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I posted a question on mathoverflow. It was regarding a counter example that I had found. Later I realized that I should not have done that and deleted it. I am writing a research paper on how I constructed the example. Do I still have rights for my example?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think I found my answer here meta.mathoverflow.net/questions/950/…. Please correct me if I am wrong. $\endgroup$ – user123251 Apr 15 '18 at 9:02
  • $\begingroup$ If you had no feedback to your question you can do as if nothing happened. $\endgroup$ – YCor Apr 15 '18 at 11:36
  • $\begingroup$ Ycor may be right. If it were me in your situation, I would ask for an email (or a letter from their legal team) from a Stackexchange representative to make sure things were OK on their end. Gerhard "Covering Your Assets Is Smart" Paseman, 2018.04.15. $\endgroup$ – Gerhard Paseman Apr 15 '18 at 18:47
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You can’t copyright an idea, only a text. Posting something here has a copyright effect on the specific text you post, but a paper with the same ideas (but presumably a lot more exposition) would not be affected.

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  • $\begingroup$ You mean. Anyone can use it because it was on MO? $\endgroup$ – user123251 Apr 17 '18 at 2:05
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    $\begingroup$ Not sure I understand your question. The links you posted describe the copyright situation. That covers the text. Legally, as long as they don’t directly copy text that is copyrighted, anyone can write about or use any ideas they want, no matter how they heard about it. Academic norms say that they need to properly attribute ideas that are due to other people, but those norms are not part of the law. They are enforced through custom and social pressure; people who violate them risk being ostracised from the academic community. $\endgroup$ – Andy Putman Apr 17 '18 at 2:42

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