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MAGIX likes to sell sound packages that they proclaim as "license-free and royalty free content for non-commercial use only" (e.g https://www.cloudswave.com/creative-tools/s/magix-soundpool-dvd-collection-20/compare/magix-video-slideshow-sound-archive-8/ ). Sometimes they offer products that they advertise as "completely license and royalty free" but if you inquire they still tell you they are for non-commercial use only. I would have thought that prohibiting commercial use inherently require a license, and that "license-free" inherently meant that the content could be used commercially. Is my assumption incorrect?

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They can't.

It seems that what is going on here is that someone doesn't actually understand what "license" means.

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  • Then I guess the question becomes how a court would rule on it, but frankly I'd rather buy from a company that understands how licensing works and is straightforward about their products.
    – user45623
    Sep 23 '16 at 21:03
  • As a coder from the hoi palloi, this stuff can be confusing. Obviously it's better to include a license with your open source work. But when you want to let average people know that you are allowing them to use your software for free, you tend to minimize the idea that they'll have to pay royalties. On the other hand you want to make sure it isn't used commercially without your consent. Throw in a marketing department with no background in software or law and give them a few conflicting requirements and you have a really bad EULA.
    – joshstrike
    Jan 4 at 11:42
  • I suspect what the phrase "license-free" is intended to mean is that once one has purchased the collection, one can use items therein without having to acquire a separate license for each individual use. While the phrase "license-free" isn't entirely accurate, I can't think of any way of expressing such a concept nearly as concisely.
    – supercat
    Jan 18 at 22:46

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