There's at least a couple of occasions like

I've been denied entry to the UK 22 years ago. What's the best strategy for applying for a new visa?

Where an answer consists wholly of someone else's external blog entry quoted in full. With no additional material.

This isn't plagiarism as proper attribution is given. WHen made community Wiki the answerer doesn't gain rep unfairly (unless there's been a change I missed) - so those are not issues.

However, if the answer does not contain an assertion such as "quoted with author's specific permission" - we can't know if this material is in breach of copyright or is posted contrary to the original author's wishes.

Is there, or ought there to be, some specific guidance on etiquette in these circumstances?


In this case the original material is available under a licence whose terms include

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

(my emphasis)

  • 3
    This case is a rather unusual situation where the answer is coming from a (former, I suppose) site member who is essentially using his blog as a remote answer box. Which, well, that's not ideal, and addressing that situation is a bigger topic, but I think the etiquette around it here is sufficiently unique compared to almost any other normal external link quoting scenario. Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 5:27

1 Answer 1


There is always a thin line between fair use and copyright violation. In general quoting a couple of paragraphs is okay, as long as proper attribution is given. Likewise it's okay to only quote material found elsewhere without adding new content if the external author fully answers the question. Both of those conditions are satisfied in this particular instance.

In addition, Gayot has mentioned copying his answers is okay on one of the posts answering Travel.SE questions:

You can also copy this article into your answer. No problems…

If someone wants to quote more than a few paragraphs of non-Creative-Commons material they should obtain explicit permission to do so.


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