re: Developers Need to Start Paying Attention to Licenses VIEW POST


Overall, a fantastic post. However, the section on the license of content from Stack Exchange has errors.

Per the post that you linked to, the rollout of the use of the MIT license was never performed. That means that there is no separate license for code snippets found on any Stack Exchange site, so everything is Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike. However, Creative Commons does not recommend their licenses for software.

I think the one thing that is missing is a mention of the threshold of originality. You can only license content that can be copyrighted. It seems like there are several court cases around the world that defined this threshold in various jurisdictions. Even though you may not be able to copyright it and require attribution, attribution is still a good idea.


Thanks for your comment. Yes, you are right the StackExchange MIT license appears to have never been implemented though in the end they required attribution regardless of the Creative Commons or MIT, so it may not have really made much difference in the end from a practical standpoint.

Thanks also for the mention of the threshold of original. That's a very good point and one I hinted at when discussing things like StackExchange and speaking about large portions of code that are easily attributable to them. Copying a handful of lines of fairly standard code doesn't really necessitate attribution.


Regarding the "threshold", see also this blog post.

You may also have a look at my blog post about Stack Overflow code snippts in GitHub projects.

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