A document in a hypertext system (commonly "a web page") consists of navigation elements, advertising elements, and what a lot of authors call "content". The "content" carries the information for which the user is viewing the document in the first place. This term is medium-agnostic; it can refer to text, images, video, 3D models, or anything else that an author can include in a document. For example, the questions and answers on Stack Overflow or EL&U are "content".

Likewise, in video games, "content" refers collectively to all components other than the program itself, such as the meshes, textures, maps, and audio. For example, Id Software has long had a policy of making the program of its five-year-old video games free software, but not the rest. These games are sometimes called "free software with proprietary content".

However, one style guide published by a prominent organization in the free software community discourages use of the word "content", claiming it "disparages the works" by regarding them "as a commodity whose purpose is to fill a box and make money." The phrase "cultural works" has arisen as a general term for works of authorship other than computer programs, but it doesn't quite carry the meaning of "parts of a work other than infrastructure".

What better word than "content" exists to describe these concepts? I'm looking for something that will fit into the sentence "Interstitial video advertisements are acceptable in pages with video content and nowhere else."

4 Answers 4


Composition might fit your phrase and give the content the value you require.

"Interstitial video advertisements are acceptable in pages with video composition and nowhere else."

composition (ˌkɒmpəˈzɪʃən)

— n

  1. the act of putting together or making up by combining parts or ingredients
  2. something formed in this manner or the resulting state or quality; a mixture
  3. the parts of which something is composed or made up; constitution
  4. a work of music, art, or literature
  5. the harmonious arrangement of the parts of a work of art in relation to each other and to the whole
  6. a piece of writing undertaken as an academic exercise in grammatically acceptable writing; an essay
  7. printing the act or technique of setting up type
  8. linguistics the formation of compound words
  9. logic the fallacy of inferring that the properties of the part are also true of the whole, as every member of the team has won a prize, so the team will win a prize
  10. a. a settlement by mutual consent, esp a legal agreement whereby the creditors agree to accept partial payment of a debt in full settlement b. the sum so agreed
  11. chem the nature and proportions of the elements comprising a chemical compound

Especially considering that you used the word yourself several times in the question, I would nominate work or works (without the "cultural"). I think that it can carry the meaning of "other than infrastructure". Meaning [2] here: "something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking" just about implies that infrastructure is not included.

However, if needed, you could add clarification along the lines of this:

Interstitial video advertisements are acceptable in pages for display of video works and nowhere else.


Consider the term creation

A thing that has been made or invented, especially something showing artistic talent: she treats fictional creations as if they were real people


I usually refer to this as intellectual property.

a work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.

If you do not own said intellectual property than you could go with property, materials, or assets.

  • Yes, but content that is not protectable, such as a compilation of facts (like a telephone directory) are not considered intellectual property in the US. The term has a legal meaning that doesn't always fit the full range of content.
    – bib
    Apr 3, 2014 at 17:42
  • @bib - then I would just go with property or materials. But he did say proprietary which conveys they own it and it isn't just a compilation of facts. Guess we would need more info. Apr 3, 2014 at 17:45
  • The same style guide discourages the term "intellectual property" on grounds that it "carries a hidden assumption—that the way to think about all these disparate issues is based on an analogy with physical objects, and our conception of them as physical property." Apr 3, 2014 at 19:46
  • @tepples - assets doesn't work? or materials? Apr 3, 2014 at 19:59

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