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I'm an individual and work from my home.

Does user codes/answers posted on Stackoverflow can be (whenever if I re-write them or copy them as they are):

  1. Used on my private C# project which I built for commercial proposes? (I'm the only one who uses the software)
  2. Used on a commercial website? non-commercial website?
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    There was a time when we could have answered this question. – Frédéric Hamidi Dec 5 '19 at 19:06
  • The license notice at the bottom of the page is correct for content posted after September of this year. Content before that is murky thanks to the relicensing -- it might be 3.0, 4.0, or unlicensed (i.e. illegal to reuse without first getting the author's permission). – manveti Dec 5 '19 at 19:07
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Maybe.1

The code posted is licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 BY-SA (or 3.0, it's complicated).

Both versions of this license allow you to use it in a commercial manner.


1 As it turns out, I'm not a lawyer and the situation it actually a lot more complicated than it might seem. The general gist is that users who signed up during the 3.0 era agreed that their posts would be published under CC-BY-SA 3.0. StackExchange, Inc. unilaterally decided that they would relicense everything under CC-BY-SA 4.0, which may not have been legal.

So the actual license status is...questionable. I personally have never heard of anyone getting sued for copying code from Stack Exchange or Stack Overflow. A gut feeling tells me that most people who post code as answers are inherently okay with that code being used. It's kind of the point of the website.

My personal opinion is you'll likely be fine, but if you absolutely need to be 100% sure, you should call a lawyer.

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    Whoa, hold your horses. Which version of the license did I agree to have my content shared under again? And which part of my content was it again? The answer I got on Law points out that 3.0 varies per-country, and 4.0 doesn't. I am not an US citizen. Does that mean I can sue anyone who uses code from my answers, because the change from 3.0 to 4.0 was made without my agreement and therefore voids the license? That Yes is way too bold. – Frédéric Hamidi Dec 5 '19 at 19:13
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    @FrédéricHamidi Better? – MechMK1 Dec 5 '19 at 19:25
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    Well, yes, in a way. I mean, it is very cool you made this answer more objective and informative (thank you for that :) But on the other hand, that makes it a very generic maybe answer with some personal opinion (as this very comment is) ending with call a lawyer, which does not bring much to the table (unless the questioner can afford one). – Frédéric Hamidi Dec 5 '19 at 19:34
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    @FrédéricHamidi I honestly wish I could give a better answer, but there is just no way to un-screw this situation until this is resolved in a court of law. And even then it'll likely end up in a fucked situation, given that posts now are correctly licensed as CC-BY-SA 4.0. – MechMK1 Dec 5 '19 at 21:23
  • I don't know why everyone is questioning the 3.0–4.0 change, IANAL but it seems very clearly and straightforwardly permissible. We all granted SE a license under the terms of CC-BY-SA 3.0; said license explicitly allows the licensee (SE) to distribute under a compatible license, which includes CC-BY-SA 4.0. – Kevin Dec 5 '19 at 22:38

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