Reason for commercial licensing backdooor exception for MetaBrainz Foundation

Sorry that my first critique is one to this forum.

On the project front page is written, “CritiqueBrainz is a repository for Creative Commons licensed music and book reviews.”

But, when you want to write a review you have to agree to:

"Finally, you give the MetaBrainz Foundation permission to license this content for commercial use outside of Creative Commons licenses in order to support the operations of the organization. "

So if you choose e.g. CC BY-NC-SA as licence, maybe your review will end up to be licenced commercially to everyone by MetaBrainz Foundation.

I also see no technical reason, why commercial review users, if CC BY-SA is chosen, can not also display an attribution to the original licence/author in their apps.

It looks a bit like MataBrainz Foundation want to make money from other people’s work later.

I find CritiqueBrainz a good idea to replace some of the commercial websites with reviews, but with this licensing I can keep writing reviews on big websites, as I then know who and for what they are used.



You pretty much read that right – this license exception exists so that we can license this content to commercial users with the clear intent of collecting money from them. No doubt about that.

However, we are a 501(c)3 California non-profit – all the money we make from our licenses goes back to funding our operations. This means, paying salaries to our development staff, paying for the servers and other costs. If tried to fund our operations from only online donations, MetaBrainz would be a wildly different different operation. Last year (see Profit and Loss 2022 below) we made about $10,000 from end user donations, which doesn’t cover a single salary. And we made $400,000+ from “licensing” our content for commercial use and that allows us to have a team of 8-10 people.

And you can see all of this on our financials pages:

Finances - MetaBrainz Foundation

Here you can follow where our money comes from and where it goes to. I hope this helps understand why we setup the licenses as we do.