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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

up vote 34 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
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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
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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)

and

  • 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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