Back in January 2016, this Meta.SE post announced an upcoming license change for use of code taken from SE sites, to take effect in March of that year. (That post was a followup to this one.) There was a lot of controversy around the issue. The post lacks a "status" tag and I could find nothing about license terms in the Help Center either on Stack Overflow or here on Meta.SE. (This might be embarrassing coming from a moderator, but I couldn't find the terms of service.)

What are the current license and attribution rules if I use code from SO or other sites? Is a comment in the code with the URL sufficient?

The first post I linked has 80k views and good search placement. Updating it if this change didn't actually happen would probably be a good idea.


Currently, everything is still licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. The changes there never went live, and I agree that post doesn't make it very clear. Given the number of users that have written into support confused about this, emphasizing that the changes were only proposed and never made is a very good idea, so I've done that now.

P.S. The terms of service are the "Legal" link under "Company" in the footer. It's generalized to legal because the page contains more than just the ToS, but also the privacy policy and some other information.

  • Thanks for the info and for updating that post. I didn't think to look in the page footer, oops. (It's near-illegible to me here on MSE due to poor contrast, and it didn't occur to me to go to another site and look there. I looked in the help center because I was looking for help on site rules. :-) ) – Monica Cellio Jan 8 '18 at 0:16

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