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In the past few months, I tried to answer a few of the interesting questions on Stack Overflow and as is the case with many of the users, the answers did not get the response as expected. I wanted to carry these answers over to my personal blog (their refined versions with slight changes) and provide references to the original questions with my original answers in there.

I couldn't find a relevant piece in the Creative Commons (CC) documentation for it hence I wanted to get the perspective on what is the right thing to do in this case:

  1. Do I need to call out some specific clause in my blog post which CC wants me to?
  2. Do I need to give credit to the question in some specific way and if so, any ideas what that is?
  3. Are my own answers (and questions for that matter) protected under CC in some way or can I use these contents as freely and with as much modifications as possible without impacting/infringing any policies covered under CC?

For example, I want to copy the contents to 2 of my answers here and here with some significant modifications and referencing back to the original posts.

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    I think that if you copy the answers and reference back the post should not be any problem – M.F05051985 Mar 31 '14 at 18:54
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    If you wrote it, 100% of it; it's yours and you don't need to worry (Although if you want to drive audience to stack exchange thats awesome) – Richard Tingle Mar 31 '14 at 18:54
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    @user3439274 thank you, the answer below points to the exact clause that I was looking for. – PopoFibo Mar 31 '14 at 19:23
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When you post to Stack Exchange you grant a not retractable licence to Stack Exchange, but you still own the copyright. So (assuming it's 100% your work), you can do whatever you want with it. The terms and conditions were specifically edited to ensure this.

The relevant part of the Terms and conditions is:

In the event that You post or otherwise use Subscriber Content outside of the Network or Services, with the exception of content entirely created by You, You agree that You will follow the attribution rules of the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license as follows: [.....]

Of course it still makes a lot of sense to link back to your own content; helping Stack Exchange, getting upvotes, etc. But you don't have to.

  • Thanks Richard, makes a lot of sense. A slight confusion though, the content in its entirety comprises of the question too and since I have not authored it, and without any intention of copying/modifying the contents of the question I can reference to it with the changed content of my own answers (give I am 100% owner of the answer's contents)? – PopoFibo Mar 31 '14 at 19:17
  • I probably might be overthinking this one but I have faced issues with copying over my own content earlier from tumblr to wordpress with google not recognizing my blog for their ads. – PopoFibo Mar 31 '14 at 19:19
  • @PopoFibo as long as you don't quote the question you're fine. If your answer has been edited beware that the edits count as someone elses work – Richard Tingle Mar 31 '14 at 19:20
  • @popoFibo yeah a lot of places require you to transfer copyright when you post. That doesn't happen here – Richard Tingle Mar 31 '14 at 19:21
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Do I need to call out some specific clause in my blog post which CC wants me to? Do I need to give credit to the question in some specific way and if so, any ideas what that is?

If you use any content from Stack Exchange other than content you created yourself, you are required to abide by the "attribution required" portion of the CC license they use.

Details on how to attribute on your site aren't difficult to abide by:

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/06/attribution-required/

Whether you have to attribute or not depends on the copyright laws of the country you reside in. If you are unsure if small quotes, or paraphrased passages fall under copyright, consult an intellectual property lawyer or solicitor.

If they fall under copyright law, then you are also likely bound to the CC license, and must attribute as described above.

If your particular usage of the content does not violate copyright law without permission, then you may not need to follow the CC license.

In general if you cut and paste content from Stack Exchange to your site, you should assume you are bound by copyright, and thus must follow the CC license with attribution from Stack Exchange, LLC.

Are my own answers (and questions for that matter) protected under CC in some way or can I use these contents as freely and with as much modifications as possible without impacting/infringing any policies covered under CC?

You own the original copyright to your created content. The license you provided your content to Stack Exchange under does not grant them exclusive rights, so you still own the material and can do with it as you please without any attribution.

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