There's something I have hard time to understand with this world of APIs: when you have your WebApp/MobileApp ecosystem entirely based on an API giving access to your database, how do you prevent all of it to be parsed and stolen as one pleases?

How does Stack Exchange (or any other API based WebApp) protects its core content (blog posts/questions/answers) from being stolen and duplicated elsewhere?

  • 3
    SE doesn't, you might also want to take a look at this related question which might answer some of your questions. – Downgoat Dec 18 '15 at 4:46

They don't.

At the very bottom of every page, you will notice this:

user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

This pretty much explicitly says that you can "steal" posts—as long as you both link to the post and state that your copy also uses the same license. I'm sure there are many sites out there that copy SE's posts and properly satisfy both of those conditions, but, unfortunately, there are also many sites out there that copy SE's posts and pretend that they're their own. (If you do happen to see a site like this, please refer to this post on the subject.)

So, they do not in any way try to prevent people from copying content. The only thing they are concerned about is unlawful duplication of content. In terms of trying to prevent that, I'm not sure what they do—other than ask people to report it when they see it.

  • You were 8 seconds faster than me. :D – Doorknob Dec 18 '15 at 4:44
  • @Doorknob冰 I'm a slow typist, so you were actually probably faster. :P – The Guy with The Hat Dec 18 '15 at 4:45

They don't.

All user-generated content is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, so anybody else is free to copy and use it elsewhere as long as they give attribution to the original author.

It's even easier than using the API, in fact: Stack Exchange provides a data dump too, so you can download every question, answer, comment, etc. ever posted on any site in one go.

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