I am preparing a small wiki based tutorial website.I will have to be grabbing lots of contents under the Creative Commons (CCL), and I'm planning to place some ads on the website, to cover the costs of the server, but I am concerned if these ads will make my website a commercial website and thus violate the non-commercial use license.


  • Does placing ads on a website make it commercial?
  • Does ads break the terms of the Creative Commons license?
  • 1
    I would think not.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 4:48
  • 3
    I think you mean a Creative Commons license... You'd need to specify what type of license. As covered in my answer here, online advertising is one of the criteria used to determine if a site is commercial or not.
    – dan
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 7:21
  • 1
    @dan♦ Thanks, that's just the answer I was looking for. Perhaps I will have to go around asking for permissions one by one after all :P
    – K.H.
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 8:29
  • 1
    NP. It's always wise to ask, and you might build a friendly report in the process since you're showing good intent to observe their license(s) (sometimes even more lenient licenses or permissions are granted in those cases).
    – dan
    Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 8:46
  • 1
    In the same way that publishing adverts on a website makes it a commercial website in that it generates an income, you will likely find that wherever you live your government will treat this as a taxable income aswell, so you may have to declare this income and put some money aside ready to pay the tax bill when you get it! Commented May 7, 2015 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Many organisations that provide creative commons content make distinctions between commercial websites which are built specifically to make a profit and sites which simply have a few ads on the pages to offset hosting costs. Best bet is to ask but you will find that many won't have an issue with your site having ads on it, the issue would arise if you started to sell content on your site.

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