question about a project licensed under CC NC claiming to be open source

John Cowan cowan at
Wed Jun 23 16:21:55 UTC 2010

Thomas Riboulet scripsit:

> the website is claiming that it's open source, yet the licence is
> Creative Commons non commercial 2.5 and I didn't find any link to the
> code except the actual js lib.
> the CC NC license is not listed in the open source licenses, what is
> the stand of in such a case ?

It's not listed because it's not open source; it violates clause 6
of the Open Source Definition, which prohibits discrimination against
commercial use.

> and what action is possible towards this project to have them clarify
> the status of their software ?

We can ask politely, and I have just done so using the contact form on
the site.  Nobody owns the term "open source", so no punitive action is
possible, but there is a clear public understanding of the term.

John Cowan   cowan at
If a soldier is asked why he kills people who have done him no harm, or a
terrorist why he kills innocent people with his bombs, they can always
reply that war has been declared, and there are no innocent people in an
enemy country in wartime.  The answer is psychotic, but it is the answer
that humanity has given to every act of aggression in history.  --Northrop Frye

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