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Just for your entertainment: There is a guy, George Duckett, who webscraped most SE sites and "published" the content into "books". Now he also has one for Economics, and if you have answered some questions you will likely find yourself within!

Link to the Econ book

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  • $\begingroup$ this is pretty cool $\endgroup$ – EconJohn Mar 19 '18 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @EconJohn It is a sloppy 'make a quick buck' scheme which violates the Creative Commons license that SE uses. $\endgroup$ – denesp Mar 20 '18 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ what do you suggest we do about it practically? $\endgroup$ – EconJohn Mar 20 '18 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @EconJohn Nothing, as I wrote I shared this for entertainment purposes. Amazon has already removed the book. If you wish you can also report it to Google Books as well. $\endgroup$ – denesp Mar 20 '18 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ just curious, why does it violate the CC license? $\endgroup$ – user69715 Mar 21 '18 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @user69715 Are you by any chance George Duckett? CC allows non-commercial reuse. These books are not free. $\endgroup$ – denesp Mar 21 '18 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ @denesp No, I'm not George Duckett. There are different variations of CC license, the one used by SE is cc by-sa 3.0 which allows commercial distribution $\endgroup$ – user69715 Mar 22 '18 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting! I do not have the book, but it seems unlikely to me that the attribution clauses were fulfilled. But again, I did not buy the book. $\endgroup$ – denesp Mar 22 '18 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ @EconJohn I believe the mods should ask from the SE crew to provide an answer here. $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Mar 23 '18 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ @AlecosPapadopoulos The team has been emailed. $\endgroup$ – EconJohn Mar 23 '18 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @EconJohn Thanks. Let's see what we will get as response. $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Mar 24 '18 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ @AlecosPapadopoulos I got a response, see answer below $\endgroup$ – EconJohn Apr 11 '18 at 17:35
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I got a response from the SE team member animuson it doesnt seem like its an issue.

His books get brought up several times a year, but there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Our license does not forbid the use of the content in commercial works so long as the usual attribution requirements are followed, which he does in every book he publishes.

Regards, animuson

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. It just verifies my understanding of the cc-license used by the SE universe, as laid out in my answer. $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Apr 11 '18 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ I accepted this as it is the 'official' answer, but a more detailed explanation of the CC license can be found in this answer. $\endgroup$ – denesp Apr 11 '18 at 18:32
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Update April 19, 2018

Read it from the publisher himself.


The license used by SE is https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode.

In this license we read: (in Definitions)

<<d. "Distribute" means to make available to the public the original and copies of the Work or Adaptation, as appropriate, through sale or other transfer of ownership>>

And later on we read

<<3. License Grant. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below: ... c. to Distribute and Publicly Perform the Work including as incorporated in Collections; and, d. to Distribute and Publicly Perform Adaptations.>>

So the CC-license used by SE clearly allows for commercial exploitation of the SE content by anybody, and royalty-free.

To be exact we read, immediately after:

e. For the avoidance of doubt:

i. Non-waivable Compulsory License Schemes. In those jurisdictions in which the right to collect royalties through any statutory or compulsory licensing scheme cannot be waived, the Licensor reserves the exclusive right to collect such royalties for any exercise by You of the rights granted under this License;

ii. Waivable Compulsory License Schemes. In those jurisdictions in which the right to collect royalties through any statutory or compulsory licensing scheme can be waived, the Licensor waives the exclusive right to collect such royalties for any exercise by You of the rights granted under this License; and,

iii. Voluntary License Schemes. The Licensor waives the right to collect royalties, whether individually or, in the event that the Licensor is a member of a collecting society that administers voluntary licensing schemes, via that society, from any exercise by You of the rights granted under this License.>>

In plain words: "You, and we mean anybody, go on and try to make a handsome profit off our volunteer's contributions here. If they are not obliged by law to demand royalties, they have automatically waived their right to royalties."

I like the way SE encourages entrepreneurship.

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Here is the interpretation of the CC license terms taken by the SE network. In particular,

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 (e.g., http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12345)
  • 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., http://stackoverflow.com/users/12345/username)

Looking (through non-lawyer's eyes) at the legal text of the license, there seems to be some room for interpretation about whether all of these can really be required, depending on the medium in question. The "book" seems to comply only with points 1 and 3.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was wondering: Is my username my name though? That is if you post a new proof on the internet under a pseudonym, does credit go to you (if you choose to claim it) or strictly to your pseudonym? $\endgroup$ – denesp Mar 26 '18 at 21:34

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