While looking at some closed questions to generate some stats, I came across this question. It asks how to apply a Creative Commons license to a blog post.

It's been closed as off-topic: not about open source.

At first glance, it appears to me to be on-topic: it's about applying an open license, which the help center's on-topic page explicitly allows:

You've come to the right place if you have questions about:

  • the history and philosophies of the FSF, OSI, CC etc
  • understanding, applying, and complying with Free & Open licenses
  • how communities collaborate together to produce, distribute, market and sometime monetize these projects
  • what license to use for a specific situation - but please read How do I ask for a license recommendation? first

(emphasis mine)

However, some discussion in chat reveals the opposite viewpoint:

It's also off-topic in that it asks how to release whatever under some license (which doesn't have to be an open culture license)
If it were narrowed down to an open source license in general, it becomes a boat question. The answer would be the same way you license anything else, only you make sure your license is suitable

What do you think? Is this on-topic or off-topic?

  • 1
    What did the old accepted answer say? Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 4:26

2 Answers 2


The question is actually quite good, and should be reopened after the accepted answer has been deleted.

And the question is not trivial. If you dig into it subject, you'll discover that there is actually a lot more to doing this correctly that what is is stated in that horrible accepted answer ("horrible" as in incomplete and misleading).

For many CMSes, including Drupal and WordPress, modules/plugins have been created to make it simpler for users to do it correctly.

In addition, Creative Commons provide users with a Wizard that will help you creating the right markup, including RDFa or XMP to facilitate attribution. (The result can be copypasted into the HTML of a site or embedded in a media file.)

So I think the question should be re-opened, but the accepted answer is very low quality, so it should be deleted before it is reopened.


I'm going to add some additional points:

  • Just because there is a certain kind of answer doesn't make the question off-topic.

    A question is a question. If a question is on-topic, then it's on-topic. Just because there is an answer that may list some points that may applt to non-open projects does not change the question. Stating that a question can be re-opened affects solely the question, not its answers. An answer can not change the on-topicness of a question.

  • If a question needs an answer to be deleted for it to be re-opened, that's an abuse of the close process.

    Reopening questions occurs when a question has been more tailored to be within the scope of its site. If an answer is bad, that's not the questions fault. An OP wants an answer, and if the question is fine, then it deserves the ability to receive an answer. If an answer is bad, you don't make its deletion a requirement for reopening a question. You downvote the answer, not do something that is outside of the OPs control.

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