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I'm looking at this license.

It says that I can use it for "non-commercial purposes".

What does that mean? I see in Stack Exchange, under Network Profile there is that graph that tracks your points across your Stack Exchange accounts. It uses a control called HighCharts which have a paid and Creative Commons licensed version.

So would Stack Overflow constitute a commercial site? We don't pay to use this site, but obviously the site makes money from ads, etc.

Then again, there's a lot of sites that have ads who won't necessarily make a profit, it may only be subsiding their costs. But even then, you could argue that even if it is only subsiding their costs, a lot of IT companies run at a loss in order to build a big enough customer base.

So where is the line here? Is it any website on the internet? Is it any website that has ads? Is it any website that turns over a profit?

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Why not just tell them what you're planning to use it for, and ask them if they're OK with it? That way you are sure. I am not a lawyer, but I suspect the wording is vague on purpose so that the creators can decide on edge cases like these. –  marinus Jul 9 '11 at 9:56
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2 Answers

If your looking for the legal definition then this source (US law) states:

According to 18 USCS § 31, term "used for commercial purposes" means the carriage of persons or property for any fare, fee, rate, charge or other consideration, or directly or indirectly in connection with any business, or other undertaking intended for profit.

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Whether or not a company makes money is irrelevant to the question of it being a "commercial purpose"

Yes even a non-profit ad supported site might be considered a commercial purpose. (however generally creative commons license allow for non-profit use)

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