Over the years, hits on my Hub, "Girl Scout Wide Game to Celebrate Juliette Low's Birthday" have been declining. I did a little research this year and found that a few Girl Scout Councils have been publishing the games that I wrote about in my article, pretty close to word-for-word. Example: for the Pancake Toss game, I wrote: "On the plate is an oversized pancake. One girl from each team begins by holding their team's pancake on the plate. On start, the two girls race down the playing area, tossing her pancake in the air and catching it on her plate. At the end of the playing area, she turns and runs back to her team, still tossing and catching her pancake." On a Council website, they wrote: "Place an oversized pancake on the plates. One girl from each team begins by holding their team's pancake on the plate. On start, two girls race down the playing area, tossing their pancakes in the air and catching them on the plates. At the end of the playing area, the girls turn and run back to their teams, still tossing and catching the pancakes." Another Council website has a .docx file available for download that quotes my article in complete paragraphs, though they did attribute the source. Still, this was done without my permission. So is this infringement? I sent email to the Council with the .docx file asking that it be removed, but I don't know what to do about the others. I did a lot of research to write my article and I came up with the Pancake Toss and the Hoop Roll games based upon my research. It doesn't seem right that Girl Scout Councils duplicate my work. On the other hand, are all things scouting simply fair game? Thanks in advance for your advice.
According to copyright law, someone can quote small portions of your work without violating copyright. From the example you've given, the only thing the other person changed was the first sentence. I would say that's a violation of your copyright. However, with something this short, they could've easily changed a few words here and there and made it their own. This is a hard one to figure out without talking to a lawyer who will, unfortunately, probably tell you it's not worth the fight.
Thanks Sheilamyers, I realized right away that it wasn't worth fighting about (and it's simply not the Girl Scout way) though I am really perplexed as to why Councils would do this. Perhaps it is more of a teachable moment, one that I can bring up to Girl Scout HQ? Seems like they might be interested in passing along do's and don'ts when it comes to what Councils should put on their own webistes.
My niece had a hub stolen by an English teacher that was using it in his classes. Now, he knew better, but he did it. She just kindly asked him to remove it and he did. Try that.
You make a good point. If I remember correctly, the Girl Scouts teach honesty and integrity, so you could contact them and explain things. I also like what JRScarboro suggested. Ask them to place a little notice stating you provided the info. In addition to that, perhaps they would agree to post a link to your hub on the page where they mention your name. I don't know if they'd do the link for you, but it's always worth a try.
Maybe you could write a new hub following the course of the details, as you have explained them here, and publicly accuse and scandalize the girl scouts as a new breed of plagiarists. The scandal might get you even more hits...or you could just be glad that you work inspired such a major organization to steal from you, and be honored by it. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d
You could try reporting the URL to Google. If they think that it is duplicate content, they will de-index the page in their search engine. For Yahoo and Bing, you'll have to contact them directly. The instructions for doing that are in the HubPages learning center.
I recently had an online pet store do that with one of my articles from HubPages. They just happened to pick the one that receives the largest number of hits and Amazon sales for me. The company copied the hub word for word but had the paragraphs split up on the page with other stuff written in between. My traffic to that hub dropped. I mean it really dropped.
I reported their page to Google through WebMaster Tools and it took a few days but Google de-indexed their page. It took a couple more days but that hub is now getting the traffic that it was originally receiving and the Amazon sales are back to normal.
I also agree that contacting the Girl Scouts might be a good idea. It's dishonest behavior by an adult and needs to be addressed with them.
Thanks Helena, I'm really hesitant to report the Council sites to Google, as I don't want them to get de-indexed. Hopefully it won't come to that, and the individual Council sites will be responsive to my request to take down the duplicate content. Sorry to hear about your own infringement experience. I can relate to seeing hub traffic drop! It's amazing to see how far traffic can drop, isn't it?
You are very welcome.
Yes it is. I was seriously annoyed because it is my highest earning hub. It went down to almost nothing.
Just so you know, reporting duplicate content to Google doesn't de-index the entire site, only that one page. I think I made it sound like they nix the whole site.
I think contacting the councils directly, as you are doing, is the best approach in this case. Girl Scouts is an honorable organization, and I think they will take your article down with the first request. I'm assuming whoever posted it had no idea, so this will be a teachable moment. The councils will probably be mortified to learn they've done something wrong.
I’d take it as a compliment and then work to out do yourself. I can understand the frustration though. But just think, more than one person considered your writing and subject matter worth stealing. It means you are really good.
In the end, what I would do is request that all the sites attribute your work to you and then leave it alone. Anything that leads toward your name getting out there is worth its weight in gold. Perhaps you could get some links toward your article out of it all.
Use it to your advantage is my advice.
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