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For a site like SO that is not purely commercial (i.e. not selling a subscription etc.) but makes money from advertising. If I were to insert an image in a comment or in the question description that is Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial and I also correctly attribute the image, because the site is making money from the content being viewed does this go against the license terms?

What if the main part of my question involved two by-nc images and very little other content?

For example, on if I uploaded two by-nc images of joysticks and asked users to reply which one is best?

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migrated from Aug 5 '10 at 4:30

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It's not a problem from a licensing standpoint, but you're probably going to get spanked by the community for posting spam.

EDIT: if it's just two images that are not advertising, I don't see any problem with it. BTW just because something is Creative Commons doesn't prevent you from making money with it, or even charging for it. It just means that you can't keep it exclusively to yourself, under your own copyright.

The CC license is here. Notice that it doesn't say anything about commercial uses, meaning that it doesn't specifically prohibit such uses.

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Maybe it's a bad example, but for arguments sake if the images uploaded were relevant to the question being asked and not just someone spamming – xiaohouzi79 Aug 5 '10 at 4:27
Say someone on the guitar site in area 51 adding two images of guitars that couldn't be described in words – xiaohouzi79 Aug 5 '10 at 4:28
Hi Robert, the by-sa license is not the one I refer to in my question. I specifically would like to know about the by-nc license which does say "You may not use this work for commercial purposes". If I am a user I am not using it for commercial purposes, but what is the sites responsibility in ensuring compliance with the license? – xiaohouzi79 Aug 5 '10 at 4:45
I believe that commercial purposes means what you think it means; i.e. if you are selling the work, that is clearly a commercial purpose, but if you are sharing the work on a public website, not necessarily. If you are using the work to decorate your for-profit website, that is commercial use, but if someone is using the work in a message on your website to illustrate a point, and he is not personally profiting, then it's not commercial use. The whole point of the license is to allow free sharing of the work. That's my take, but I am not an expert, so don't take my word for it. – Robert Harvey Aug 5 '10 at 16:19

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