All around the world an increasing number of people uses the PUBLIC LICENSES offered by Creative Commons (CC) to free up the results of their creativity for re-use by others. Also projects, institutions and initiatives ever more often decide to subscribe to the CC motto: "Some rights reserved." One of the most popular examples for this is the Wikimedia Foundation, who together with its worldwide community of activists in 2008 decided to license its universal encyclopedia Wikipedia under the CC license BY SA – Attribution Share-Alike.
This license is only one of six licenses in CC's suite of core licenses. The most widely used licenses from this set show the additional abbreviation NC for "NON-COMERCIL USE ONLY" in their names. Many licensors who intuitively choose such an NC license do so with the understandable intention to prevent their works from being unwantedly and uncontrollably exploited for business by others. The many other consequences of this choice, however, are usually unknown. This brochure by Wikimedia Deutschland, Creative Commons Germany and iRights.info is meant to address this lack of knowledge. We are looking forward to comments and suggestions regarding this endeavour and hope that it will yield many aha experiences.
Special thanks go to the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany who supported and facilitated the English translation of the original text.
John H. Weitzmann,
CC DE Legal Project Lead