I want to install a new OS on my main computer. After I install it, I want to harden it according to these guidelines: https://learn.cisecurity.org/benchmarks

I am not part of any company yet, and the device is my private computer.

However, I may or may not use this device to do commercial things in the future.

The guidelines seem to be provided under a creative commons license with nc clause.

Would first hardening the device according to these standards and then using it for commercial purposes later on violate the nc clause of the creative commons license of the standards?

1 Answer 1


A creative commons license with an NC clause means that a user cannot sell copies of the content, nor derivative works based on the content, nor works into which the content has been merged. It does not mean that the information in the content cannot be used to create a commercial product. I am not sure if any copyright-based license could do that, in fact I strongly doubt it. Copyright (in US law at least) is a bundle of rights, including the right to make copies, the right to authorize the making of copies, the right to create or authorize the creation of derivative works, the right to publicly perform a work, and the right to display a work. But copyright does not protect the right to use the information contained in a work. That would require a patent.

  • "I am not sure if any copyright-based license could do that" - once Disney finds a way to monetize it, it will probably be legal.
    – user253751
    Dec 22, 2020 at 17:31
  • This seems plausible to me. Also I like how this answer solves the case more generally, demonstrating that (if it's correct, wich I assume) no license (that allows you to use the product, else you may have broken copyright law by using it) can actually prevent you from using the product to do commercial stuff... Great answer!
    – KGM
    Dec 26, 2020 at 21:11
  • @KGM "use the product," is a very general concept, and includes some things protected by copyright and some that are not. I very specifically said "use the information contained in the work". Including a photo in a book is a way of "using" it. Copyright protects text and other forms of expression, it does not protect ideas. Dec 26, 2020 at 21:18
  • Ahh, and thus I can use these guidelines according to Copyright, because I don't just take the information out of them and put it somewhere to work for me, but instead interpret it and apply it to my case. Comprehensive.
    – KGM
    Dec 26, 2020 at 21:33

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