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I found a website that contains content stolen from Stack Exchange. Is it related to SE in any way? (Proof: compare this post with this question on EL&U.)

Edit: As per Kiamlaluno's excellent answer, it does not appear that this is an SE-related site. Is there anything that can be done about it?

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It's not providing attribution of any kind and appears to be ripping off all non-beta SE sites. I think the Stack Exchange crew should get in direct contact with that site's administrator. They could easily be sued by the SE team for this I believe. –  Ben Brocka Dec 18 '11 at 4:06
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You know, this all started in an odd manner; I Googled my [usual] username, clicked page 10 for no reason whatsoever, and found that site. –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 6:09
    
@Arjan: Unfortunately we kinda need the search query that was used where it outranks the EL&U post to be able to "properly" report it. –  Jeff Mercado Dec 18 '11 at 20:35
    
@JeffMercado It didn't rank higher than EL&U, it was just there, on page 10. Nobody ever goes that far, but I did, for some reason. –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 20:37
    
@Can'tGetEnoughMahna: Well it will appear on the first page if you search the whole title but it doesn't outrank EL&U. You can block the site at least. –  Jeff Mercado Dec 18 '11 at 20:40
    
Not useful in this specific case (given it's a page 10 result, not outranking SE), but for future reference: Google has a form to report search queries for which the scraper gets a better result than the original site: docs.google.com/spreadsheet/… –  Arjan Dec 18 '11 at 20:40
    
@Jeff Well, I suspected it would. –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 20:41
    
I wonder if SOPA could be useful in a situation like this. Get them blasted off the US internet for copyright infringement. –  Kibbee Dec 19 '11 at 1:15
    
@Arjan Google has a specific tool for Copyright infringements; the Scaper form is just to help them beta test new functionality. I strongly suggest one of the Stack Exchange crew fill out this form for copyright owners: support.google.com/bin/… –  Ben Brocka Dec 19 '11 at 14:30

5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

No, they're certainly not affiliated with Stack Exchange; we'll add it to the list of sites to take a look at (unfortunately, there are quite a few of them copying content without correct, if any, attribution).

Thanks for reporting them.

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That site is not related to Stack Exchange. It allows you to reply by logging in on it; if you do it, that site content would contain a comment that the original site from which the question has been taken doesn't contain. The site doesn't correctly attribute the content grabbed from Stack Exchange in any way: The content is not said to be taken from Stack Exchange, and there aren't links for the original question, or the user profile of who answered or commented.

The site is then built with Wordpress. It would not make sense for Stack Exchange to create a clone using Wordpress.

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Release the hounds. –  sarnold Dec 18 '11 at 2:52
    
Release the robotic Richard Simmons! –  Nicol Bolas Dec 21 '11 at 3:27

See the official attribution policy here. There is also a listing of illegeal clones (sites that do not give proper attribution) on the same post; you can add this site to that list if you'd like to.

Note that it's not inherently illegal to repost content from Stack Exchange — all posts are released under a creative commons license, but they are required to give proper attribution, which this site does not.

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Yes, it's "related".

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Ha... ha... no. –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 20:34

Honestly, this looks more like an improperly referenced student project than a real content spamming site. Parasitic scrapers usually get their revenue from ads. Notice that there are none on any of the pages. Maybe I'm just naive.

EDIT: My search through DNS registrar supports that theory. Spammers can easily hide their contact info from public listing by paying some extra bucks to domain name provider. This one is wide open, including registrants email and other contact info. Yup, this definitely seems to be an amateur.

My suggestion is to simply send an email to this guy, explaining that whatever is the reason why he made the site, he has to include the backreferences and other stuff that license requires. I still may be naive, but you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar (not that I ever tried to catch flies).

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Student projects could never post questions at that rate, methinks. –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 20:36
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@Can'tGetEnoughMahna: I don't get it. Various people post question throughout SE. And this site scrapes them. I'm not saying that someone does it manually. I'm saying that it seems to be done by an amateur/hobbyist/student. –  Goran Jovic Dec 18 '11 at 20:50
    
Oh! That's what you mean. Yeah, I suppose that's possible. –  Mahnax Dec 18 '11 at 20:52
    
@Can'tGetEnoughMahna: That seems to be the most likely thing. Either that or he is waiting for the site to become popular to include ads. But, c'mon... only a programming beginer would try to ripoff SE in Wordpress :) –  Goran Jovic Dec 18 '11 at 21:07
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@GoranJovic I know, right? Wordpress. They should drop that mess and try Jquery. –  Ben Brocka Dec 21 '11 at 0:13

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