I haven't been in HP for a spell because work has kept me so busy for the past few weeks. Upon my return to publish a new hub, I finished my work and included my usual (and short) copyright notice in a text capsule. When I went to publish my hub I saw the style notice which indicated that HP added a copyright notice option and it also suggested that I remove the copyright text capsule. So I removed it, turned on the new copyright notice, and published. After some thought, I decided to take the time to go back and update all of my other hubs accordingly.
After some searching I finally found this in the HubPages Style Guide: "If you do want to place a notice on some of your Hubs, we've created a standard notice that you can enable on each Hub. To do this, navigate to the Display Options section of the HubTool and turn the copyright notice On. Please also delete any capsules which contain custom notices or Protected by Copyscape images." Apparently this was just added because the guide was updated on August 6, 2013.
I was surprised was because I had searched concerning copyrights a number of times before in HubPages and I had read numerous conflicting opinions and suggestions on the subject. Some people suggested using graniose notices in hubs, and in contrast others suggested to not do it at all because it could trigger hub violations.
Now that HP has a copyright notice that can be turned on for each hub, I have some questions, comments, suggestions...
Could an option be added in Profile settings, for example, to have the copyright turned on for all future published hubs?
Would it be a good idea for HP to link the hubber's name in the notice back to their profile page? If not, why not?
If a hub is scraped or copied by bots, are these bots hunting for copyrights and removing them anyways?
And as a side note...
The HubPages Style Guide says that "the U.S. Copyright Office advises individuals to register their copyright and pay a fee for each work", but I'm wondering, is this really neccessary? I thought that copyrights in the US are automatically implied on a writer's original articles as long as they have some sort of proof of being the original author?
All in all, pardon my thick-headedness in this topic!
I agree with your excellent suggestion to have the option to add it globally across all hubs instead of having to do it manually each time a hub is published. Also being able to add it retroactively to currently published hubs would be great!
I briefly tested out the HP copyright notice and haven't used it because it uses my real name and not my pen name on here, which also happens to be my UK trading name.
Also, as you point out, there is no hyperlink back to our profile. This is useful as, while some scrapers will erase all links, others do not, and this also helps establish copyright.
As regards registering with US Copyright Office, I believe that to be an unnecessary expense for hubs. You can simply email the article to yourself as proof of copyright or register.
In the UK, whilst there are plenty of companies touting for business, there is no official copyright register because copyright is automatic.
If you remove your real name from your profile the copyright notice will use the only thing left; your pen name. At least it did for me...
Thanks Wilderness, I will definitely give that some thought.
I didn't particularly wish to conceal my identity, which is why I have included the details in my profile. I would just prefer to build a 'brand' under my business name.
Surely HubPages could have given us the option which to include rather than decide for us?
Many thanks again.
You brought up several very meaningful and important questions. I am also activating HP's version of the copyright notice and removing my own copyright capsule in my hubs as I update them.
I had originally made mine a hyperlink to my profile, and therefor it was a tough decision to go with HP's version. But I decided to, mainly because I feel the more I follow their style suggestions, the higher my score goes.
So I agree with you about making them automatically link to our profile. And I also agree with you about the plagiarism protection because I have seen silly cases where my hubs were stolen along with the link intact. These thieves usually use bots to steal and they don't actually examine the text they are copying. Some of these bots just take it all verbatim.
I also see a possible benefit in using HP's copyright. It automatically indicates the actual year it was published, which is proof of when we wrote it. I saw someone complained in the forum that this does not work if one republished an article they originally had somewhere else. But moving things around from one platform to another without a 301 redirect may actually diminish its ranking by confusing search engines about which is the original authority version.
In addition to you ideas, I would like it if HP would move the copyright notice up so it appears just under the end of the hub text rather tab below the Google ads. The US Copyright office even suggests placing it in close proximity to the copyrighted material. I see a constant effort at trying to make improvements, so I hope this change will be made someday.
As for registering the copyright, you are correct about it being implied. Registering simply adds an extra amount of strength to the protection in case one wants to sue.
But generally it's not worth going that far for the little money we make. And many plagiarized copies rank lower anyway and are easy to get removed by sending a DMCA complaint to the web host company.
I guess I said a mouthful here, maybe more than you expected. But it's all related.
Thank you Glenn Stok for your reply! You've also made some valid points that I agree with, especially with the fact that HP's copyright places our notice so low on the page and below the ads, which I thought was pretty strange. When I first hunted for the notice I had to use the F3 find feature in the browser to find the text on the page because the hub that I published last night was quite long.
Also in addition to what you said, I have been moving many of my more successful WordPress blog posts over into HubPages. I use a WordPress plugin for easy 301 redirects, versus tediously editing the htaccess file in my WordPress site. You've inspired me to write a new hub on the process I use to move my own WordPress posts to HubPages hubs (which I'll do when I have free time) but the short and skinny of it is that after I've grabbed the WP post, cleaned it up and published it in HP, I go back into the 301 redirect plugin in HP and have the post's old location point to my new hub's address. I test it by going into WP and clicking on the old post to make sure it redirects to the new hub in HP, then I delete the WP post.
This has been especially useful in driving the quality traffic from the old post's location to the new hub and effectively captures the traffic from the old post's location. But more importantly it prevents the search engines and HubPages from falsely detecting content duplication, the process is intricate and it has to be done right every time, and it works seamlessly from the reader's standpoint.
But back on topic, the built-in copyright notice should be linked back to our HP profiles. Being that the copyright is so small and non-intrusive to begin with, I can't see any reason why such a link would hurt our HP scores or anything else, it just makes sense to me as people who do see it (and bots that scrape up the copyright with the content) will be linked back to the source, and readers interested in one thing we write will likely want to read more from us.
That's interesting about WordPress, Dellea. I didn't know that they offer the ability to create a 301 redirect when you move an article to another site. I don't use WordPress.
HP is using 301 redirects when they move "Editors Choice Hubs" to the hubpages domain so that the search engines properly re-index the subdomain URL.
I see that you understand this and I look forward to your plan to write a hub about it.
The problem many people have, that they don't understand, is that when they get frustrated with one platform or another and they move their articles somewhere else, they are starting from scratch. Not to mention the problem with duplicate content. Most platforms don't offer the ability to create a 301 redirect to a competitor's writing site (and why should they?).
1. The HP designed copyright for author's Hubs does not reflect the actual year content was published because HP has no idea when the content was first published, nor under what name copyright is held. (All of my personal poetry on this site was originally published in printed literary journals.) U. S. Copyright law covers the time when an article was first written, even if it was written on a piece of toilet paper. It doesn't even have to be published to be copyrighted and it doesn't have to be registered, either.
2. Do not create an extra link to your profile from your copyright notice. There is already one followed link on each Hub back to your profile. More than that will be a spam link in the eyes of search engines, until HP provides a way for Hubbers to choose to NoFollow a link. (This applies to photo credits as well. If your image source requires a link-back, find a different image to use rather than post a followed link to a non-related page. This is considered webspam and is one of the reasons Google has downgraded the HP site in search results.) The last thing you want to do is to spam-link your own subdomain page!
3. When HP started this new copyright option, it was presented with: "From a design standpoint, the numerous styles of copyright notices contribute to an inconsistent experience for HubPages visitors." And yet this is not the reality. The notice created for authors is vastly different from the one at the bottom of each page for HubPages Inc. Notice that the suggested one for authors leaves out the "All Rights Reserved", which my counsel says is a critical omission. And, it is hardly an "inconsistent experience for HubPages visitors"; seriously, I'd like to view the research behind that statement.
Most visitors can't even find the suggested copyright notice in its cluttered location on the Hub and in the tiny grey font. See the related forum thread:
I wondered about that omission as well, Writer Fox, that "All Rights Reserved" was left out. Also, if you update you hub in 2013, the custom copyright that you make will say "2013" while the one provided by HP will say "2012" which is when it was first published. I thought I read that Google wants fresh, updated content. I keep my hubs updated within the current year. Using the HP provided copyright thingy makes them read as "old". I think I'm going to take out all of those 2012 HP copyrights that I put in.
Copyright © 2011 - 2013 Writer Fox™. All Rights Reserved.
Just copy and paste the one from my post. (Insert - Symbol in Word.)
Gosh, I wish I wasn't so clueless. I just copied and pasted it into a saved file. So when I open a hub in edit mode, I insert it in or copy and paste it in? What symbol? Sorry.
You're such a Writer Fox. In fact, I mentioned you in my latest hub. Thank you so much for helping out a dense hubber who doesn't always live up to her hubber score. I appreciate your knowledge and patience.
I agree with you Winter Fox... your suggested copyright looks much more official and matches copyrights that I've seen around the web, etc. I'm now thinking that HubPages should consider placing Copyright options under our Profile Settings, and giving us some options on how we want them to look, to specify a year range if we wish, etc. Something like a manually entered start year with the current year following it should be simple enough to code. If anything, proper copyright briquette will make our hubs look more official!
If it can be automated in a proper format, I would need a different date range on each Hub and the ability to change it every January 1st.
Not necessarily. In an example, let's say "2010-2013" the 2010 could be a variable that you manually set yourself, and the 2013 could be filled with a "current year" variable by the programming in the site, so it would change to 2014 next year automatically.
All geekiness aside, web designers have tons of tools at their fingertips, but even the simplest changes could require hundreds of small snippets of coding to be added, changed and upgraded to even fulfill the smallest end user request, that's hard to do on a major site like this when it needs to be kept up and running for thousands of users and readers as coders are working on it.
I used to hand-code all of my own sites from scratch and years ago I switched to WordPress because I don't have the time to program anymore, being self-employed, married, etc... WordPress handles all the coding in the background and provides a much simpler interface for bloggers to focus on blogging.
I'm sorry for beating around the bush here. What I'm getting at is that I see these kinds of issues from both sides of the fence... from the coding site and the user side, so I tend to have a lot more patience, respect and admiration for those coders who work behind the scenes in HubPages... they are doing their best to modify and add users' requests, but at the same time they have to maintain the system and keep it all working smoothly for us users, and that's a lot of work and dedication on their part. Yes, it would've been much simpler for them to implement proper copyright marking in the beginning, but I realize that it is in fact a very small part of their massive ongoing project here.
Excellent points and discussion, dellea. No pardon necessary regarding thick-headedness. Every experiment has its quirks and I think we are seeing them regarding how to use copyrights properly on our hubs.
HubPages is using the format suggested by the United States Copyright Office.
The only thing lacking is the "close proximity." I wish HP would move it up so it's just under the last capsule of the hub.
I put my own copyright at the bottom of my text. So far I think this may have helped. When my hubs were scraped by Rank 08 (dot) com, they scraped my copyright notice too. Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, are they?
I agree HollieT. Knock on wood, my sites haven't been scraped by the bots as of yet. I've been checking every so often using complex search algorithms as well as sites like Copyscape to see if my content has been stolen, but my fear is that it's just a matter of time from all the hubbers' comments I've seen throughout HP's forums.
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