According to creativecommons.org, a CC BY-NC license stands for a Creative Commons license that prohibits you to use the material in "Commercial Purposes" and for the commercial purposes they have defined it in this way:

A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation

As freemium games (especially mine) can be played without spending even a penny and the in-app purchases are only meant to accelerate the process (so is not primarily intended for commercial I think?), is this game still intended as a commercial project with the definition given above?
And should I ignore using such music?

  • Is it not your intent to make money by using the "upgrades" as an income stream? Are you supplementing free users with more ad revenue? At that point you would have to license the users who paid for upgrades differently than the ones who do not (as long as no ads are shown). I have a feeling though that the primary reason for releasing this app is to make some money.
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 17:58
  • Situations like this are why I stay far away from "-NC" content: there's too much uncertainty about what "noncommercial" means.
    – Mark
    Commented Feb 1, 2019 at 3:31

1 Answer 1


If they receive a benefit (e.g. ‘better’ gameplay) in return for their payment it’s commercial.

If the payment is a pure gift (e.g. “I worked hard on this game, if you like it sling me a few bucks”) then it isn’t.

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