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Am I Allowed To Make a StackOverflow Clone?

Will I get sued if I create a website will almost similar functionalities (tags, vote up.down, related questions, badges) as Stack Overflow but for a different set of community (non-geek)?


Yes. We will sue you.


  • 19
    I can't determine if this is humorous or not :( – Ian Elliott Jul 29 '09 at 4:32
  • 3
    Me neither. Seriously, Jeff. – Randell Jul 29 '09 at 4:34
  • 12
    @Ian, Randell: I'm not sure if it's humorous, but it's supposed to be a joke. – Kyle Cronin Jul 29 '09 at 4:35
  • Ok, as long as I'm not the only one :) – Ian Elliott Jul 29 '09 at 4:36
  • 50
    A Joke? You think my use of a Nintendo Power Glove is not serious? – Jeff Atwood Jul 29 '09 at 4:37
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    I actually had a Power Glove - biggest waste of money ever. – Jarrod Dixon Jul 29 '09 at 4:40
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    yes, but I use mine to sue people – Jeff Atwood Jul 29 '09 at 4:44
  • 29
    I'll let you sue me if you wear it to court – Ian Elliott Jul 29 '09 at 5:17
  • 1
    Don't worry, it won't be too invasive, I don't think @Jeff wants to get his power glove dirty. – Tim Post Feb 18 '11 at 17:31
  • Here's a pretty close clone of the Power Glove© on today's Kids Woot!, I'm pretty sure Digital Blue should be sued too. – JGarrido Jun 8 '11 at 5:07
  • Always wondered what you would look like, Jeff.. And now I know. :) – GolezTrol Jun 8 '11 at 8:17
  • @golez actually that's the character "Lucas", this actor. imdb.com/name/nm0899092 – Jeff Atwood Jun 8 '11 at 8:43
  • @GolezTrol Wait, so that's not Jeff in that picture? :P – Dynamic May 29 '12 at 10:31

Honestly, no. The functionality you've described has been done many times before, and no one owns the rights to any of it. If you make the site yourself you're good to go, provided you don't clone the site down to the CSS and HTML.

  • Agreed! As long as your site doesn't simply scrape the StackExchange network for your site's profit, a huge frustration mentioned many times before by Jeff & others. Come up with a couple of extra features that make your site original. There are already several non-geek StackExchange sites available (scroll down to the bottom). – Kaleb F. Jun 8 '11 at 4:50

Jeff et al. have the final word on this, but I seem to remember reading that the answer was no. There are already a few clones out there:

  • Cool just checked out CNProg.com after awhile I figured out it was in another lang. pretty close clone. – Anonymous Type Oct 26 '10 at 2:38

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