I see things like the following on a certain coding challenge site:

Copyright 2009–2018 by Codility Limited. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized copying, publication or disclosure prohibited.

I also see 63 posts on CR.SE as of the writing of this question.

I'm not a fan of the overreach and attempts to exert otherwise unenforceable restrictions, but I'm no site owner either.

How does CR.SE handle these things? (... because I have a question about a challenge already mentioned in a CR post)

  • \$\begingroup\$ possibly related: this and this \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 23:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ The comparatively short answer is: we don't. See related discussion on A&M as well as rather closely related discussion here on CR Meta. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vogel612
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 0:35
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ So in other words, it's on the user, and SE only deals in DMCA takedowns. (?) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 2:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pretty much, yes. All legal problems are handled by SE employees, not the community. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 9:24

2 Answers 2


Users ought to be encouraged to summarize the requirements in their own words (optionally adding a link to the source of the challenge).

At present, the Help Centre mentions the use of programming-challenge tag, but gives no further guidance. Although it's clear that many users don't read that page, it would be helpful to be able to add a comment pointing there to advise users, when they've lifted text wholesale from a challenge site.

As an aside, I'm surprised that the authors there think they can restrict disclosure, but perhaps that's a possibility in the legal system they chose? I'm no lawyer, in any country; it just seems weird.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "I'm surprised that the authors there think they can restrict disclosure" It's a legacy from when people printed books. With websites, it's a completely different world and oddly enough people don't realize their content gets copied the moment you send it to your user. There is literally copying going on all the time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 13:38

Here's a suggested auto-review comment, for those that would like to help askers avoid getting into this position:

# [Q] Large block-quote
Please summarise the requirements **in your own words** if possible, and keep a link to the original. We don't want to lose your question just because the copyright owner complains that you have infringed their rights.

Edits to improve this wording would be greatly appreciated - I've made it a Community Wiki, and will add the consensus version to Frequently Posted Comments in a week or two am now convinced that it's not worth adding to Frequently Posted Comments.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Won't requesting to rewrite the requirements carry the risk of resulting in misunderstood requirements and false closures? Even questions looking on-topic while they fail the actual requirement? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast: could be; that's why I recommend adding a link where possible (so reviewers can check - at least if the linked resource is accessible enough, and while it remains available). If you have a better form of words, go ahead and edit! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Better than nothing. I'm not convinced we should even leave such a comment, but if we have to, this one is pretty thorough I guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 14:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have a good point. In most cases, challenge-solving code questions don't really add much value - most of them have the same issues to raise again and again - so it wouldn't be a great loss if we have to lose one or two. Maybe not worth commenting on, then. Other opinions welcome - anyone? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 14:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ The only thing we explicitly require is ownership of the code. I don't recall we ever made a problem of copying problem statements. I know on other SE sites there have been DMCA takedowns (one of the math sites had problem statements to which the author of the statements objected being shared), but on CR, not much. At the end of the day, it's an SE employee problem. Not a community one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2018 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mast: I don't know about codereview.SE, but at least on SO there was just recently a meta tread about a question deleted due to a DMCA notice from Codility. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 18:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ I strongly disagree with this. We may have to do this for Codility, but in general, we should prefer a fair use quotation of what the challenge says, not a rewording. Because a rewording takes away part of what we're evaluating: how well the code matches the requirements. \$\endgroup\$
    – mdfst13
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 19:35

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