I know the SE site/design is copyrighted and the user content has a "attribution required" sharing license:

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But what is the license for SE's legal text?

  • 5
    Legal documents aren't expected to be published under a license. No license => the author retains all rights to the document.
    – user315433
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:40
  • 3
    Can you tell us about your motivation for asking? Why is it important to know?
    – D.W.
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:57
  • 1
    Well, most staff are users, and they contributed it to the site, so I guess it's safe to assume CC-BY-SA, right? :P
    – Jeremy
    Apr 23, 2018 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


From the Stack Exchange Terms of Service, Section 2: Network Content:

All materials displayed or performed on the Network, including, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or source code, audio and video, and animations (collectively, “Content”) (other than Content posted by Subscriber (“Subscriber Content”)) are the property of Stack Exchange and/or third parties and are protected by United States and international copyright laws.

[emphasis mine]

So the text of the agreements, policies, licenses, etc are covered under US and international Copyright law as applicable.

  • That doesn’t directly answer the question of what license the text falls under though (which I would assume is “none”)
    – Cai
    Apr 23, 2018 at 17:47
  • @Cai There is no license unless you've been granted one explicitly. You can read the complete terms in the section I linked above, but essentially "expressly prohibited without prior written permission from Stack Exchange". Apr 23, 2018 at 18:04
  • 1
    sure, that’s my point. The question isn’t “is the text copyrighted?”, it’s “is the text licensed?”. Copyright is automatic, licenses need to be explicitly granted.
    – Cai
    Apr 23, 2018 at 18:08

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