I think the recent uptick in critique questions is great and I'm enjoying seeing the community at work. Unfortunately I'm concerned that not everyone asking a critique will realize that both their posts and the answers are licensed under the standard SE license of cc-wiki with attribution required. If authors intend to publish their work or even tweak blog posts, it seems that we need to make sure they know about the license. I've updated the tag wiki, but is there a way we can make this even more obvious for those who won't look at the tag wiki?

  • 1
    I think the big thing we need to start doing is actually making sure they follow our guidelines for critique. So far I've seen a bunch of critique questions that just paste a chunk of text and say "please critique." That's not how our critiques are supposed to work. Mar 15 '11 at 17:04
  • @Ralph - want to have a go at updating the guidelines and we'll start linking them? We need to incorporate the policy from SE HQ into what I had, which was a little more stringent.
    – justkt
    Mar 15 '11 at 17:05
  • 2 cents: My initial reaction at seeing the license was a combination of terror and "Well, eff you too buddy!" If I ever try to write something for more than my own pleasure, I won't ask for critique here...Or at any rate, I'll only ask for critique on an analogous sentence, eg, same exact grammatical structure, but different words. A lesson learned from that exercise can be applied to any sentence...But I'd only do that as a last resort. Legal stuff is scary. Especially when you're poor...Actual definitions are irrelevant. They're talking about lawyer-stuff, and I'm poor. 'Nuff said.
    – kitukwfyer
    Apr 11 '11 at 1:37

I'm pretty sure fair use still applies.

  • the purpose of the use
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the relative amount of the portion used
  • the market effect of the use on the copyrighted work

In other words, if you are only quoting a narrow section of a question -- namely, the section that was your original writing submitted for critique -- there is no requirement for attribution.

The creative commons terms, as I see it, are for wholesale republishing of the entire question and all the answers.

They certainly do not circumvent regular fair use rules.

  • thanks. How would attribution work for keeping the broad intent of an answer or even quoting it whole?
    – justkt
    Mar 16 '11 at 11:52

Hmm, maybe we scare them away with our license, now where you mention it. If you write a novel, would you add a side note to a paragraph "this was contributed by ..."?

Even if it isn't a side note, I've never read an acknowledgement where the author thanks all the communities which helped him finishing the book.

If they are afraid of getting sued, they will not ask. What about changing that license?

  • Who is going to sue though? Court costs are expensive and I doubt anyone here has enough money just laying around to sue people who used a sentence they helped write. Mar 15 '11 at 13:20
  • @Ralph - personally I'm more concerned about skittish publishers, especially in the case of people like one recent questioner who is clearly asking for more than just a sentence or two of help. Plus remember that the content the author posts is now cc-wiki, not just those who answer.
    – justkt
    Mar 15 '11 at 13:26
  • @Ralph: You miss the point. The people do not know, if we were doing it or not. They would be afraid of. Mar 15 '11 at 13:28

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