flickr when large amounts of conversation, updating, and information-sharing are taking place for a particular photo.

During the Q&A, someone asked about how have time pressures changed over the course of the project. Turns out, they haven’t exactly gone down, though they have shifted. When the project first launched, staff was checking the new comments and tags every 24 hours, and it was totally overwhelming. Efficiencies have come from the technical solutions, like the ability to batch download all new comments, notes, and tags. However, as the number of photos keeps going up, time demands on moderators continue to go up. Part of time demand comes from level of participation in the community, which is a steady stream; activity doesn’t stop on the older photos, so the rising total number of images leads to a rising total amount of new user generated content.

Outcomes

One of the main goals of the project was to drive more traffic to the LOC photo collections website, and it worked. People visit the LOC pages for higher resolution images, to get additional information, and to browse related collections. The organizers feel that the pilot has definitely achieved goal of raising awareness of LOC photo collections.

An unexpected outcome: Major search engines are finding, exposing, and weighting LOC’s Flickr images in search results. Many of the photos rank very high in images searches. It’s an unforseen way to further expose the content to the world.

Many of LOC photos are also being embedded in blogs all over the web (including this one). When it happens via “Blog this” function in Flickr, it’s easy for LOC to track it (and I imagine it’s trackable even when it happens in other ways).

The user involvement has been very interesting as a source of further study. There is a core group of about 20 commenters who provide historical research, fixes, comments, notes, etc. They’ll often support the information with citations, links to NYTimes archives and other external sites and archives. There are also 10 “power taggers” who have applied more than 3,000 tags each. One person was responsible for over 5,000 tags. The people at LOC did some work examining the different types of tags that people apply, and identified nine different categories: LC description based, new descriptive words, new subject words, emotional/aesthetic responses, personal knowledge/research, machine tags, variant forms, foreign language, and miscellaneous.

Users frequently post modern photos in the comments to show what the featured locations look like now. Sometimes people will go to the featured location and reenact the photos. There is quite a bit of playfulness and humor in much of the user involvement. Notes are a useful way to identify people in crowd shots and to transcribe text that appears in the photos. Some people also use notes to make jokes or silly comments, and while some people in the Flickr community have objected to the proliferation of notes, LOC has decided that for now the value of the function outweighs the irritation.

Conclusion: There has been a great response to the pilot, and great user participation, learned a lot. It stimulated conversation both between users & librarians and also between librarians. The project tapped into expertise in that resides in communities of interest. It brought up issues related to presentation and engagement that can inform decisions about how materials are presented on the Library’s own web site. While there are some risks associated with jumping into the web 2.0 world, and you have to be willing to cede some control, the benefits and rewards have been terrific.

CC HowTo #4: How to use a work with a No Derivatives license

Creative Commons offers two licenses with the No Derivatives requirement: Attribution-No Derivatives (BY-ND), and Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives (BY-NC-ND).

No Derivatives licenses permit people to copy and distribute a work as long as they do not change it or create derivative works. These licenses ensure that no matter how many times a work is copied and shared, the content of the copies will be the same as the original. ND licenses do not permit remixing or adaptation.

Here’s the description of No Derivatives in the human readable Commons Deed:

No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

Here’s the pertinent language in the legal code:

The above rights may be exercised in all media and formats whether now known or hereafter devised. The above rights include the right to make such modifications as are technically necessary to exercise the rights in other media and formats, but otherwise you have no rights to make Adaptations.

Verbatim or unaltered copies are not derivative works or “adaptations.” They’re simply copies, and as long you comply with the other terms of the license you can make and distribute exact copies of a No Derivatives-licensed work.

What is a derivative work?

It’s a bit complicated.

According to Title 17 Section 101 of the Copyright Act:

A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.

The key words here are “recast, transformed, or adapted.” A derivative work involves enough creativity and originality that it constitutes a new copyrightable work. Simply converting a work from one medium to another — from print to digital, or CD to MP3 — does not produce a derivative work.

One Exception

In general, the kinds of adaptations that the No Derivatives license prohibits match the definition of derivative works in the Copyright Act, but there is an exception: Songs used in video. No Derivatives licenses use the word “Adaptation” instead of the legal term “derivative work,” and include this language in the definition of “Adaptation”:

For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical work, performance or phonogram, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image (“synching”) will be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License.

Using an unaltered song in the soundtrack to a video does not make the video a derivative work, because the song itself has not been recast, transformed, or adapted in any way. However, the language above extends the definition of adaptation to include “synchronization of [music] with a moving image,” which means that as far as No Derivatives licenses are concerned, videos that use an ND-licensed song violate the terms of the license.

Examples

Examples of adaptations as defined by the ND license

  • Translating a short story from one language to another
  • Photoshopping a picture to add to or alter its original elements
  • Using a sample from one song to make new song

Examples of things that are not adaptations as defined by the ND license

  • Including a short story in a collection of short stories
  • Reproducing an unedited image on a website
  • Using an unedited video in the background of a live concert

Two things to keep in mind

  1. Creative Commons licenses do not affect your fair use rights. No Derivatives licenses do not prevent people from making fair uses of the work, which may include copying excerpts, creating parodies, and other activities that involve using the work without making an exact reproduction.
  2. If you would like to use a CC-licensed work in a way that is not permitted by the license, you can ask for permission. Copyright holders are free to offer as many different non-exclusive licenses as they wish. No Derivatives licenses don’t rule out the possibility of making a derivative from the original, you just have to ask for permission to do so.

Previous CC-HOWTO’s:
How to attribute a Creative Commons licensed work
How to use a work with a NonCommercial license
How to use a work with a Share Alike license

CC HOWTO #3: How to use a work with a Share Alike license

Creative Commons offers two licenses with the Share Alike requirement: Attribution-Share Alike (BY-SA), and Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike (BY-NC-SA).

The purpose of a Share Alike license is to ensure that all future adaptations and derivatives of a work carry the same permissions as the original. This way, no matter what new forms the work takes on, it will always be free, open and licensed for re-use.

Here’s the description of Share Alike in the human readable Commons Deed:

Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a compatible license.

Here’s the pertinent language in the legal code:

You may Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation only under the terms of: (i) this License; (ii) a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License; (iii) a Creative Commons jurisdiction license (either this or a later license version) that contains the same License Elements as this License (e.g., Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US)); (iv) a Creative Commons Compatible License.

In other words, if you make a derivative work based on the Share Alike-licensed work, you must release it under the same terms under which the original was released, either using the appropriate CC license or an approved compatible license. As of this writing, CC has not approved any licenses for compatibility, so for all intents and purposes, the Share Alike license requires you to license derivative works under a CC license. If you cannot apply the appropriate license to your derivative work, or do not wish to, then you usually shouldn’t adapt Share Alike-licensed works.

The important thing to remember about Share Alike licenses is that, with one exception [see below], the Share Alike provision only applies to derivative works, which the license calls “adaptations”. Verbatim or unaltered copies are not derivative works. They’re simply copies, and as long you comply with the other terms of the license you can make exact copies of an SA-licensed work without applying a license to the work in which it’s used.

What is a derivative work?

It’s a bit complicated.

According to Title 17 Section 101 of the Copyright Act:

A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.

The key words here are “recast, transformed, or adapted.” A derivative work involves enough creativity and originality that it constitutes a new copyrightable work. Simply converting a work from one medium to another — from print to digital, or CD to MP3 — does not produce a derivative work.

One Big Exception

There is an exception to the “Share Alike only applies to derivative works” rule: Songs used in video. Share Alike licenses use the word “adaptation” instead of the legal term “derivative work,” and include this language in the definition of “Adaptation”:

For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical work, performance or phonogram, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image (“synching”) will be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License.

Using an unaltered song in the soundtrack to a video does not make the video a derivative work, because the song itself has not been recast, transformed, or adapted in any way. However, the language above extends the definition of adaptation to include “synchronization of [music] with a moving image,” which means that as far as Share Alike licenses are concerned, videos that use an SA-licensed song are adaptations and must be released under the same SA license as the song.

The summary: In general, the Share Alike requirement of SA licenses only applies to derivative works, except when that work involves combining SA-licensed music with film or video, in which case, the film or video must carry the appropriate SA license.

Examples

Examples of adaptations as defined by the SA license

  • Translating a short story from one language to another
  • Photoshopping a picture to add to or alter its original elements
  • Using a sample from one song to make new song

Examples of things that are not adaptations as defined by the SA license

  • Including a short story in a collection of short stories
  • Reproducing an unedited image on a website
  • Using an unedited video in the background of a live concert

Two things to keep in mind

  1. Creative Commons licenses do not affect your fair use rights. If you have a use in mind that is also probably a fair use, the application of a Share Alike license does not require you to release the resulting work under an SA license.
  2. If you would like to use a CC-licensed work in a way that is not permitted by the license, you can ask for permission. Copyright holders are free to offer as many different non-exclusive licenses as they wish. Share Alike licenses don’t rule out the possibility of making an adaptation that doesn’t carry a Share Alike license, you just have to ask for permission to do so.

Previous CC-HOWTO’s:
How to attribute a Creative Commons licensed work
How to use a work with a NonCommercial license

CC HOWTO #2: How to use a work with a NonCommercial license

In addition to Attribution, some Creative Commons licenses limit the permissions they grant to non-commercial uses only.

The Human Readable summary of the NC license says,

Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

The relevant language in the Legal Deed says,

You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.

This means that as long as you’re not making or trying to make money from your use of the licensed work, you’re okay. Common categories of non-commercial uses include educational uses, personal uses, fan uses, and just-for-fun posted-to-YouTube uses. Meanwhile, any use of a work for which the goal is to make money is not permitted under the NC license, even if the context itself is not commercial.

What seems to trip people up about the NonCommercial licenses is the difference between “non-commercial” and “not-for-profit.” It’s possible to operate in a non-profit setting and make a commercial use of a work, and it’s also possible to work in a for-profit setting and make a non-commercial use.

A pair of examples

A commercial use in a non-profit setting
Members of the not-for-profit Historical Widget Society would like to sell calendars as a fundraiser for their widget preservation efforts. They find a group of historical widget enthusiasts on Flickr, and notice that many of the photographs were released under Creative Commons licenses. Can the Widget Society use photos released under NonCommercial licenses in its fundraising calendars? No, because the calendars are “primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.” Even though the “private monetary compensation” will be collected by a not-for-profit, the purpose of selling the calendars is to make money, which makes the use commercial.

A noncommercial use in a for-profit setting
The CEO of a profitable widget manufacturing company is retiring. For her retirement party, some of the staff get together one weekend to make a humorous video chronicling A Day in the Life of the CEO. The video will only be shown at the retirement celebration, and the CEO will get a copy on DVD as a gift. The staffers decide they’d like to set the video to music, and find a nice little BY-NC-licensed song on ccMixter. Can they use it? Yes, because the video for the CEO is not “primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation”. No one is selling the video, using it to sell something, or being paid to create it, so it’s a non-commercial use.

Threee pairs of mini examples

  1. Using an illustration on a birthday party invitation = Non-commercial
    Using an illustration on a charity auction invitation = Commercial
  2. Using a song as the soundtrack to a collection of home videos for the family reunion = Non-commercial
    Using a song as the soundtrack to an advertisement for a Family Reunion Travel deal = Commercial
  3. Using a photo on a personal website that has no ads = Non-commercial
    Using a photo on an ad-supported website = Commercial

Every situation is different, and these examples are intentionally simplistic. Before using an NC-licensed work, always take a moment to consider whether your use has anything to do with making money or selling something.

Two things to keep in mind

  1. Creative Commons licenses do not affect your fair use rights. If you have a commercial use in mind that is also probably a fair use, the application of an NC license will not stop you from making that fair use.
  2. If you would like to use a CC-licensed work in a way that is not permitted by the license, you can ask for permission. Copyright holders are free to offer as many different non-exclusive licenses as they like. NonCommercial licenses don’t rule out the possibility of commercial use, they just mean the copyright holder wants you to ask first, and possibly pay for the privilege.

[This project was inspired by some conversations on the cc-community listserv lamenting the lack of understanding among many users of Creative Commons-licensed work. I'm taking the material I use in my workshops, mixing it up with CC's extensive documentation, and posting the results here. If you have ideas for topics you'd like me to cover, let me know. If you think I got something wrong, please let me know so I can fix it. I am not a lawyer, and these posts should not be construed as legal advice.]