Why does Stack Exchange use this weird “cc-wiki” euphemism instead of calling the CC-BY-SA by its real name?

This is a bug report disguised as a question. As in: please fix the footer.

  • Call it where? The icon is a link, did you click it? It leads to a page clearly stating "Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)" - full enough? Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 12:46
  • 2
    There are specific logos for cc-by-sa though @ShaWizDowArd. creativecommons.org/about/downloads
    – Bart
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 12:48
  • @Bart so he should have mentioned this in the question, better revise this to something like "please change the Creative Commons icon from X to Y", unless I still miss the point. Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 12:51
  • @ShaWizDowArd “cc-wiki” is not the name of the licence.
    – kinokijuf
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 12:52
  • Any reason why you removed the link @kinokijuf?
    – Bart
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 12:54
  • OK, clear now and making some sense. +1 and close vote retracted. Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 12:55
  • @Bart I wasn’t asking about the logo. I’ve seen custom licence logos enough times in my life.
    – kinokijuf
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 13:18
  • So .... cc-wiki is fine if it's a logo?
    – Bart
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 13:22
  • @Bart. No. It is misleading. I meant that i have seen lots of custom logos that nevertheless said “CC-BY-SA”.
    – kinokijuf
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 13:37
  • @kinokijuf, you can read both the tag Meta uses, and the text you quoted to see the proper spelling of license, but I'm not getting into an edit war over it. If you like misspellings in your title, go wild. Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 21:45
  • 1
    @LanceRoberts see this. The noun is spelled with a "c" while the verb with "s" so looks like kino here is correct. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 12:35
  • @ShadowWizard, looks like an edge case for the UK only, as per your link. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 16:48
  • @LanceRoberts Spelling the noun with an “s” is a US-only edge case. All other countries in the world use the propel spelling.
    – kinokijuf
    Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 21:36

3 Answers 3


Dunno when exactly, but it was fixed and rolled out to all sites:


As far as I can tell, "cc-wiki" is an old working name for the license that eventually became CC-By-SA 2.5. According to an article in The Wikipedia Signpost on March 25, 2005:

"Last Thursday, Creative Commons introduced a beta version of its new license designed specifically for wikis, in conjunction with Lawrence Lessig's introduction of a wiki to help draft an updated version of one of his books.

As Lessig explained it, with the new license, which has been given the designation of CC-Wiki, "rather than requiring attribution back to the copyright holder, [the license would] require attribution back to either the copyright holder or a designated entity." The designated entity would presumably be whatever organization controlled the wiki. Lessig characterized it as a newly branded version of the attribution/share-alike (CC-by-sa) license, rather than being an entirely new license."

The "new license" link in the quoted text takes you to http://creativecommons.org/drafts/wiki_0.5, which, as of this writing, redirects to http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/. According to archive.org, the "cc-wiki" link in the Stack Overflow footer has always linked to the CC-By-SA 2.5 license page since the public beta in 2008, until it was changed to point to the 3.0 version in April 2011.

So, to answer your literal question, apparently the "cc-wiki" designation is an obsolete synonym for CC-By-SA 2.5 that was adopted by SO in its early days and never updated, not even when the license version was changed. IMO, it should be fixed, if only to avoid confusing people.


Not expert in this field of licence and attributions, but looks like Jeff was under the impression those two are the same, as he wrote in the Attribution Required blog post:

All the content contributed to Stack Overflow or other Stack Exchange sites is cc-wiki (aka cc-by-sa) licensed, intended to be shared and remixed.

From quick Google search looks like he wasn't the only one, but it's not really common though and I couldn't find the origin.

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