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I am curious as to the possibility that in the future Stack Overflow makes money out of my volunteer work in the present.

What if in the future information about a specific issue is very hard to get outside Stack Overflow ? Is it possible that the owners of this website start charging users to view content? my content?

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marked as duplicate by gnat, Austin Henley, Servy, Rosinante, bluefeet Sep 24 '13 at 16:34

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Relevent, from the footer: "user contributions licensed under cc-wiki with attribution required". –  George Duckett Sep 24 '13 at 15:59
    
@GeorgeDuckett - don't forget the data-dumps. –  Oded Sep 24 '13 at 16:01
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"Volunteer" work?! What about all those glorious reps you were paid –  Adam Rackis Sep 24 '13 at 16:05
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I consider it a hobby, and somewhat of a learning experience answering questions.. not volunteer work.. –  Josh Crozier Sep 24 '13 at 16:06

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

All users agree to the CC-attribution-required license (see the bottom of every page on the network), which is a non-exclusive license to Stack Exchange to use your content. So even if Stack Exchange wanted to put its sites behind a paywall (which I doubt), there is nothing stopping anybody else from putting that same content up somewhere for free (with attribution). So content being "very hard to get outside stackoverflow" won't happen unless nobody finds value in that content.

Also, Stack Exchange already makes money from your contributions (via ads), so you've already gone down that path. They're also providing the platform, so the users who participate must think that's a fair trade. I know I do.

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Yes, it's possible. It is however, very unlikely, as they have no exclusive rights to the content. Anyone is free to take the whole lot and display it elsewhere, as long as they follow the license and the attribution requirements.

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