If memory serves me correctly, as Steinsplitter said, there has been pushback on Commons regarding allowing NC-licensed images on Commons, but I can't recall if there was a consensus regarding having a site that is an alternative to Commons and allow images with NC licenses. I'm not sure how much discussion there was regarding setting up a new sister project for this purpose. I can imagine that one argument against it would be that it could cause confusion, but I think that with a good UI design that could be fixed. However, I'm not sure that the community has enough human resources to monitor and sustain another project. We already have problems with maintaining what we have.
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