Since day one of Stack Overflow, all content posted on Stack Exchange sites by their users (i.e. you wonderful people) has been provided to the whole universe under the CC-BY-SA license. For my fellow non-lawyers, that license basically means:
- Anyone can use any Stack Exchange posts at any time without having to ask for permission
- Making money off of the copied content is permitted
- You don't even have to copy stuff from here verbatim; you can just use it as a starting point and make whatever edits you want
- There are just two rules you have to follow:
- You have to provide attribution. Simple links to the original post and author info are just fine.
- You have to allow other people to use your content, as long as they follow these very same rules. How meta!
(If you ever forget any of that, and want to refresh your memory, the license info is linked to in the footer of every page.)
There are, in fact, a lot of people who republish varying amounts of our content for assorted reasons. Unfortunately, there are some Stack Content Republishers Attributing Poorly and/or Excelling at Ranking (SCRAPERs, for short).
In this context, "attributing poorly" means any use that doesn't follow our attribution rules or make any other reasonable attempt at give credit. This can get pretty egregious; I've seen SCRAPERs that not only don't link back to SE originals, but also use fake author info and post dates to make it harder to find originals. By "excelling at ranking," I'm referring to copycat sites that end up higher in Google results than the original SE sites do for the same content. That's not necessarily wrong, but in some cases, it indicates inappropriate SEO hackery.
So, the question is: what can you do if you spot a SCRAPER?