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In order to better show my situation, I sometimes publish the offending source code. Also, I like to publish the fixed code once the problem is solved. I feel it's a way to thank the community for the help I have received. And I'm glad if someone else can benefit from the code.

However, I'm afraid that, once published, the source becomes automatically licensed under GNU. And so, my full program, which uses the published code, should theoretically be under that license too. Are my fears justified? Why or why not?

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marked as duplicate by hims056, Toon Krijthe, Bo Persson, ChrisF, BЈовић Feb 26 '13 at 12:45

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

GNU? No, Creative Commons – Pëkka Feb 26 '13 at 10:55
All content you post on SO will automatically have a CC-BY-SA license applied to it. – Bart Feb 26 '13 at 10:55
Well. As the author of the code, you have the "rights" to it. If you choose to release it under a license (which you do when you post it in a question) that applies to others who use your code. This is my interpretation. – J. Steen Feb 26 '13 at 10:55
Related (but not really answering the question from your perspective): Do I have to worry about copyright issues for code posted on Stack Overflow?/ – Pëkka Feb 26 '13 at 10:56
It only gets problematic if you include code other people posted on SO into your project. – CodesInChaos Feb 26 '13 at 11:14
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Obligatory "I am not a lawyer", but my understanding is the following:

The content you post on Stack Overflow will automatically have a CC-BY-SA license applied to it, not GNU. This does however not change your ownership of the code/content. The code is still yours. It only influences how others can use that particular bit of content (and you grant them the right to use it in accordance with the license perpetually and irrevocably).

The license is also limited to the content you've explicitly posted. If the code is part of a larger whole, the license does not automatically apply to this larger whole. It only applies to the subsection you've contributed to the site.

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That's also my understanding. – Pëkka Feb 26 '13 at 11:08
@Pekka웃 Good, then I'm not entirely insane just yet. (Or we both are..). P.s. no mod-election candidature from you yet? What's taking you so long? – Bart Feb 26 '13 at 11:19
I thought about it (I am curious about those moderator tools :) but with me leaving for the US this summer and all, I won't be available frequently enough. – Pëkka Feb 26 '13 at 11:22

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