CC License

I switched this blog and the WP Guides to a CC license today, and I had a thought which I posted over in the forums…..

Genuine question !

If a blog offers it’s content under a Non-commercial License, yet a Search Engine offers search results that include that blog, is that Search Engine breaking the license terms if there are Ads on the results page given that without the blog results they would have no service ? (In other words your efforts result in commercial profit for them)

If they CAN do this, what’s the point of the licence ?
If they CANNOT, then who wants to tell them ?

This is not a question to bash any SE in particular, it’s a genuine question.

Posted in WWW

11 thoughts on “CC License

  1. FFS, Mark…why can’t you ask simple questions? LMAO!

    Here’s a tangent for you…the ads will only generate money IF they are clicked on, so can the SE simply take the position that they only provide an opportunity for someone to click, and that since there is no guarantee that anyone will click a link, there is no guarantee they will generate revenue.

    Also, they are only providing a link to your site, and not providing your content. So, are they really using your content? Does a link to your content constitute using your content? If I draw a map to Disneyland and sell you that map, do I owe Disneyland a share of my profits?

  2. In other words your efforts result in commercial profit for them

    Did you know that until today Enron still had a website?
    It’s true. And they had contact information on that page.

    Two days ago I called the telephone number and a security guard
    answered and had no idea that the number was connected with Enron.

    Why is this pertinent?

    A reporter once asked Enron in a written interview:

    “Where is your money coming from?”

    That toppled them.
    Or, more precisely, it was the little child who shouted
    that the Emprer had no clothes.

    You keep tellng the truth, Mark.
    I really enjoy it when you do.

  3. Craig:
    The argument that there is no guarantee simply does not work. If we take one example – and at random I’ll pick … erm ….. Google – then this is now THE richest media company IN THE WORLD. What is their product ? What do they make ? What do we buy from them ?
    See .. it’s OUR content.
    If Google had no content, then it would have no Ads and no revenue. Their cash is their purely because of websites who have a wide variety of copyright restrictions and which they completely ignore.

    As for content, the large SE’s cache sites. They cache entire pages – which is not their content to take.

    Remember that here I’m not talking about someone who knows nothing about SE’s and robots.txt, neither am I talking about someone who proactively bans bots. I am specifically talking about site owners who have considered the options and have chosen a license which expressly forbids commercial use of their work. If we make such a choice, and the companies out there have similar EULA’s for their work, should they not respect our choices ?

    I seriously doubt that any SE would address these issues, but I might ask this at the CC site later.


    Father Luke – I was rating it as a ‘Random Thought’ until no-one can give me a full answer !

  4. Hmm…well the page caching is different than say, text ads, to me anyway. Caching is DEFINITELY taking YOUR content. In that respect, I agree 100% with you. Then again, I usually do agree with you, except on those ocassions when I don’t. 😛

    Time to get my arse off to work. Cheers, mate!

  5. As I understand it the Non-Commercial Share Alike Attribution License (the one I use), along with all the Non-Commercial ones, means that they cannot profit by selling bits or all of your work. Making money by selling links on pages that have your work on them is legal, I believe. I think you would have to make that addition in the license.

    *drops 2c into bucket*

  6. David – fair use I can see…

    If they are a commercial service though, and they are caching my pages that must surely violate the license. Even though they would argue that they serve no ads on those pages, they effectively sell that as a service they provide so enticing more people to use their service as opposed to a competitor ? Pedantry maybe, but then that’s why they employ lawyers too..

    I would also add that when SE’s return results, they can reduce one’s words and sentences so as to create a sentence/phrase which does not actually exist. Many people must have read a potential result, clicked through only to find that what is actually presented on the page is not what appeared to be promised. As such therefore, the SE has cost you bandwidth.

    I do know that this is an argument that I can take nowhere, but I also think that the SE’s are not playing within the law in some respects.

  7. Selling a service? Since all the search engines (all the major ones anyway) the caching doesn’t really provide incentive to visit one engine over another.

    As for bandwidth, they can get out of that by pointing you to the robots.txt standard- since you provide publicly accessible web pages, it is reasonable for them to assume that you do not mind their systems accessing them, and if you object to their usage of your bandwidth (e.g. googlebot alone accounts for over 20% of my site’s total bandwidth), you can use robots.txt to block them.

  8. I apologize in advance for not having read every reply in this post, so perhaps what I say will have already been said, but I doubt it.

    Your point saying, “Google is the richest media company in the world, but what do they sell? OUR CONTENT!” is dead on, but using it as a way to point out the problem with that is actually quite wrong. Google provides a service to us, much like Wal-Mart and Target provide a service to good manufacturers.

    Wal-Mart and Target take vendor’s goods and place them on their store shelves (shelves that Wal-Mart pays for, in a building Wal-Mart pays for) so that customers can easily find the product and purchase it. Wal-Mart, of course, makes money off of this deal, and in most case the vendors do as well.

    Google, on the other hand, takes our content (our “product”) and stores it on their servers (that they pay for) so that other people (“customers”) can easily find our content depending on how relevent it is to what they were looking for. Google makes money off of this, and we could potentially make money off of it as well if we used advertisements or if we were actually selling something as Bloggers.

    Thusly, you “allow” Google to take our content and use it to make money as what they do is actually providing a service to us. If it wasn’t for Google, or other search engines, no one would find anything on the internet.

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