I was looking at the following MSE question Is There An Injective Cubic Polynomial $\mathbb Z^2 \rightarrow \mathbb Z$? (a popular 76 upvote, 100 bonus at present) and after a related google search I noticed the same problem (obviously copied as far as I could tell) was posted at another web site http://www.helptouser.com/mathematics/1073961-is-there-an-injective-cubic-polynomial-mathbb-z2-rightarrow-mathbb-z.html

I wonder if that website is affiliated in any way with MSE and if they copied the problem with MSE knowledge and approval. (Formally I can't rule out that the MSE OP @MiloBrandt posted their question over there to get more answers, so in that case I should not think the problem was "copied", with or without approval. I would think that if MSE users would like to post their questions at more than one website to promote them, then that should be fine, but what if other websites copy questions/answers without asking for permission, does that happen, is this the case with the above question, is it ok?) My guess is that MSE moderators are perhaps aware of that website (and other such websites?), so if I see it available online then it must be ok. Or perhaps it is not is ok? Shall we be upset that they "steal" from MSE (did they ask for a permission, do they have the right to do it anyway), or shall we be happy that they promote and "distribute" math to a larger potential audience. Does MSE have an obligation (as part of the larger SE) to allow content to be distributed to other websites. I hope it was ok to state several (and perhaps a bit vague) questions here, any general comments are welcome, I am just curious if there is any accepted policy or norms on this (and if MSE has a means to deal with this problem, if it is indeed a problem).

  • $\begingroup$ @MiloBrandt just making sure you are aware I posted this one meta, as it relates (in a meta way) to one of your MSE questions $\endgroup$ – Mirko Nov 29 '15 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ Comment notification do not work the way you seem to try to use them. You cannot ping users not involved in the post. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 29 '15 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ @quid well, ok, I could then post a meta comment at the original question $\endgroup$ – Mirko Nov 29 '15 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Yes you could. But I do not think it is needed (not only but also as Milo is a regular on meta). There'd be no harm doing it either. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 29 '15 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ See questions tagged scraper-sites $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 29 '15 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ @quid just making sure I didn't do something wrong :) ... I guess it might have been unnecessary to cc Milo, but I feel better if I do $\endgroup$ – Mirko Nov 29 '15 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Nov 29 '15 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ The point is, and I should have been clearer on this I assume, that questions being copied to other sites is quite frequent. Looking though the other questions in the tag scraper-sites you will notice this. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 29 '15 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ You can find some basic information here. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 29 '15 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @quid reading some of the links in the above comments, trying to educate myself, seems copying is fine if credit properly attributed .. so then how could I tell ... it didn't seem properly attributed to me, but I didn't login at that website either, so perhaps I didn't see everything. $\endgroup$ – Mirko Nov 29 '15 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ If the attribution is not very easy to find, it is not properly attributed. $\endgroup$ – quid Nov 29 '15 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ There are many prior questions about such sites. One should always search first before posting questions. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Nov 29 '15 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ It seems like that site has copied the whole SE network (i.e. somewhat more than just my question). They do rank awfully high when one googles "injective cubic polynomial" though - it's probably worth reporting them as a scraper site to SE. $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Nov 29 '15 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @MiloBrandt: Apropos of being highly ranked by Google, this is something Google wants to know about, at least when a scraper site manages to be more highly rated than the original content. I'll check to make sure Google's reporting link is shown on the duplicate thread. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Nov 30 '15 at 21:59

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