Two days ago, via a post on codegolf.meta which summarised a number of recent network-level issues, I stumbled upon Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow have moved to CC BY-SA 4.0. I was astonished to discover that such a significant change - a ToS change which doesn't just tidy up wording but purports to alter the legal basis of our participation in the site - was carried out in such a hushed manner.

Today, I went to codereview and was greeted by a banner advertising some new gimmick.

The ability to place a banner on SE sites is not something new: I've seen it used before for matters of as little consequence as hats. How can it be that a change to our legal rights (i.e. mine and Stack Exchange's) doesn't merit that kind of attention-grabbing notification?

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    In fairness, the license change is featured on the side bar here and on every single other stack. It has been since the 5th of September - about a month ago. I will hardly call this "hushed"
    – VLAZ
    Oct 2, 2019 at 21:12
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    IANAL - but I also took a look at the license. There's not much you're losing out on here. It isn't like the license dramatically changed; v4 only fixes some deficiencies with v3 that other jurisdictions could've used to ensure that they never had to comply with v3 to begin wtih. Big deal? Sure. World-shattering? Not so much.
    – Makoto
    Oct 2, 2019 at 21:48
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    @VLAZ, that's better than nothing, but (a) there is no side bar in the mobile UI; (b) on the desktop, I don't find it attention-grabbing, as evidenced by my failure to notice it for more than three weeks; (c) everything is relative (except ablatives, monarchs, etc). It's a change to scream from the roof-tops, email us about, stick a banner on every site. Oct 2, 2019 at 21:50
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    @Makoto, some of the legal problems with it have been raised elsewhere on meta, including the status of old posts and the lack of meeting of the minds if one party isn't informed of a change. One which I haven't seen raised is that if I reuse someone else's CC-BY-SA 3.0 content in a post then whether or not I'm violating their licence depends on how my post is licensed. Oct 2, 2019 at 21:55
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    I'm not really sure how you expect an announcement to be more clear than to be put where all the important announcements are. For the record, I almost missed the banner. I saw it, clicked the link and dismissed the banner once and never got it on other sites. I skimmed the contents and later on decided to go back to it but I had already forgotten it was even a banner - I used the link in the sidebar. I only recalled seeing the banner once when I saw a screenshot of it. So, I disagree a banner is more visible.
    – VLAZ
    Oct 2, 2019 at 22:01
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    @VLAZ I would have expected that a change of ToS must be sent by email to everyone including past users (it affects them too). And it should have been announced with a clear date of when it comes into effect and preferably it should have been announced a month before this date or so. And an explanation of why the whole relicensing is even possible would have been nice too. So much for clarity. Oct 3, 2019 at 8:28
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    What can I say... welcome to Stack Exchange. Nov 21, 2019 at 13:24


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