In my answer I have used a book source. A commenter helpfully provided a link to a scanned version of that book. I'd like to put that link in my answer, but as far as I can tell (by the copyright notice on one of the first pages) the book is not in the public domain. It does have the usual USA exception for "fair use", but I'm not certain if it covers linking the whole book.

Can the link be used, or should it be removed?

1 Answer 1


I encourage you to think about intellectual property and "fair use" and try to behave ethically. I try to do so too, but that doesn't mean my personal ethics are going to match yours, so I am not going to lecture you here.

My personal interpretation of the vague advice from our overlords over the years is:

  • We shouldn't fret ourselves too much about whether something is fair use; their lawyers will make sure they conform to the law.

  • None of the Stack Overflow staff are going to give you a ruling about a particular usage beforehand.

  • DMCA takedown notices are rare. I wouldn't rely on Stack Overflow defending your answer links strongly against such notices. (Hey, maybe they would take a principled stand, but if I were them, I would immediately nuke the answer and move on.)

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