I noticed the question How to license program output? which is a verbatim copy of an entry of the GNU GPL FAQ. Naturally, the current top answer also quotes said entry of the FAQ.

Should we get content for this website by simply mirroring content from official FAQs?

Are we even allowed to do this copyright-wise? The page the quote comes from is licensed under CC-BY-ND 4.0, while all stackexchange content is licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0. AFAIK licenses are not compatible because SA allows changes while ND does not.

| |

Leaving the licensing question entirely to the side, no we shouldn't. We're in open beta now and we don't need any more 'seed' questions. We have enough people and momentum now to post questions that we're genuinely interested in, rather than duplicating questions from somewhere else.

| |
  • I fail to see the momentum. Most questions and answers just rephrase stuff already handled elsewhere. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 12:16
  • @EricGärtner What questions do you expect this site to have? – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 12:18
  • I expect FAQs to be identified as such and not answered. In SO a question that can be answered with a simple link will not get an answer but a comment including the link. I expect questions that show the effort the person asking has put into them. I do not want to see questions that a simple search on WP would have answered. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 12:28
  • 2
    @EricGärtner Well that's not how any of the SE sites I know work. FAQs are almost always on-topic and should be answered properly using the answer box. If you think a question hasn't been answered properly then vote it down. But the biggest problem I can see with your way of thinking is that it must exclude the possibility that anyone could ever write a better answer than what has already been written. Just because an organisation has an official FAQ doesn't mean it's the best FAQ possible. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 12:31
  • So do you think SE is the place to generate the best FAQ answers? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 12:40
  • 4
    @EricGärtner That is literally the goal of the SE network! – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 12:43
  • 1
    No. The goal is to draw tons of traffic so SE can sell ads. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 12:46
  • @Eric SE is not only SO. SO culture is an outlier on SE. Most SE sites are incredibly happy to have good FAQs, and canonical questions are fairly standard. Likewise, most SE sites are OK with questions that an FAQ hidden somewhere the asker has probably never heard of might have addressed, and don't dismiss the question with "go here and read." – cpast Jul 11 '15 at 3:48
  • "an FAQ hidden somewhere": The FSF and GNU FAQs are not "hidden" "somewhere", they are very prominent. "the asker has probably never heard of": This will not getting better my duplicating them here. – user490 Jul 11 '15 at 15:35
  • 1
    @EricGärtner the FSF provides answers but does not allow any discussion and (based on my own experience) asking the FSF to clarify a finer point either results in a very slow reply (as in 6 months) or no reply at all. Therefore the FSF's website is clearly an inferior place to find answers to frequently asked questions and we need those questions to be asked and answered here. Nothing should be copied verbatim (without permission anyway) but we can have answers that the same thing as the FSF's official answer. – Abhi Beckert Jul 14 '15 at 3:20

I just noticed that the question linked about is not just based on the one from the FSF FAQ, but is copied word for word, with no attribution given. This is plagiarism, and is absolutely not allowed. Without any mods I'll be reporting this to the SE CMs.

| |
  • You've noticed :) Strange nobody noticed that most questions on this site in fact are FAQs. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:15
  • 1
    @EricGärtner Don't be silly. Lots of people have noticed that they're FAQs. We've discussed FAQs before. I've been encouraging people to downvote unresearched questions which could be easily answered. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 13:17
  • I think all FAQs asked here by definition unresearched questions. But here it is argued that FAQs are a Good Thing because the bring traffic to the site. And my observation is that people would rather answer a FAQ than just add a comment to the question linking to the external resource. Encouraging them to downvote such questions does not seem to have much effect. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:22
  • He: meta.opensource.stackexchange.com/a/341/490 and ArtOfCode in a comment to meta.opensource.stackexchange.com/a/332/490 above. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:25
  • 1
    @EricGärtner I just noticed it. I do agree with you that our goal is different from the SE company. While I'd like them to meet their expenses so they can keep running these sites, I'm not here to generate profit for them. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 13:26
  • Sadly, that's what we all do: provide UGC so that SE can cash in the ads :( – user490 Jul 11 '15 at 15:36
  • 1
    @Eric you have a very pessimistic attitude. I'd like to think we also educate people, including ourselves. – curiousdannii Jul 11 '15 at 22:35

I'd just like to add this to curiousdannii's answer:

Licensing-wise, we can't do this. SA and ND are incompatible, and we can't relicense an ND to an SA by posting it here.

We also don't need any more seeds, dannii is right. However, if you're genuinely interested in something from a compatibly-licensed FAQ, and you want some better answers, that's fine. Don't feel barred from asking just because it's in the FAQ.

| |
  • I think answering a FAQ is not a good thing. I drawing attention away from the external resource that already answered the FAQ. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 12:15
  • @EricGärtner Without wanting to appear too mercenary, that's not our problem. We want traffic here. If that affects other sites, they need to deal with that, not us. – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 13:10
  • "We want traffic here" Why? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:11
  • @EricGärtner... I'm not even sure how to answer that. Getting traffic is the reason we're here, pretty much. – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 13:12
  • 1
    Hmm, getting traffic is the goal of SE as a company so they can sell ads. But is this what you want to be: a tool to generate content so that others can profit? – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:14
  • @EricGärtner So I assume you don't use Google? Or any other free websites? Remember, if you aren't paying for the product, then you are the product. We all benefit from the existence of the SE network, how do you think it is paid for? – kdopen Jul 10 '15 at 13:46
  • SE is paid for by the ads shown to people directed here by search engines because SE dominates. – user490 Jul 10 '15 at 13:50
  • And Google is paid for by the ads shown to people using their search engine because Google dominates. Given how rarely I see an Ad on an SE site, I suspect it is primarily paid for based on something else – kdopen Jul 10 '15 at 14:03
  • 1
    @kdopen I think ads get turned off at about 200 rep. On the big sites there will be lots of views by unregistered or low-rep users. They also make some money on the careers site. But small sites are probably run at a loss. – curiousdannii Jul 10 '15 at 14:17

Since I "asked" the referenced question, let my explain my reasons.

Most questions about licensing that have a relation to the GNU licenses are already answered in the extensive Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses. But almost none of the answers to such questions refer to this FAQ or just add a comment to the question saying that it is a FAQ and not worth repetition here. What people do is to answer such FAQs, often not adding anything that is not covered in the external FAQs (that happens for FAQs already answered by the FSF, OSI, and CC).

Why do we even answer such FAQs?

I do not add questions as seed questions but to highlight the fact that so fare this whole SE site contains very little original content. It mainly is a collection of information found somewhere else.

Why do we duplicate information for which there already are established sources?

| |
  • 2
    When you want to start a discussion about what questions should or should not be asked and how they should or should not be answered, start a discussion. – Philipp Jul 10 '15 at 12:18

That's plagarism.

Don't just copy questions from other places, just go ahead and make questions of your own. What you can do is cite these sources to support your questions.

Copied from Zizouz212's answer here.

| |
  • 5
    I believe this is plagarism of this? meta.opensource.stackexchange.com/a/343/69 It even has the incorrect spelling of plagiarism... How ironic... I'm astonished at the sight of this. – Zizouz212 Jul 10 '15 at 14:04
  • 2
    It is indeed. As have a number of your other posts been. Eric, please do not plagiarise without attribution. No matter where it came from. – ArtOfCode Jul 10 '15 at 14:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .