Attribution Required

All the content contributed to Stack Overflow or other Stack Exchange sites is cc-wiki (aka cc-by-sa) licensed, intended to be shared and remixed. We even provide all our data as a convenient data dump, seeded by us.

But our cc-wiki licensing, while intentionally permissive, does require attribution.

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).

I thought it was pretty clear what “attribution” meant, but given the semi-scammy way the content is popping up in some seedier areas of the internet, maybe not:

(there may be others; these are just the ones I know about)

So let me clarify what we mean by attribution. If you republish this content, we require that you:

  1. 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.
  2. Hyperlink directly to the original question on the source site (e.g.,
  3. Show the author names for every question and answer
  4. Hyperlink each author name directly back to their user profile page on the source site (e.g.,

By “directly”, I mean each hyperlink must point directly to our domain in standard HTML visible even with JavaScript disabled, and not use a tinyurl or any other form of obfuscation or redirection. Furthermore, the links must not be nofollowed.

This is about the spirit of fair attribution. Attribution to the website, and more importantly, to the individuals who so generously contributed their time to create that content in the first place!

Anyway, I hope that clears up any confusion — feel free to remix and reuse to your heart’s content, as long as a good faith effort is made to attribute the content!

Consider turning your Stack Overflow remixes into a new work opportunity. Check out these remote web developer jobs available now.

We have something fun for ya. Our latest podcast episode is out!


Jeff Atwood
Co-Founder (Former)

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  1. The need of attribution is clear and not up to discussion. I wonder about the need for linking author profiles.

    1. In the case of creating PDFs, do the URLs have to be readable in prints?

    2. Should we not also list all editors, since posts may well be the result of combined efforts?

    3. When posting a whole q&a thread, is it really practical to list *all* answerers?

    1. Lashundra Williams says:


  2. Mike Feldsman says:

    What does Republish mean here? If I include some SO post code in my application, and distribute the application, is that consider republishing? Or does republishing mean taking a post and posting it as a blog or elsewere on the internet

    1. Great question. And does the license require your app to be released under a CC license if you use any code snippets on SO?

  3. David Kastrup says:

    It would appear that “attribution” here is regulated to mean what StackExchange rather than what the actual copyright holders want, meaning you are only allowed to let yourself be attributed in terms of your StackExchange user identity.

  4. LO VAN VIET says:


  5. Great info up in here crazy how this all works out.

  6. ashwani yadav says:

    How to get the stack api key and access token to use stack api ?

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