I love Wikipedia, and I love SOFU. It's pretty normal to link to a Wikipedia article from SOFU. Question: Is it allowed to take a SOFU answer, and put it 1:1 on Wikipedia?

They both have cc-wiki attribution share-alike licenses (SOFU: v2.5, Wikipedia: v3.0). What would be the best (nicest) procedure, including adding a link to SOFU, etc.?

The reason I ask is, that sometimes - though rarely - for certain topics, Wikipedia provides really bad articles (which they admit themselves). And among SOFU users, there may be a bunch of experts on exactly that topic. So it would be great to start a community wiki question here, and then just copy the answer to Wikipedia (after asking the author out of courtesy). Would that be fair? Would that be legal? Would it help the world, or would it conjure the wrath of SOFU owners?


1 Answer 1


Well IANAL but according to Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic

Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

You could post the content of an answer on a Stack Exchange site to Wikipedia if you were to properly attribute that content back to the original author as well as a link to the post on the Stack Exchange site.

Unless I misunderstood...

EDIT: I just found this SO blog post which clearly lays out what attribution is needed. It boils down to:

Anyway, I hope that clears up any confusion — feel free to remix and reuse to your heart’s content, as long as a good faith effort is made to attribute the content

That again clearly states you can repost on Wikipedia as long as you properly attribute the content to the Stack Exchange site site it came from.

  • @Josh: Thanks! I'm still not really sure if it would be good faith effort enough to just add the author names in the Wikipedia commit comment, because I have some doubts, if Wikipedia would be ok with annotating an article visibly with a dozen nicknames... Commented Apr 6, 2010 at 11:06
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    I think if you're going to do a straight copy and paste, you would probably want to do some sort of block quoting in Wikipedia anyway. Being an encyclopedia they wouldn't want content directly copied from another source unless it was a quote. I think if you rewrite the content, then citing the stackoverflow post as a source would be enough. Let's see what others say on the specifics here... Commented Apr 6, 2010 at 12:32
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    I'd suggest in this situation, it might be an idea to post on Wikipedia's Help Desk asking what they would suggest. There are already templates and procedures in use for attribution of material taken from elsewhere (like 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, Citizendium etc.). The important thing isn't really Wikipedia but sites like Wikibooks and WIkiversity.
    – Tom Morris
    Commented May 13, 2011 at 13:56
  • I would agree @TomMorris. I was answering purely from a Stack Exchange perspective. Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 21:48
  • Can we self-plagiarize (take our own content on SO and post on Wikipedia without attribution)?
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 3:38

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