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Guidance on the definition of non-commercial use

In order to assist the BioAtlas data providers and users, this page sets out additional guidance on what may be considered to be non-commercial and commercial use of biodiversity data.

Non-commercial Use

  • Personal interest
  • Education
    • e.g. for use in schools, academies, college, degree and some vocational courses
    • e.g. Training courses provided by organizations whose primary business is not educational would be considered commercial
  • Research
    • e.g. conducted as part of post-graduate (MSc, PhD) study, or
    • e.g. research undertaken for public benefit where the results will be openly available to all
  • Reporting for statutory purposes
    • e.g. Article 17 of the Habitats Directive

Commercial Use

  • Any use which is primarily intended or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation (this includes cost recovery) e.g.
    • Any part of the process directed at gaining planning consent, land or infrastructure development including background research and report writing
    • Use on a third-party data aggregation website or app, even if that website or app is not in itself commercial

Indirect use of the data in order to create some other product (e.g. including the data in a wider report on other matters) for commercial gain is still regarded as commercial use of the original data. Using information gained by viewing data on the BioAtlas for commercial purposes is a breach of the CC-BY-NC license, i.e. data does not have to have been downloaded for the license conditions to apply. However, not all use by a business is necessarily “commercial” and, on the other hand, use by a non-profit organization is not necessarily non-commercial.

Like all Creative Commons licenses, the NC licenses are non-exclusive. Which means that the data owner/provider can offer the same data under different terms, including commercial use. A potential user could, therefore, contact the data provider to seek permission to use data publicly available on the BioAtlas under a CC-BY-NC license for commercial use.

If you are at all unsure whether your proposed use of the data could be deemed commercial, please contact the data provider directly. Their contact details will be available with the dataset.