Questions tagged [legal]

Questions about the legal aspects of Stack Exchange sites, such as the terms of service, using content and/or code-snippets, attribution, copyrights, patents, using trademarks, etc. General legal questions are OFF-TOPIC but may be asked on Law Stack Exchange.

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48 votes
9 answers

Updates to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) – January 2024

As part of our ongoing efforts to review and update policies, we’ve updated our Acceptable Use Policy. These changes come after a review period in which we made adjustments as a result of moderator ...
30 votes
1 answer

What role does Glitch (formerly Fog Creek Software) have in the ownership of the Stack Exchange Network?

A day or two ago, I wrote a Wikipedia article about the Stack Exchange Network only to notice the new legal information pages a few hours later. Now, I want to update the article so it is as accurate ...
119 votes
7 answers

Is SE [going to be] selling our content for AI model training? And what exactly does "reinvest back into our communities" mean?

Wired published an article titled Stack Overflow Will Charge AI Giants for Training Data. I read through it, and a few sections seemed noteworthy to me "Community platforms that fuel LLMs ...
17 votes
0 answers

In the data request page, what does the "Do not sell my information" request type do?

The recent "Upcoming privacy updates: removal of the Activity data section and Google conversion pixel deprecation" communication made me realize that the Data Request submit page includes &...
4 votes
0 answers

Generalize the DMCA Takedown Help Center page

All SE sites have a /help/dmca-takedown page. Right now, it's very specific in both the title and the content regarding DMCA takedown requests. However, it would be helpful if it was generalized to ...
7 votes
1 answer

Does the network minimum age requirement also include users without an account?

Context: why I am asking this Recently the network Acceptable Usage Policy was changed. As a result of those changes now it is technically possible to include what the policy defines as "Sexually ...
58 votes
1 answer

What is the status of the changes to the moderator agreement agreed to during the negotiations in August?

As part of the strike negotiation results, several changes to the Moderator Agreement were agreed upon. These include: A mandatory review period for binding policies Stack Exchange, Inc. staff cannot ...
-188 votes
17 answers

Update to our Advertising Guidelines

Today, we have updated our Advertising Guidelines as follows: “Retargeting pixels are not allowed on any campaign. allowed for a limited number of vetted and pre-approved Programmatic partners.” ”...
-78 votes
5 answers

Updates to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) [duplicate]

Update (21 Nov 2023): We're rolling back this change to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP); we will revise it and route it through the moderator review process as should have done. If you have further ...
295 votes
3 answers

We're rolling back the changes to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

I’m writing this post to let you know that we’re fully rolling back the changes made yesterday to the AUP and having them go through moderator review. I also want to briefly talk about how it happened:...
-7 votes
7 answers

Is it time for a SE Volunteer Labor Union or similar organization?

This has been on my mind for a while. Today I posted at Law.SE to check on the legality, it seems a very grey area: Volunteer Labor Union in New York State If there is interest in forming a labor ...
509 votes
8 answers

How does SOPA threaten Stack Overflow / Stack Exchange?

Today's Stack Overflow system message reads: SOPA is a dangerous law. It breaks the Internet and threatens sites like Stack Overflow. Protect the Internet! How is it a threat to Stack Overflow?
20 votes
0 answers

Honour the Do Not Track header

2011-10-26: waffles's answer to Do Not Track header: We do not do anything special for the proposed spec. There is no requirement anywhere that we implement anything. A bill may be passed in congress ...
6 votes
2 answers

How do I get help with an issue involving an image which is meant to be confidential?

I was going to ask a question on a Stack Exchange website about why my website's SVG logo was appearing pixelated on my HiDPI screen in the Safari browser. The logo in question is an original graphic ...
17 votes
1 answer

Can I make a YouTube video adapting Stack Overflow content?

There are many interesting questions on Stack Overflow, that have many good answers and many good comments. I want to make an animated YouTube video about a question and some answers to help visual ...
14 votes
2 answers

Is SE in violation of the CC BY-SA 4.0 license by not providing data dumps?

SE is no longer providing data dumps for the content contributed by their users. CC BY-SA 4.0 states: No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally ...
3 votes
1 answer

Does the Share-alike clause of the content license mean software code content can't be used other than in open-source software?

Does the current applicability of the CC-BY-SA 4.0 to most Stack Overflow content actually mean that one can only embed (or adapt) code content from Stack Overflow in their own software if they make ...
301 votes
6 answers

Do I have to worry about copyright issues for code posted on Stack Overflow?

I was wondering about the copyright of code snippets from answers. Let's say you ask a question and the solution consists of ten lines of code, which are given in an answer. Are there any restrictions ...
30 votes
5 answers

Mod strike: Is it realistic to require a no-comment press policy?

This is by and large a reaction to Does the company acknowledge misusing the press, and why won't it agree on a no-comment policy? Do we believe it's realistic to require the company to commit to ...
149 votes
1 answer

Please follow your own policies on making new policies

Your policy on making policies is crystal-clear: Stack Exchange, Inc. agrees that it will: [...] Post previews for review of all new official policies in the Moderators Teams instance with the policy ...
0 votes
3 answers

Does linked content count as "Subscriber Content" under the TOS?

The SE TOS defines "Subscriber Content" as: any and all content, including without limitation any and all text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or ...
4 votes
1 answer

Posting content under licenses besides CC BY-SA 4.0

If I post content (authored by me) on an SE site, and I have released it under some license X, how does this work with the SE TOS (even though it links to SO I assume it's applicable to all sites ...
3 votes
1 answer

Do basically all ~1500 people on strike need to separately enter into "mandatory arbitration" after 90 days?

Currently there is an ongoing strike (Moderation Strike: Stack Overflow, Inc. cannot consistently ignore, mistreat, and malign its volunteers) which has led to (as at the time of writing) 124 ...
44 votes
2 answers

How can SE gate access to the Dump that will allow individuals access to the data while preventing "misuse" by for-profit organizations?

I read this answer written by Jody Bailey: We are looking for ways to gate access to the Dump, APIs, and SEDE, that will allow individuals access to the data while preventing misuse by organizations ...
11 votes
1 answer

We've updated the Data Subject Rights (DSR) request page

We’ve updated the Data Request page to use a native solution from our consent provider, OneTrust. What is changing? Data Subject Rights (DSR) requests, as a part of Stack Overflow’s global privacy ...
50 votes
1 answer

Replace Google Analytics with a transparent, privacy-respecting alternative

Earlier this year, Google announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will be going away and will stop processing new data after July 1, 2023. Stack Exchange currently plans to switch to Google Analytics ...
4 votes
1 answer

Moderator Agreement signing deadline

In the Moderator Agreement I see the deadline timings for only accepting the new agreement (emphasis is mine): Announce changes to the moderator agreement no less than sixty days before the deadline ...
12 votes
1 answer

Is SE legally allowed to sell user content for AI model training despite the fact that some of this content is not allowed to be used to train AIs?

SE Inc. wants to sell our content to some companies for AI training. However, some of our content is not allowed to be used to train AIs. E.g., since ChatGPT hasn't been banned on all SE sites, some ...
30 votes
2 answers

Can SE just resell our data, relicense it and remove the attribution requirement?

SE has decided to charge for the network content when used for training AI according to an article. This has not been officially announced here, so we do not know the details. But the main question to ...
0 votes
1 answer

If a company makes a commercial use of an AI model trained on SE data and attribute all authors, will SE Inc. not charge them?

I read Is SE [going to be] selling our content for AI model training? And what exactly does "reinvest back into our communities" mean?. SE Inc. indicates that the will charge some firms if ...
56 votes
4 answers

Who owns the content I post?

Does Stack Exchange own the content that I post? What do I do if I want all of my posts and my user account deleted? Return to FAQ Index
-12 votes
2 answers

Don't I have the right to edit or delete my own content?

If someone answers my question, I can't delete it anymore even if I have 10 downvotes. After condition so and so, I'm unable to edit the comment. I can't delete more than 5 answers a day. I can't ...
2 votes
3 answers

Why is Stack Exchange using dark patterns on its cookie permission dialog?

It would appear as though Stack Exchange is employing a dark pattern in its cookie permission dialogs. Specifically, there are two buttons presented in the initial dialog. The colour depends on the SE ...
42 votes
19 answers

We’re adding more user controls for cookie consent

Update (Feb 8 2021): We’ll be doing some A/B testing with the consent interface. Once we’ve landed on a final design, we’ll use that design on all of our sites network wide. Additionally, we’re ...
15 votes
1 answer

As a workaround to Imgur being blocked, is there a image hosting site which allows URL uploads and does not violate CC BY-SA 4.0 copyright?

Imgur is blocked in China (and probably in some other countries as well as many workplaces and educational institutions). This is annoying for Chinese users and Chinese.SE in particular. Workaround: ...
2 votes
0 answers

YouTube channel scraping Q&A from Stack Exchange [duplicate]

There is this horrible YouTube channel scraping Q&A from Stack Exchange without attribution to the author of either question or answers, and no links to the original post. Stack Exchange licenses ...
2 votes
0 answers

Does Stack Exchange take any measures against sites violating our license? [duplicate]

I updated an answer of mine with an improved solution: Does PostgreSQL support "accent insensitive" collations? I hit Google to find related answers that might be outdated now, just to ...
-13 votes
1 answer

Is Stack Exchange going to limit content related to work about open-source code or statistical data likely to be under a ban in the United States?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control which is the agency for managing sanctions, took sanctions not only against the organisation of an open source project, but made it broad enough to target the open ...
-25 votes
4 answers

Does the license given to Stack Exchange forbid the "additional terms", terminate the license, making it useless? [closed]

The term of service of Stack Overflow add "additional terms" to creative commons license. In question Are the SE additions to the Creative Commons attribution requirements enforceable? the ...
77 votes
2 answers

This year's Winter Bash violates the Geneva Conventions (no, really)

I know the title of this post sounds like a bit of an exaggeration - but it's not; the 'Lifesaver' hat awarded in this year's bash which includes the red cross emblem violates Article 53 of the Geneva ...
22 votes
0 answers

Why are there separate copies of the Terms of Service per site, if the link in each site just goes to Stack Overflow's version?

I noticed that each site in the network has its own copy of the Terms of Service, e.g.,, https://...
25 votes
0 answers

Child protection: adding recognition filters to block obvious offensive content related to pornography

We've had yet another unsuitable post on Worldbuilding. The title was innocent enough: I'm think of making steam punk/fansty hybrid do you have any suggestions The body of the question contained ...
38 votes
7 answers

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) upgrade

Update Sep 14: GA4 has been enabled network-wide. Update Sep 8: GA4 has been enabled on Super User. TL;DR: We’re preparing to upgrade Google Analytics to version 4. A few months ago, the Google ...
7 votes
1 answer

Can the "attribution required" link please be removed from the footer and help page?

The footer of all SE sites links to a blog post called Attribution Required. It is also linked to in the Help Centre. As has been covered previously, this so-called requirement to give attribution in ...
17 votes
0 answers

When adding image from Wikimedia Commons, automatically add author/license/link

Many Stack Exchange questions and answers embed images from Wikimedia Commons. It is probably the most used image source here. The good news Thanks to their license, all images from Wikimedia Commons ...
2 votes
0 answers

How to give attribution when using the same code on multiple webpages [closed]

I am very new to the Stack Overflow community. I noticed that there are several excellent answers here that can help me to build a website. I am a little bit aware of the License CC BY-SA 4.0 applied ...
3 votes
0 answers

Do I have to worry about patent issues for code posted on Stack Overflow?

I purposely named this question similar to Do I have to worry about copyright issues for code posted on Stack Overflow?. Since Fedora is banning CC-0 licensed source code citing issue of explicitly ...
6 votes
0 answers

How to ensure that ownership of all my contributions on the Stack Exchange network is transferred to Community Wiki after my demise? [duplicate]

I wish my affairs to be settled when I'm dead. This includes avoiding the false impression that I am still alive and reachable when actually I am dead. This also means that internet accounts that I ...
35 votes
0 answers

Why was the Ubuntu Code of Conduct clause removed from the Ask Ubuntu terms of service?

Looking back at the old Terms of Service, I noticed they used to contain a special paragraph about Ask Ubuntu. When accessing the,, or sites ("...
-2 votes
2 answers

Are the private-beta sites also under Creative Common license?

The SE questions/answers are under the CC BY-SA license (ref). Does it also include the beta sites that are still in the private stage? --> If yes, isn't there a contradiction between this license ...

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