While checking Google Analytics this past week, I saw an unusual rise in visitors for various hubs belonging to awordlover. While that is not unusual in itself, what was a flag to me is the particular hubs they were viewing. They have all been scraped before, if not fully copied, so I investigated some more.
A Google search with their names/sites, awordlover's name and her hub titles, showed me they had stolen as little as a sentence to as much as a paragraph. Five of the six have removed the content on the other sites because they all left awordlover's name in the articles as well as quotations she uses and how she talks to her reader directly. A search of awordlover shows their sites in the results. I am down to one site where I'm getting no cooperation.
The site is soup dot io and has no "contact me" link to actually connects to something (it's a dead link), and I couldn't identify the web host on whois when I searched. Perhaps I'm not doing it right.
So to get around that, I created a soup account - Rachael O'Halloran. The comments were disabled for the stolen article, so I made a post using the thief's name and linked it to the stolen work. I called him out big time to let him know that I know he stole her work. They have a tag system, so I tagged him along with several choice keywords to get his attention.
Title: Stolen & Scraped Content on Soup site - No contact link on soup screen to report
This person scraped an article by awordlover and posted it on his soup page.
http slash slash fantuzzireachstacker dot soup dot io slash post slash 416874569 slash Researched-By-Awordlover-The-Treatments-In-The..
He was stupid enough to leave her name on it as well as content she wrote that is written in her "voice." Attempts to locate an administrator or contact link failed, so I wrote a 'review of http:slash slash fantuzzireachstacker dot soup. dot io/p..." so he would see it and do the right thing - remove the content.
Signed, Rachael O'Halloran
Well, it didn't get his attention, but it did get the attention of a moderator elpollodiablo who wrote:
elpollodiablo (Official Rep)
We will remove this (spam) content only if you contact email@example.com with a sworn statement + notarized copies of the id of the petitioner or their legal representation.
I looked around for some advice on the web for the correct way to do this and this is what I wrote back:
As per Google Webmaster Tools, and DMCA guidelines, by law, an author does not have to provide notarized copy of their ID, nor their copyrighted work.
A notary of awordlover's ID would reveal her real name and geographical location. A petitioner for content removal only has to provide the link to the copyrighted work which should show the author name attributed as author.
You (soup.io) are making demands other than what is universally acceptable regarding copyrighted work, its author and stolen or scraped content for which your user is guilty.
Here is the link showing her name and her content that was scraped by your user:
http:// awordlover dot hubpages dot com/hub/Change-Of-Life-Otherwise-Known-As-Menopause
I suggest you contact your legal department and ask them what the show of proof is in this regard. Please comply with removal of the article and all references to "awordlover" from your site.
That got this answer a few minutes ago:
elpollodiablo (Official Rep) 16 minutes ago
a) we do not have our jurisdiction in the US, and we do not fall under the DMCA. And yes, for such a legal claim, we do require appropriate documentation, or be compelled by an austrian court.
b) who cares about the google webmaster tools?
c) you're a SEO and if we take down spam content, we want to know who was responsible for it in the first place. alternatively, you can pay for abusing our infrastructure and for removing the content.
Make no mistake, we know exactly what you're up to and what you are trying to accomplish here (you're not the first), and we will not play your games. Do not contact us again without the aforementioned prerequisites.
I bet not even your name is real.
I sure would like to know what game I'm playing, but I'm clueless. I just want awordlover's name taken down off the site.
Since I am the owner of awordlover's account now, I have no intention of providing my ID (Driver's Licence) which will reveal my real married name and my real street address in California. Rachael O'Halloran is my maiden name but my married name is on my ID. But I still don't think I should have to give them this information. And what is up with demanding notarized copies of ID?
Google says on several copyright websites that all an author has to do when requesting content removal is to provide a link to the copyrighted work and a statement saying you are either the author or the author's representative (which is shown on her work as Rachael O'Halloran For Anne DiGeorge)
The reply was just as rude as several emails I received. The last reply revealed they use Austrian court system - if that is even true.
So my questions are:
Are they not bound by copyright laws?
Is this site (soup) allowed to demand a notarized ID from me when the acceptable practice is to simply prove ownership of the copyright material? I promised my husband when I accepted awordlover's account that I'd use my maiden name to protect the privacy of our family name. I am only willing to provide that I live in California.
Writer Fox, and anyone else with knowledge who can direct me, please tell me how to proceed and thank you.
They have no obligation to obey DMCA or google rules. DMCA only applies in the US, the Copyright Directive is in force in the EU, of which Austria is a member, although each country can apply it how they see fit. It is entirely possible that Austria requires notarised documents to prove you the content creator is.
Since I put this question here, I found that their copyright department is in California and wants all inquiries by email or post office. I am writing out an email to them with the information, but the guidelines do not state they want a notarized copy of anything. The moderator said that, but the copyright infringement agent doesn't say that on their site. So I'm trying it that way to see what happens. If anything.
Hope you get it sorted. Copyright infringement seems like a small deal to many people but when we write all we have is ownership of our words so keeping them is essential.
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