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Since it was raised in (now deleted) content here, I would like to clarify and confirm: the content given by me under the Creative Commons license is given to StackExchange, not to other users. It is StackExchange that gives published content to others.

If a post is deleted - it is no longer licensed to others by StackExchange, and publishing it without permission would be an illegal action.

I know that the person who actually did it is very lenient with law obedience, but I wanted to clarify that copyright violations are illegal and may be prosecuted.

Deleted content is visible to high-rep users for the sole purpose of voting to undelete. No reproduction rights.

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    Why do you believe this to be true? I haven't seen in the legal. – C. Ross Nov 1 '13 at 0:08
  • You haven't? I have. "Other than as expressly set forth in this Agreement, Subscriber may not copy, modify, publish, transmit, upload, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce (except as provided in this Section), create derivative works based on, distribute, perform, display, or in any way exploit, any of the Content, software, materials, or Services in whole or in part." – littleadv Nov 1 '13 at 0:11
  • I'm not quite understanding how your question relates to the DMCA - can you clarify? – Tim Post Nov 1 '13 at 0:13
  • DMCA is the legal framework for copyright disputes. – littleadv Nov 1 '13 at 0:15
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    @littleadv Sorry, My apologies, I hadn't quite grasped the entirety of the background you gave. I'm going to ask someone a little higher up than me to chime in on this, but wanted to let you know we saw it, and we will respond. – Tim Post Nov 1 '13 at 0:27
  • @littleadv - I'd support your request that SE change its policy so CCL does not apply once a response is removed. Tricky situation for removal after a time. I use the response in good faith after I read it, but you remove weeks later, how would I know? But this case was a purposeful snapshot at the time the discussion was getting tense, so I agree with you for these cases. – JoeTaxpayer Nov 3 '13 at 16:39
  • And how to I make such a request? It sounds to me trivial that once the user removed the answer, it shouldn't be allowed to be reproduced unless voted back by the community. Isn't that the whole point of being able to delete? – littleadv Nov 3 '13 at 19:00
  • @JoeTaxpayer and littleadv - you can request a post / account be totally deleted by the SE team if you have deep concerns about content remaining. I won't speak on their behalf but I think the SE team wants to avoid temper tantrum events. Other users besides the author can delete and edit answers, so the community's ability to restore and see content can be important. I think your are only considering if an author deletes their own content? – MrChrister Nov 4 '13 at 15:41
  • @MrChrister yes. I think if an author wants to remove his/her content, that wish should be respected unless it causes disruption (i.e.: an accepted answer and such). – littleadv Nov 4 '13 at 18:50
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I think you misunderstand what CC-BY-SA means. To summarise, content that we, as subscribers, submit to the site is covered under the CC-BY-SA license.

To summarise:

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.

Once you have granted this license, by submitting content to a Stack Exchange site, it cannot be revoked.

Also note that the section of the Terms of Service that you quote:

Other than as expressly set forth in this Agreement, Subscriber may not copy, modify, publish, transmit, upload, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce (except as provided in this Section), create derivative works based on, distribute, perform, display, or in any way exploit, any of the Content, software, materials, or Services in whole or in part.

is part of the Network Content section, not the Subscriber Content section, where it says:

You agree that all Subscriber Content that You contribute to the Network is perpetually and irrevocably licensed to Stack Exchange under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. You grant Stack Exchange the perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, copy, cache, publish, display, distribute, modify, create derivative works and store such Subscriber Content and to allow others to do so in any medium now known or hereinafter developed (“Content License”) in order to provide the Services, even if such Subscriber Content has been contributed and subsequently removed by You.

Network Content is what Stack Exchange, its employees and agents create, Subscriber Content is what you and I create as users on these sites.

What you missed at the start of the Network Content section was:

All materials displayed or performed on the Network, including, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or source code, audio and video, and animations (collectively, “Content”) (other than Content posted by Subscriber (“Subscriber Content”)) are the property of Stack Exchange and/or third parties and are protected by United States and international copyright laws.

My emphasis.

  • Yes, but while I grant this right to Stack Exchange - do I also grant it to SE users? I don't think so. The issue at question was that the answer was deleted, and was not visible on bare SE site, but a user with high rep screen-shotted the deleted answer and posted it as a jpeg despite it not being available to view otherwise. This, IMHO, is explicit violation of the copyright since it was not the SE who was posting and using the content, but someone else, taking it from somewhere otherwise inaccessible. – littleadv Nov 1 '13 at 7:39
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    @littleadv - By submitting content to Stack Exchange you are offering it under the CC-BY-SA license. That license applies to everyone. In this, Stack exchange is just a distributor making use of the fact that you have put few restrictions on your content. I have added more emphasis to the quote from the T&Cs to show where this is detailed. Now if the high rep user posted it as a jpeg without making it clear that you were the author of the content (attribution), then they would be breaking the BY term of the CC-BY-SA license, but sharing deleted content with attribution is perfectly legal. – Mark Booth Nov 1 '13 at 14:11
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    @littleadv All content you contribute is licensed to us under CC-BY-SA. We then grant that license to SE users. The license equally applies to deleted posts since they are still accessible (albeit to a much smaller pool of people). – Adam Lear Nov 1 '13 at 15:59

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