When people link to images I've seen posts has been edited to copy and include the image into the post directly. This is useful to make sure that the image is always available (stackexchange copies the image resource) and most likely it's useful that it is inline in the post too.

I'm wondering if it's appropriate to do the same thing with referenced code, like in this question. Right now the paste is done as it has timed out, but I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to include the text directly into the post.

This question is slightly similar to this question, but not entirely.


1 Answer 1


All questions and answers should be able to be self contained such that if a link does go dead the content at Stack Exchange is still useful. It can be helpful to link to other sources to supplement material.

The first question you linked to is very good in my opinion. They have copied in the relevant code, but have added a link to the entire code in case someone cares to look at it. With the link now dead, the question is still fine because the relevant code stayed.

Now you do have to be careful when copying someone elses content into SE as by doing so you are saying that you have the right to give stackexchange the rights to the content (for the sake of it being showing on stackexchange's site, read the terms of service for more info). I personally feel fine copying in content that a user has said is OK, but they just don't have the rep to do it themselves, however this doesn't apply to code since any user can copy code into their posts.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems that we're thinking the same here. It would be nice if SE had a way to attach files to entries. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 30, 2012 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trygvis That was sort of brought up before as someone asked for the ability to attach PDFs to a post. The response from SE was positive toward the idea, but they said that we are the only site that has asked for that sort of feature and it was a lot of work to implement for such little use. We were told it could be done in the future if the interest grew for it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Jan 30, 2012 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kellenjb and there wouldn't be an issue with rights on documents? \$\endgroup\$
    – clabacchio
    Feb 1, 2012 at 12:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @clabacchio Eh, I don't know about that. My guess is you would at a minimum have to say that you have the rights to distribute the document, but it would all be based off of how stackexchange setup the policy around it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Feb 1, 2012 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kellenjb but what I think is that as long as you publish the link with reference to the quote (and the same should be for images I think) you should be able to pick contents from web pages \$\endgroup\$
    – clabacchio
    Feb 1, 2012 at 13:50

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