So I reposted this on Meta Stack Exchange. It seems that if you want to do research about this on Meta sites, the terms scraper and scraping are very useful. Here's what I found out:
Short answer: What to do:
Section of short answer by Pops:
Send all reports of SCRAPERs to us via the form on the contact us page, linked at the bottom of every page.
Use the "Other" reason on the form (fortunately, we don't get enough of these reports to justify making SCRAPERs their own category/reason). Please include:
- the URL of the copied post
- the URL of the original post on SE
- for high-rankers, the search string you used (and the name of the search engine, if not Google)
- any other details you noticed and want to share, because you're awesome
How other sites can use your material:
Information from another post by Pops:
Since day one of Stack Overflow, all content posted on Stack Exchange sites by their users (i.e. you wonderful people) has been provided to the whole universe under the CC-BY-SA license. For my fellow non-lawyers, that license basically means:
- Anyone can use any Stack Exchange posts at any time without having to ask for permission
- Making money off of the copied content is permitted
- You don't even have to copy stuff from here verbatim; you can just use it as a starting point and make whatever edits you want
- There are just two rules you have to follow:
- You have to provide attribution. Simple links to the original post and author info are just fine.
- You have to allow other people to use your content, as long as they follow these very same rules. How meta!
(If you ever forget any of that, and want to refresh your memory, the license info is linked to in the footer of every page.)
There are, in fact, a lot of people who republish varying amounts of our content for assorted reasons. Unfortunately, there are some Stack Content Republishers Attributing Poorly and/or Excelling at Ranking (SCRAPERs, for short).
What attribution re-users must give:
From a StackExchange Blog by Jeff Atwood, Attribution Required:
All the content contributed to Stack Overflow or other Stack Exchange sites is cc-wiki (aka cc-by-sa) licensed, intended to be shared and remixed. We even provide all our data as a convenient data dump, seeded by us.
But our cc-wiki licensing, while intentionally permissive, does require attribution:
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).
I thought it was pretty clear what “attribution” meant, but given the semi-scammy way the content is popping up in some seedier areas of the internet, maybe not:
(there may be others; these are just the ones I know about)
So let me clarify what we mean by attribution. If you republish this content, we REQUIRE that you:
Visually indicate that the content is from Stack Overflow or the
Stack Exchange network in some way. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious;
a discreet text blurb is fine.
Hyperlink directly to the original question on the source site
Show the author names for every question and answer
Hyperlink each author name directly back to their user profile page
on the source site (e.g.,
This is about the spirit of fair attribution. Attribution to the website, and more importantly, to the individuals who so generously contributed their time to create that content in the first place!
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!
Note: Because I cannot edit the blog in question, I've had to reformat it by hand. Some formatting features (use of red colour and so forth) may have been lost in translation.