I notice that the site has a creative commons license.

Does this also mean that any user code placed on the site is also released by a creative commons license?


2 Answers 2


Yes, any user contributed code is released under the CC BY-SA.

From the ToS ( http://stackexchange.com/legal )

You agree that all Subscriber Content that You contribute to the Network is perpetually and
irrevocably licensed to Stack Exchange under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 
license. You grant Stack Exchange the perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, 
copy, cache, publish, display, distribute, modify, create derivative works and store such 
Subscriber Content and to allow others to do so in any medium now known or hereinafter 
developed (“Content License”) in order to provide the Services, even if such Subscriber 
Content has been contributed and subsequently removed by You

So, the key parts. You grant everything to SE under a CC BY-SA license. You can never revoke that grant. (As Josh points out) CC BY-SA allows you to use and abuse, even for commercial work.

One interesting exception is SE's Network Content. That portion, which includes a source code clause, is NOT released under a CC BY-SA. That section allows for personal use of the NC. Keep in mind that Network Content != Subscriber Content, so it's really a non-issue unless you like to obsess over those details.

  • 1
    The usual abbreviation for Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike is "CC BY-SA".
    – TRiG
    Nov 18, 2014 at 14:54
  • 1
    @TRiG FTFY. :-) Feel free to make changes like that on my posts in the future. Yes, it's a meta post, but meh I didn't mean anything particular by using that abbreviation either.
    – user53019
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:00
  • 1
    I don't have edit rights on meta. If I was being really picky, I'd point out that CC-BY-SA is a common abbreviation, but not one used by Creative Commons themselves: they leave out the first hyphen.
    – TRiG
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:03
  • @TRiG Sheesh! You are picky... :-D
    – user53019
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:13

I believe that is correct as code is included in the content.

to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
to Remix — to adapt the work
to make commercial use of the work

From the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Anything that you post to StackOverflow will be under the terms of the creative commons license. You can find more info by looking at the bottom right of the page and clicking the cc-wiki.

From Do I have to worry about copyright issues for code posted to StackOverflow?

  • But does that apply to user-submitted content, or just the site's own content (e.g. themes)?
    – Rena
    Jun 5, 2012 at 5:15
  • It applies to all user submitted content.
    – Josh K
    Jun 5, 2012 at 14:01

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