Are there any license requirements the Stack Exchange API?

Which license is it released under?

If I were to develop an app, would I have to credit Stack Exchange API?

1 Answer 1


You're talking about a number of things here, so let me see if I can explain them all:

  • The code powering the API is (presumably) written in C# and is closed-source.
  • The content provided by the API is licensed under a Creative Commons (w/ attribution) license.
  • The applications / libraries that use the API can be under any license you choose.
  • The logos, domain names, and trademarks are owned by Stack Overflow Inc. There are special restrictions on their use.

Note that apart from the above (the CC-license and trademark restrictions), you are not required to mention Stack Overflow or give credit to anyone.

  • However why would you not credit Stack Overflow Inc for creating the API which enabled your application in the first place? :) Feb 1, 2011 at 12:59
  • @Diago: Exactly... although some applications (like StackList) are not centered around the API. (Although they use it.) Feb 1, 2011 at 20:19
  • So if a web app (subscribers to pay) needed a question/answer/discussion system (centred around specific resources made available to its subscribers) could it use the Stack Exchange API to provide this? I'm a non-dev and am a little unclear as to the implications. Thanks. Feb 19, 2011 at 0:06
  • @David: Not really. The API only provides read access to the content. Feb 19, 2011 at 0:34
  • Thanks for the clarification. I see there are some other Q&A type systems available so will look into using these for the web app. Feb 19, 2011 at 13:19

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