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The current SE TOS states:

"… and you grant Stack Overflow the perpetual and irrevocable right and license to access, use, process, copy, distribute, export, display and to commercially exploit such Subscriber Content, even if such Subscriber Content has been contributed and subsequently removed by you as reasonably necessary …".

Is SE allowed to redistribute user content with a license other than CC BY-SA?


Thoughts so far:

  • In the current TOS it's "… and you grant Stack Overflow the perpetual and irrevocable right and license to access, use, process, copy, distribute, export, display and to commercially exploit such Subscriber Content, even if such Subscriber Content has been contributed and subsequently removed by you as reasonably necessary …". Similar terms which grant an additional license to SE, separate from the CC BY SA license, have also have been in prior versions of the TOS. Makyen 42 mins ago
  • @Makyen thanks, I'm not sure that allows SE to change the CC BY-SA license of the content.  Franck Dernoncourt 33 mins ago   
  • I consider it arguable wrt. SE sub-licensing to a company to aid in "distribution" and/or "commercial exploitation". Those terms can cover quite a bit of ground as to what SE might be able to do with the content. "Distribution" could reasonably be considered to include a wide variety of things which might be necessary to distribute the content in various forms. "Commercial exploitation" reasonably includes advertising, which is the purpose behind posting on Twitter. Granting a license to what is, effectively, the advertising company, would be a fairly normal part of "Commercial exploitation". Makyen 11 mins ago
  • @Makyen CC BY-SA already makes commercial exploitation and redistribution possible, so mentioning them doesn't imply that changing the license is allowed. Franck Dernoncourt 3 mins ago   

The question was raised on Meta but ignored by SE employees.

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You give SE 2 licences

The CC-BY-SA one and the one that goes “the perpetual and irrevocable right and license to access, use, process, copy, distribute, export, display and to commercially exploit such Subscriber Content … as reasonably necessary to, for example (without limitation):”.

SE can choose which one it uses.

Even though the enumerated cases are “without limitation”, they indicate the general area where the 2nd licence would be “reasonably necessary”. If SE used it outside that domain and did not comply with CC-BY-SA they would arguably be in copyright violation.

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