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  1. #1
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    Question what makes a site Commercial?

    Hi

    This has been posted at soopportal.org and has got me scratching my head, as the responces are varied and most people seem to be thinking that any sort of payment or donation makes a site 'commercial' and therefore fals foul of any open source licences for components used on a web site....

    Can any one here offer smoe definative answers..

    Many thanks
    GreenBoy

    Original Post from SoopPortal.org

    Just trying to gain some opinions as to what makes a site "commercial".

    As many of you know, in fact all users of SooP Portal softaware should be aware, there are certain limitations on the use of SooP for commercial ventures. Most of these is tied down to the WWF, Milonic etc licence conditions. After reading through these legalise "readme" files my brain is about to explode but what I want to know is this:

    1. Sites that recieve "donations" make money so are they commercial?
    2. Sites that use "google ads" have the potential to make money are they commercial?
    3. Sites that are part of an advertising revenue steam are they comercial?


    Now I know that all of the above will, in most circumstances, not take in enough revenue to even cover the costs of web space. But I am curious as to whether in the eyes of the law they can be classed as commercial enterprises and therfore liable to either pay up for the required software developers

  2. #2
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    When all else fails look it up in the dictionary
    com·mer·cial Pronunciation (k-mûrshl)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Of or relating to commerce: a commercial loan; a commercial attaché.
    b. Engaged in commerce: a commercial trucker.
    c. Involved in work that is intended for the mass market: a commercial artist.
    2. Of, relating to, or being goods, often unrefined, produced and distributed in large quantities for use by industry.
    3. Having profit as a chief aim: a commercial book, not a scholarly tome.
    4. Sponsored by an advertiser or supported by advertising: commercial television.
    From the way I interpret the law commercial means for profit. For example I have an open source program on Sourceforge that I allow any non commercial use of. If I found that someone was selling access to my program or selling copies or it then I would consider that a violation. But if a different person had it up on a website where users could use it with a paypal donate button on one side and adsense ads on the other I would have no problem.

  3. #3
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    Aaron D

    Thanks for the reply - i have to say I am in agreement with you - but there seems to be a difference of opinion on this, and thus I raised the question to get a different set of peoples thoughts...

    Thank you for your time

  4. #4
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    If there is a difference of opinion - then you must find out what the person you are getting the script deems to be commercial.

    Usually if the script is going to help you make money - then I would say that is commercial. And of course there is your gray line - the script brings visitors to your website. The visitor might decide to buy something. So at that point I would say your site is commercial - if it is selling items. Donations, I would have to say no to because usually this is a non-profit organization.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Bleys's Avatar
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    If your site's goal is to make money beyond operating costs, then I would say it is commercial... if you are attempting to make money only to cover operating costs on a free service, then it is less likely that I would consider it commercial. But as Corey said, there is a difference of opinion on this so you should ask the creator of the script to be sure you site falls in line with their usage guidelines.
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