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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2816 votes
9 answers
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A Terms of Service update restricting companies that scrape your profile information without your permission

Update (April 19, 2016): This change is now live. You can view the updated Terms of Service here, or read about them below. tl;dr: We’re planning to make some changes to our Terms of Service to stop ...
Jaydles's user avatar
  • 52.7k
509 votes
8 answers
43k views

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?
Unicornaddict's user avatar
314 votes
5 answers
10k views

Was the retroactive change to CC BY-SA 4.0 approved by Stack Exchange's lawyers?

Update: I have started a GoFundMe in an attempt to have a court or arbitrator settle this. It has raised a decent amount, but more will be necessary to retain counsel. On 2019-09-05, Stack Exchange ...
jhpratt's user avatar
  • 4,588
301 votes
6 answers
110k views

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 ...
295 votes
3 answers
28k views

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:...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.5k
292 votes
15 answers
26k views

Is Stack Exchange in violation of New York labor law, in using volunteer moderators?

Is Stack Exchange in violation of New York labor law, in using volunteer moderators? I found a New York State Department of Labor - Division of Labor Standards Frequently Asked Questions document, ...
aparente001's user avatar
  • 11.5k
267 votes
2 answers
37k views

Did the Stack Exchange staff members assist in the apprehension of Ross Ulbricht?

The recent arrest of someone behind Silk Road is in the news today, he was arrested in a San Francisco public library. A couple of background articles here and here. To what extent, if any, did ...
wim's user avatar
  • 4,495
260 votes
2 answers
6k views

Will concerns regarding the move to CC BY-SA 4.0 elicit any further dialogue from Stack Exchange, Inc.?

Fifteen days ago, it was suddenly announced that the user-contributed content on Stack Exchange had been relicensed as CC BY SA 4.0. The change took immediate and retroactive effect and is still in ...
Lightness Races in Orbit's user avatar
252 votes
28 answers
20k views

Why is SE removing links and community ads about a legal fund campaign?

Stack Exchange staff will actively remove links to a legal fund campaign from user profiles, posts, and comments, as well as community ads surrounding Monica's situation and reinstatement. Why? [This ...
JNat's user avatar
  • 24.1k
220 votes
2 answers
3k views

Please upload DMCA takedowns to the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse / Lumen Database

I have a request. I'd like to ask Stack Exchange corporate to establish a practice of uploading all DMCA takedown requests that it receives for content hosted on the Stack Exchange network to the ...
D.W.'s user avatar
  • 13k
210 votes
11 answers
4k views

How can we move forward if SE will not admit to wrongdoing for legal reasons?

As I understand, one of the major grievances of the community recently over the situation with Monica is that the Stack Exchange team has not apologized for or admitted to any wrongdoing over making ...
Peter Olson's user avatar
  • 7,712
193 votes
1 answer
9k views

Why is the Google Analytics cookie defined as "strictly necessary" and saved without consent?

When you open a Stack Exchange site the first time you are asked about your consent for storing cookies. You can disallow all cookies except those that are defined as "strictly necessary". ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
164 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is Stack Exchange still planning to respond to the community's open letters?

On October 6th, moderators, ex-moderators, and members of the community published two open letters to Stack Exchange Inc.. These letters have, as of today, been signed 768 times (general letter) and ...
Nate S.'s user avatar
  • 1,156
159 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can we opt out from the arbitration clause of the new terms of service?

The new Terms of Service went live yesterday following an 8-hour heads-up on meta. One key change that was mentioned as an aside with no real explanation is the new arbitration clause. Opt-out ...
Andras Deak -- Слава Україні's user avatar
149 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 2,994
142 votes
1 answer
2k views

What gives SE the legal right, under the CC-BY-SA license, to modify user profiles without indicating that the content has changed?

The Terms of Service clearly indicated that all content that you provide to SO Inc is licensed under CC-BY-SA, and that would include your About Me section of your user profile, which SO Inc is ...
user avatar
131 votes
6 answers
2k views

Does Stack Exchange have a responsibility to protect the rights of their volunteers?

The question is focused on the company's responsibility for taking action without just cause against an appointed moderator on Meta Stack Exchange (herein called SE). There is a moderator contract ...
Mari-Lou A Слава Україні's user avatar
119 votes
7 answers
4k views

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 ...
cocomac's user avatar
  • 13.7k
119 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why can't I use Stack Exchange if I'm under 13 years old, or if I'm under 16 years old and from the EU?

I was just reading the Terms of Service, and noticed something: You must be at least 13 years old to access or use the Network or Services, including without limitation to complete a Stack Overflow ...
108 votes
5 answers
11k views

Is there a Stack Exchange site for Law Questions? If not, why not? [duplicate]

I think a Legal Stack Overflow would be an excellent resource. Why doesn't such a thing exist? If it doesn't, I'd like to create one.
Mark P Neyer's user avatar
  • 1,215
104 votes
1 answer
2k views

Stop tracking users without their consent

Right now, if you visit an SE site the following things happen: two cookies _ga and _gid are saved, those contain unique IDs used for Google Analytics a request is made to www.google-analytics.com ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
97 votes
2 answers
2k views

What legal options exist to Stack Exchange to prosecute aggressive users/trolls?

At the electronics Stack Exchange site, Electrical Engineering, we have been plagued by a particular user for a while. (I am not a moderator there and haven't reached the 10k reputation level which ...
JYelton's user avatar
  • 1,391
91 votes
2 answers
3k views

Stack Exchange Privacy Policy Update

As you all know, once in a while we have to update our Privacy Policy. Now is one of those times. Here's what's different with today's update: Safe Harbor has been replaced by the EU-US Privacy ...
Adam Lear's user avatar
  • 159k
90 votes
2 answers
2k views

User data in light of Stack Overflow's / Stack Exchange, Inc.'s acquisition

I would like to know how the acquisition impacts our user data, and specifically private user data. I am aware that a large part of our contributions could be scraped from the outside (or even, ...
Levente's user avatar
  • 2,063
90 votes
5 answers
11k views

We’ve made changes to our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy - January 2022

We’ve just made two adjustments to our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy. They were made to return a section that was accidentally removed about the DMCA Designated Agent - there’s little to no ...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.5k
88 votes
1 answer
890 views

Remove the arbitration clause from the Terms of Service

There is a lot of pushback against the new ToS, specifically the arbitration clause. The fact that the vast majority of people will not opt out due to not sending in snail mail within the first 30 ...
forest distrusts StackExchange's user avatar
84 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can you ditch the attribution for own content clause from the Terms of Service?

Deep in the bowels of the SE Terms of Service you will find the following sentence (in section 3. Subscriber Content), with one clause highlighted by yours truly: In the event that You post or ...
Oli's user avatar
  • 7,504
77 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 1,101
74 votes
0 answers
890 views

Moderator legal liability

I've scanned the privacy policy, terms of service, and moderator agreement and, so far as I can tell, moderators are fully and completely liable for any and every action they take in the process of ...
Pollyanna's user avatar
  • 76.1k
65 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does Stack Exchange report on the numbers of requests and orders it receives from law enforcement agencies?

Does Stack Exchange report on the numbers of requests and orders it receives from law enforcement agencies, as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo do?
Gaia's user avatar
  • 841
60 votes
1 answer
937 views

Are moderators required to report users younger than 13? [duplicate]

Users younger than 13 are deleted immediately once SE is informed about the case. The reason for this is COPPA, the US law intended to protect children online. The guidelines as far as I understand ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
60 votes
5 answers
2k views

Who owns the copyright to S[OFU] content?

What with Jeff's blog post today, possibly this is a good time to ask: who actually owns the copyright to questions, answers and comments submitted to StackOverflow and relatives? Over in this ...
chaos's user avatar
  • 7,483
58 votes
1 answer
706 views

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 ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 78.2k
56 votes
7 answers
3k views

Is it time for Stack Exchange, Inc and the community to legally separate amicably?

There's no need to rehash the issues that have led to a lack of trust between the employees of Stack Exchange, Inc and the members of the community. Suffice it to say that astoundingly they continue ...
Stop Harming the Community's user avatar
56 votes
4 answers
3k views

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
56 votes
1 answer
832 views

How does legal@ work?

Some users have already complained on Meta.SE that they didn't receive answers on legal issues. I also sent two messages to legal (at) stackoverflow (dot) com from different emails last month, but ...
andreymal's user avatar
  • 1,358
53 votes
4 answers
1k views

How do I get my content on Stack Exchange licensed correctly or else removed?

I do not agree to my old content being relicensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 (it is not the same as 3.0). Stack Exchange is not the owner of my contributions and is not allowed to change the license without ...
Sextus Empiricus's user avatar
52 votes
3 answers
2k views

EU copyright laws (2018-2019). Any risk for Stack Exchange?

The European Parliament JURI committee will be voting on 20th June 2018 on reforms of the EU copyright laws (full law proposal). According to a Creative Commons article titled 'Act now to stop the EU’...
user's user avatar
  • 2,963
52 votes
3 answers
557 views

Does the migration of edited posts violate attribution requirements?

I'm not meaning this to be a duplicate of this feature request. Here, I'd really like to find out if the current migration process is a violation of the license under which contributors grant their ...
Joshua Dwire's user avatar
  • 2,190
51 votes
2 answers
920 views

Can one take the entire Q&A base and move it to a new site?

In the light of all recent moderators and experienced users quitting, I was wondering if anyone is allowed to take the entire Q&A set of a site, and move it to a new site, with new rules? I think ...
Patrick Hofman's user avatar
50 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
wizzwizz4's user avatar
  • 18.1k
47 votes
9 answers
18k views

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 ...
Cesar M's user avatar
  • 21.5k
45 votes
2 answers
754 views

Can I use a Spoof/Parody version of the StackOverflow logo?

So I've been looking around the communities Meta StackOverflow and Meta StackExchange, but wasn't able to find something that I think directly answers my concern. I've made a simple design that is ...
AL.'s user avatar
  • 503
45 votes
1 answer
834 views

Is "The Loop" covered by SO's Privacy and GDPR policies?

SO's "GDPR Policy" states in part we describe how we collect and use your data, and how we use technologies like cookies to understand how we can better help developers. However, The Loop's first ...
Mark Beadles's user avatar
45 votes
2 answers
1k views

Social media disclaimer policy for SE Staff

The most recent SE incident (as well as several others earlier) was largely inflated by the interaction of SE/SE Staff with the press and some social media interactions (tweets/re-tweets, in ...
Anton Menshov's user avatar
45 votes
1 answer
629 views

Question still appears in my top network posts even after having it disassociated from my account

A while back I asked to have a question disassociated from my account (this one). It was, but today I noticed that it still appears on my profile page on most Stack Exchange sites where I have an ...
AlliterativeAlice's user avatar
45 votes
1 answer
967 views

Implement 451 Response Code?

Stack Exchange has removed a post (cached version) due to a DMCA takedown notice, but the response code is 404, indicating the resource could not be found. That is incorrect. I am wondering what it ...
L0j1k's user avatar
  • 477
44 votes
2 answers
866 views

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 ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
42 votes
19 answers
5k views

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 ...
Des's user avatar
  • 3,924
42 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is Stack Exchange staff removing GoFundMe links?

According to this announcement, Stack Exchange staff will actively remove links to a legal fund campaign from user profiles, posts, and comments Yet browsing around Meta Stack Exchange, I still ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 251k

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