There is a mechanism in place to request that copyrighted material be taken down: It can be found under section 15 of the http://stackexchange.com/legal/terms-of-service.
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the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an
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The following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled
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Upon receipt of a counterclaim, Stack Exchange will forward it to the
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material. If Stack Exchange does not receive any such notification
within 10 days, we may restore the material to the Network. Designated
Attn: Copyright Agent Stack Exchange Inc. 110 William St, 28th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Tel: +1 (212) 232-8280 Fax: +1 (212) 785-4578 Email:
In terms of your first concern, fair use is definitely a factor in using a limited amount of scholarly material without explicit permission, but a good faith effort in locating the source of the material (and using appropriate blockquoting, etc.) has been what we've striven for on the site. Plagiarism is certainly not tolerated under any circumstance.
Any time there's a question of whether something is acceptable, it's okay to flag and ask. If we don't know the answer, we can follow up with one of the CMs.