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Until now, when I saw content that was simply copied from the web without an attribution, I flagged the respective posts for moderator attention, and moderators always deleted them -- in accordance with e.g. this comment by random.

The last time I flagged such a post, the moderator declined the flag with the comment "copyright infringements and other legal matters are out of our domain of moderation; also see http://stackexchange.com/legal", and no further action was taken. The linked page details StackExchange's terms of service, including a lengthy procedure how to report copyright infringements.

So I'd just want to make sure there is no misunderstanding on my part: if there is a some post that is a verbatim copy from the web without any attribution, I shouldn't flag for moderator attention, but I should rather apply aforementioned lengthy procedure. Correct?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 39 down vote accepted

Your flag says, "Possible Copyright Infringement," not "This post was plagiarized."

Moderators cannot handle copyright claims. Copyright claims should be directed at SE corporate, as a DMCA Takedown Notice.

Instead of making a copyright infringement claim, simply state in your flag "This post was copied from [link to url] without attribution." Moderators routinely act on plagiarism claims, and on many other variations of posts that do not belong here.

Yes, I know this is wacky, but it's one of those unintended consequences of the way our laws work.

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Well, I left a comment at the respective post detailing where the whole post was copied from, so I didn't think I needed to repeat that information in the flag message -- it felt like adding noise. If this is the recommended way to proceed, I'll just do that next time. :) – Sven Marnach Feb 11 '12 at 23:40
If you want the greatest possible chance that a moderator will act on one of your flags, give the information the mod needs to make the right decision in the flag itself, or point them in the right direction. – Robert Harvey Feb 11 '12 at 23:42

I think there is a difference between 2 seperate issues, with each their own action:

  • This is a copyrighted text and I think you are not allowed to have it here. Stop it. (the lengthy procedure applies here)


  • This is a bad answer: it just copies some text without citing, references or anything, and it should not be here as an answer. (flag and delete procedure).
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