There is a long list of comments in Migrating a question which is already posted on the other site, and an important question is deep in that list, so I repost it here.

Where in the legal agreement, http://stackexchange.com/legal, is it written that migrating MO content to m.s.e. is legally allowed?

A more general question: who owns the content of MO, and what does "ownership" mean? Can the content of MO be sold?

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    $\begingroup$ Just an additional comment to answer a question (indirectly) raised in the comment thread there (if this should still be relevant): the key point, namely that user-contributed content is automatically licensed under a/this Creative Commons license, was like this since a long time (and is not something novel due to the move). It definitely was like this all the time I paid serious attention to MO that is to say end of 2010/beginning 2011, but I am quite sure it was always like this. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


All content on this site (and every other SE site) is licensed under the Creative Commons 3.0 license (specifically the CC-BY-SA license). The license is displayed and linked in the bottom-right of the site.

The license states:

You are free:

  • to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to Remix — to
  • adapt the work to make commercial use of the work Under the following conditions:

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).

Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

This allows anyone to repost a question wherever they want as long as they retain proper attribution. It does not prohibit commercial use of the content, though the attribution rules still have to be followed.

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    $\begingroup$ Migration, as far as I understand, is not "reposting a question". As a result of migration, the question changes affiliation which has several consequences. For example, people with few rep. points on m.s.e. can no longer comment on it, close it or delete it. So the question is not just "copied", it is really "migrated". $\endgroup$
    – user6976
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ But that is explicitly covered by the license, anyone can take the question and post it wherever they want, they don't have to allow comments or any of the usual Q&A mechanisms. The CC license allows reuse, and migration is just reuse of the question on another SE site. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, but as a result, all these actions are not possible on MO, so it not just "copying a question". Migration consists of two parts "making the question not changeable on MO", and "copying it to m.s.e". Moreover, when I click on a migrating question, I am automatically transferred to m.s.e. So technically the question now completely belongs to m.s.e., and MO only contains a "non-active" copy of it. $\endgroup$
    – user6976
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ I could take this question, sing it, and post the video it on youtube (with attribution and a CC license). I could make my own website consisting only of Mad Scientist's MO posts and where you're only allowed to comment if you pay me money (again with attribution and a CC license). Copy, remix, and adapt covers a lot of things. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkSapir You can interpret migration as the composition of two operations: Copying and delting at the source. The first is covered by the license, the second certainly not a violation of intellectual property. Also, the deletion is done by MO members. Do you you want to make the point that people on Mo are not allowed to delete posts? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkSapir The original is closed, locked and then deleted after 30 days. All of those are regular tools available to moderators, I don't think any legal issues apply to the use of these tools by the community or the mods. $\endgroup$
    – user35354
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ Ok. I think I understand why it is legal. $\endgroup$
    – user6976
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 17:18

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