Credit where due: Karsten Wade blogged about this in his usual prophetic fashion about a week ago.
One of the problems with remixing Creative Commons (CC) licensed material that includes a Non-Commercial (NC) clause is that it can hurt downstream community members. People might have the mistaken impression that there is something noble in using NC, to keep people from profiting unfairly from one’s work. But letting people remix your work and then profit from it is certainly a noble goal, and rewards people who want to share their work as well.
Out of habit, I had produced a presenatation a couple of months back as CC BY-NC-SA. But imagine a Fedora project member who wanted to use it for a speaking appearance for which she was getting remunerated — even if just for room and board. The NC clause could conceivably make this foul play. There are too many instances where NC can injure the ones with whom you share to have it be useful for an open source project like Fedora.
Only today did I get my fair dose of karma, when I wanted to use a specific remix that included some CC BY-NC-SA material. My thought processes went something like this: “Great, we’ll use this for some Fedora schwag, and give most of it away. If there are leftovers we can sell them through this other channel over here so we don’t throw money and resources away… Oh wait. Curse you, NC!” I’m not going to say that NC makes CC totally useless, but I’m having a hard time seeing how it could ever be useful in the Fedora Project — not because it prevents Fedora selling things based on our assets, but because it’s another unpredictable set of shackles on an as-yet-unseen use case.