This question about virtual table tables in C++ spawned a handful of answers that quoted an apparently authoritative or well-regarded source back in 2011. Since then, the source website has gone offline.

One user has pulled the contents from the site out of the Wayback Machine and posted it as a set of answers. The answers are correctly and properly attributed, but with a disclaimer that the original content by the original author is not licensed under the Creative Commons license that SO uses.

I'm not sure if this is OK. The user isn't the original author, so I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't be authorized to publish the contents under a license that the author didn't intend. If the site is no longer available on the internet, but can be found in the Wayback Machine, wouldn't simply updating the other links in the other answers be preferable to wholesale copy/paste?

  • 1
    To generalize the question a bit more, if content on a post is clearly a quote, does the CC-wiki licence apply to it?
    – Servy
    Apr 19, 2013 at 17:03
  • There's also a huge difference between a quote (fair use?) and a complete replication of an entire article.
    – Charles
    Apr 19, 2013 at 17:10
  • 5
    To me that seems to go too far beyond a quote to be permissible. And the statement that it's not CC-licensed does not make much sense when posting it here. You're effectively re-licensing it and I'd say this goes beyond "fair use". Then again, from what I recall in previous situations the approach has not always been to police this, if the original author undertakes no action.
    – Bart
    Apr 19, 2013 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Those answers are basically more than simple quotes (so the fair use definitely does not apply to them), so they basically plagiarise the work of Morgan Deters, the original author. Though the intents are clear, this is still plagiarisation, even if the original content is not available online anymore.

The best thing to do is summarize the contents of that page in a new answer with your own words, and cite the original source (even if it is not available anymore) for reference.

The second best you can do is ask the author, whether the reproduction is okay (basically asking him permission to relicence his work under CC), and/or simply ask him whether his work has any canoncial source (like a webpage or a book). One other option is to ask him to join SO, and make the post himself.

Reading the stuff, it might be some kind of lecture note, and those are ususally not available for non-students (which might be one of the reason it is not avialable anymore). In case the author doesn't answer, or he says no, then the post should be taken down.

Basically this question is a good example why link-only answers are discouraged, and should be summarized instead in the first place.

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