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Suggestion to HP - Stolen Content

  1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 4 years ago

    Hi, Team -

    We know you can't file DMCA complaints on behalf of our work, but would it be possible to alert Hubbers when major scrapers are found in various categories, so we can all individually check for our content?

    For example - there were probably many more Hubbers affected by the 'Dan Gordon' thing than those who knew and acted.  Similarly, unless someone spots the forum thread about recipes being taken off of hubs, they would not know that "ehealthydietblog' is stealing recipes from our pages.  Perhaps HP, in monitoring the forums, could send email alerts to everyone with recipe hubs, in that case, or to all Hubbers in more extensive situations, letting people know there have been reports about a site.  Then, as is the policy on the site, we are individually responsible to search and destroy.

    1. Simone Smith profile image92
      Simone Smithposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I'm not sure how that technically might work, but I'll certainly run the idea by the team! Thanks for bringing this up- I know it's awful when things like the Dan Gordon Affair happen, and I'd like to make sure we're doing everything we can to help. That might not be much, but I'll look into it.

      1. Horatio Plot profile image85
        Horatio Plotposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        "The Dan Gordon Affair", wasn't that a 1968 movie with Steve McQueen? Oh no, wait, that was Thomas Crown...

        1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
          Marcy Goodfleischposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          That's a better fit than "An Affair to Remember."  It was memorable, but not for any pleasant reasons.

          1. Coolpapa profile image89
            Coolpapaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Curious, what was the Don Gordon Affair??

            1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
              Marcy Goodfleischposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              A month or so ago, there were tons of hubs stolen here and put on websites that were all registered to "Dan Gordon," which, we decided, was an enterprise, not a real person. It was a nightmare to unravel, because the sites appeared to be used as pages to create back-links. I'm sure whatever group of people were doing this had been paid to do SEO and to promote someone's site through back-linking.

              Each page would have many dozens of words hyperlinked to other pages, which had yet more words hyperlinked (they were like giant pyramids of links).  Sometimes the copied hub would show up in searches on the Internet, but you could not find the exact content on the link in the results.

              For many of us, traffic on the copied content declined horribly - and it's never yet returned.  It took hours and hours of tracking down the copied sites, filing DMCAs and going back and forth with Google, but the search results appears to have been removed in most cases.

              1. Randy Godwin profile image92
                Randy Godwinposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                So is it really worth it to file DMCAs in every case, or in only some cases if the traffic never returns?  I've never really seen a difference much in traffic after having the stolen hubs taken down, although I suppose it would depend on if the stolen hub outranked my own.

                1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
                  Marcy Goodfleischposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  I guess it's worth it in a few ways - it helps stop thieves, and it prevents further issues from that incident.  My traffic started climbing on the stolen pieces after the sites were taken down. If we don't file DMCAs, we are just letting it happen.

                  I'm truly hopeful that Google, with its enormous staff and revenue, uses the take-down information to crunch data and find the sources of the thefts - sort of like expanding the information from one crime bust to nail the operations of an entire cartel.  I cannot imagine why they wouldn't be doing that - it's clear that those enterprises harm everyone - the advertisers are being scammed, the search engines are being gamed, and writers are victimized.

                  1. Randy Godwin profile image92
                    Randy Godwinposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I've always wondered why Google didn't check for duplicates at the very first as they've certainly the means to do so.  I'd think it would be to their advantage as well as ours.

                2. Marisa Wright profile image93
                  Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  The risk is that the decline in traffic may not happen straight away, but if they manage to fool Google into thinking their site has more authority than your sub-domain in the future, you'll suffer then.

                  I'd also wonder if you found all the copies.  Did you check for copies using Copyscape or some such, are are you just relying on HubPages' checking system? If getting one stolen Hub taken down didn't help, it may be because there were others out there.

                  I've stopped being Mr Nice Guy - I go straight to Adsense if they're running ads, because it's quicker,  I know that will work and it might even lose them their Adsense account.

                  1. Randy Godwin profile image92
                    Randy Godwinposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I've never had HubPages checking system as far as I know, Marisa.  I've always used a snippet in quotes to find the stolen stuff.  It's simply getting to be too much of a hassle for me and has become not worth the time spent when my work just gets stolen again.  The thieves have the advantage as long as Google lets them publish duplicate content.

              2. Coolpapa profile image89
                Coolpapaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Thanks for the detailed replies! I make sure any of my work on HP is Copyscape clean and I periodically run copies back through to see if they are migrating!  Thanks again, the information is appreciated.

    2. teaches12345 profile image92
      teaches12345posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks Simone for considering Marcy's suggestion.  I do try to check sites when other hubbers mention the possibility of plagerism, etc.  Having a notice or alert posted as a general reference would help.  Perhaps a guideline on this in the Learning Center would help.

  2. justmesuzanne profile image89
    justmesuzanneposted 4 years ago

    I have found that my ESL articles are broadly plagiarized on forums in middle eastern countries. I think maybe they have very limited internet access. They always copy and paste the whole thing, even my copyright notice, but not the link.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      If the scraper won't take it down, filing with the host will most often be effective.  If the site is monetized with adsense, filing with Google can cost their adsense account as well as any indexing on the site.

  3. justmesuzanne profile image89
    justmesuzanneposted 4 years ago

    Thanks! I haven't done anything about it so far, but I suppose I must...

  4. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 3 years ago

    Here's one of the threads about the discovery - Wilderness alerted all of us to the issue:

    http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/109210

  5. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 3 years ago

    Then, it became so widespread that Wilderness posted this thread so we could track the number of violations.  However, since many Hubbers don't check the forums or perhaps haven't been on the site for a while, there were hundreds more stolen (at least) that Hubbers were not aware of having been copied.

    http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/109262

  6. Simone Smith profile image92
    Simone Smithposted 3 years ago

    Hi Marcy!
    I brought this up in today's community meeting to see if there is anything we can do, but I'm afraid that there just... isn't really. Sorry about that! Do stay vigilant!

    1. theraggededge profile image93
      theraggededgeposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Simone, I can't believe that HP can't take action when it appears the entire site, or a good portion of it has been scraped. If we hubbers alert you to this, then surely, as a company, you can threaten to take legal action. Instead of all of us wasting soooo much time filing individual DMCAs for each hub, it would take one email from you to... I don't know... Google's legal dept?

      Sure if only one or two lenses have been copied by a misguided blogger, then we should deal with it, of course, but this is a site-wide problem. It's affecting you as well as us; your hubs will be there too sad

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        The point is that HP can't take legal action because they have no right to take legal action - Hubs do not belong to them, and because they're not the owner, they have no legal rights to represent us. 

        What they could do, I think, is be more proactive about notifying Hubbers when there is a major theft going on - perhaps a broadcast email with a link to a DMCA that includes the relevant detail for the offending site, so we all don't have to do our own research or rely on forum exchanges to get the information.

        1. Judi Bee profile image88
          Judi Beeposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          You and theraggededge are on the same wavelength!  http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/111323

        2. theraggededge profile image93
          theraggededgeposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I realise they can't take legal action for individual work, but they must be able to protect their site in some way. It happened over at Squidoo - same guy, I believe. Squidoo had all his sites removed within 24 hours. It's not a question of mere copying and pasting content -- he's stealing vast swathes of HP using automated software. It's illegal.

          1. Judi Bee profile image88
            Judi Beeposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I didn't realise that he had done this on Squidoo too.

          2. Marisa Wright profile image93
            Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            If you can, it would be worth trying to get some more information on what Squidoo did.  They are in exactly the same situation as HubPages so if they have found an avenue, so can HP. 

            At the very least, maybe you could post a link to the forum or Squidoo page where this was reported.

            I'd suggest starting a new thread, though because now Simone has come back with an answer, I doubt any HubPages staffers will return to this one now.

            1. theraggededge profile image93
              theraggededgeposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Have trawled through the forum - there's no search, argh!

              http://hq.squidoo.com/forums/topic/squi … ng-copied/

              http://hq.squidoo.com/forums/topic/squi … ed/page/8/ Admin responds

              hq.squidoo.com/forums/topic/CallingHQ-Where-Are-You Admin responds saying they are filing DMCAs but can't talk about it on public forums.

              I couldn't actually check any of the sites for my stuff as I kept being redirected away. The thief was eventually traced to China. A lot of lensmasters contacted Amazon, Google Adsense, filed DMCAs, made complaints to the hosting company and the URL registrars.

              This guy is copying Amazon capsules but don't know if he's redirecting to his own account.

              I'm going to copy this response into the other thread.

      2. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
        Marcy Goodfleischposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I have to agree - there has to be some way that an entire site being copied (even from multiple writers who are individually copyrighted) cannot file a more global complaint.  Even through other channels that are in addition to (not outside of) those allowed through the DMCA.

        This same thing happened about a year or more ago, when a site pretty much duplicated HP, and as with this one, the site was off-shore.  Once again, everyone here had to file individual complaints.

        The DMCA form has a field that asks if we are the copyright owner, or acting as an agent.  I am curious as to whether a site that pays us (through shared revenue) for the benefit of hosting our work can be interpreted as an agent acting on our behalf.

        Without some form of global help from HubPages' corporate office, we are losing time (wasting time, too) by tracking these down repeatedly.  We are also losing writers who end up deleting content after battle fatigue from filing complaints.  We could be spending that time writing new content.

  7. theraggededge profile image93
    theraggededgeposted 3 years ago

    Simone, I just found this in less than 5 mins: http://www.foodforcooking.com/easy-crum … hotos.html

    Here are the search results, there may be more of your hubs there... and that's just one of the sites:

    http://www.foodforcooking.com/?s=simone+smith

  8. cclitgirl profile image95
    cclitgirlposted 3 years ago

    I wish there was an easier way of looking for copied content rather than putting individual URLs into Copyscape all the time.  That is terribly time-consuming.  :\
    Any suggestions?

    1. Judi Bee profile image88
      Judi Beeposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      For this batch of sites you can try putting the site URL into the search bar followed by /?s=cclitgirl

      It doesn't find all your hubs, but it brings up a few.  Otherwise I've copied in sentences to their search bar.

      And yes, it is time consuming!

    2. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You save the batch and then you just run the batch again.

  9. Careermommy profile image88
    Careermommyposted 3 years ago

    Hello fellow Hubbers, I just found out that this 20 year old guy from India stole one of my article's word-for- word.  He literally just cut and pasted it to his blog. http://celebrity-factor.blogspot.com/20 … .html?m=0.

    I was thinking to e-mail him and give him two options, either take my article down immediately, or have him link to my page.  Any thoughts?

    1. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image93
      Marcy Goodfleischposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      If you feel it was an honest mistake, you could ask him politely.  But if his blog is filled with other copied content (just do some searches to look for duplicates) he probably doesn't care.  A DMCA might be the best option, of course, in that case.

      1. TheKatsMeow profile image86
        TheKatsMeowposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @careermommy I don't think asking him to link back to your page is going to help. Even if he links to your page, he should only be posting a small blurb, not the whole text. And ideally it should be rewritten. You will be penalized for the duplicate content whether he links it back or not. I would politely ask him to remove it.

  10. Careermommy profile image88
    Careermommyposted 3 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback Marcy.  It may have been an innocent mistake, but it was definitely an ignorant mistake.  It's an entertainment blog and there's not really any articles on it to check to see if he's done this before.  I'm thinking I will politely e-mail him and give him 24 hours to take down my article, otherwise I will have no choice but to report the matter.  If he does not take it down after 24 hours I will let him know that due to copyright infringement I will be contacting his web hosting company with a DMCA notice.  If you have ay additional thoughts let me know.  Thank you!

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Contact him if you wish and request removal in 48 hours (24 is pretty short - many people don't check their stuff daily). 

      From that point, however, it should be Game On!  No need for further communication with him - just file with his host and let them know he has ignored your communication. 

      For those professional thieves, the people that ignore you, the ones that steal indiscriminately, your thrust should be to not only get the copied material removed, but get the thief removed from the web entirely.

  11. Careermommy profile image88
    Careermommyposted 3 years ago

    Thank you wilderness that is helpful.  I will give him 48 hours, and take it from there.  I was going to give him the opportunity to properly attribute and credit my article, but if he's a thief then he should be removed.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      If this guy has copied your entire hub I would never accept a backlink as "payment", either.  I have requested, and gotten, attribution via a backlink when a paragraph or photo is copied, but a backlink, or 10 of them, is never worth being outranked in the SERP.  If he wants the entire thing, let him send you a nice, fresh $100 bill.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        If I see a website where I think the owner has made an innocent mistake (for instance, a hairdresser's site using one of my hair Hubs), I send them a polite email along the lines of, " you may not be aware that my article on ...... is copyright and therefore may not be reproduced without my permission.  You are very welcome to retain the article on payment of my usual fee of $100, otherwise I would appreciate its prompt removal.  Please be aware that failure to take one of those actions may result in legal action."

        The first time, I put the fee bit in just to make it sound more serious - you could've knocked me down with a feather when someone paid it!

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          LOL  I just filed a DMCA that I wonder if they would pay for the hub.  I'm thinking it is an actual, useful, website built by that Dan Gordon for a commercial enterprise.  I don't blame them, although I still want the copy down, but I would charge considerably more than $100 for this one - it's one of my higher trafficked hubs.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image93
            Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            For someone like Dan Gordon, I wouldn't waste my time - it's obvious he's deliberately stealing.

            I only use that approach where I think someone has made an innocent mistake (the hairdresser thinking she'll beef up her little website with a few articles about hair, for instance).   I agree, I wouldn't make the offer for a really high-trafficked Hub though.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Sure - I had one stolen by a group of high school students doing a school project.  No biggie, I even gave them a short tutorial on the DMCA itself, pointing out that it is not only the plagiarism discussed in school, but illegal theft as well and very much against the law.

              I'll work with those few that I think have done it innocently.  Those people are rare, but they ARE out there and don't need jumped on with both feet.

              The gordon thing this time - it does appear that he built the site as a job for a commercial power company.  Although they should have been astute enough for check for duplicate, they probably aren't or didn't and are at least somewhat innocent victims as much as I am.  It doesn't carry his name anywhere, unlike the others, but does have much the same appearance and has many links from his other stuff going to it.  Probably for SEO.  So I think he built it, but for someone else and not to earn from himself.  I actually think most of his theft is that way; he steals just to get content to link from to build up his other paid work.

            2. Careermommy profile image88
              Careermommyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Thank you Marisa.  I appreciate that additional information.

  12. Careermommy profile image88
    Careermommyposted 3 years ago

    Yep, you are right wilderness.  You've given me great information.  I appreciate it very much!

 
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