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Steal Like an Artist

Updated on March 23, 2012

Someone Stole my Stuff

Recently I noticed that one of my hubs has a doppelganger. Thoughtful online pirates lifted all the text verbatim and cloned the images. The site has no advertising: I can't bring down the hammer of Google to convince them to cease and desist. The domain registration hides behind a proxy: I can't complain to the owner.

This wonderful site (it is my content, after all) does include a contact page. I left them a well reasoned message explaining how long and hard I worked to compose the original page. I explained the thought process required to build appropriate words into engaging sentences which merge into ideally balanced paragraphs. They didn't write back.

I also filed a DMCA complaint against the pirate site. That'll show them. It works against bank robbers, right? Ingenious bank employees wave copies of statutes prohibiting robbery, causing career criminals to lay down their weapons and find work at Starbucks. I think.

Can't we all just get along?
Can't we all just get along? | Source

My complaints worked, sort of

Anyway, my complaints did take effect. The site now contains a version of my text run through some really bad spinning software. It's the thought that counts, I guess.

Images remain unchanged. And uncredited.

Really Bad News

It gets worse. The pirated version of my article ranks higher for at least one Google keyword.


Refreshing lemonade from digital lemons
Refreshing lemonade from digital lemons | Source

Time to make the lemonade

What do we learn from this? Internet piracy runs rampant. It affects highly respected international icons of truth and justice like Lady Gaga, and me. We probably can't win and we'll certainly never meet because we don't hang out at the same Starbucks.

Perhaps I should be complemented. Unknown web dudes think highly enough of my original content to appropriate it as their own. A commission would nice, but until I can deposit flattery in my PayPal account I will burn with the white-hot hatred of someone who has a lot of white-hot hatred.

My plan involves leveraging this hatred to complement my core values in a synergy of timely bullet points incorporating multinational cross-platform implementations focused laser-like onto the landscape of Internet dominance. It could happen.

My money clip.
My money clip. | Source

Making a case against online content theft

1. Theft of content hurts the children.

This approach never fails. Even faceless content pirates lurking in their parents' basements burning bootleg copies of Windows 8 before heading off to community college grasp the significance of making our world better for the kids.

2. The Internet is running out of content

Contributing to the dwindling pile of original content makes you a good cyberspace citizen. Our world needs no more anti-Rush Limbaugh screeds echoing the trite feebleness of progressives who should be outside playing. We get it: he's a meanie who should be legislated out of existence.

3. Spinning software just makes you look stupid.

Cultural issues may limit this message. Somewhere in the physical world someone is convinced that original content processed through software written by skilled software engineers not speaking English as their first language qualifies as legitimate web content. Even Google is fooled. Sadly, it pretty much works.

4. Steal like an artist

We all steal on some level. None of us invented scathing criticism of {liberals, conservatives, progressives, Republicans, Al Gore, Bill Maher, Ronald Reagan}. We all piggyback on the shoulders of scribblers populating previous generations. Each of us benefits from the compositions of BreakfastPop. On the other hand, drbj actually invented the concept of interviewing inanimate objects: good luck adapting that..

Inside the mind of an Internet pirate.
Inside the mind of an Internet pirate. | Source

I will help you

Many hubbers approach me with one simple question: how can I steal like an artist? Typically they wander away in search of luscious biscotti rather than wait for my answer. I am OK with that.

I can help. Don't ask me how I know, but 'adapting' hub topics into new hub topics can be accomplished painlessly and artistically. Not being a HubPages Elite tends to mitigate my advice, but I always do my best.

1. Steal a concept, don't steal verbiage.

It worked for Shakespeare, it can work for you. Should you find yourself madly infatuated with one of my hubs, read it several times, close it, then compose your own singularly sensational take on it. That can't go wrong.

2. Steal a topic you're passionate about.

Worst case, at least you will be passionately wrong.

3. Steal facts rather than opinions

Only the clinically insane, or Democrats, dispute facts. Your readership narrows slightly but still encompasses a wide swath of sentient humans. Swathe your newly appropriated facts in opinions dredged from your own consciousness.

4. Don't use spinning software

We like you, we really do. Any attempt to spin the output of another writer will result in heartache.

This is how the Internet should be. Except less creepy.
This is how the Internet should be. Except less creepy. | Source

Whoop, there it is (I stole that)

Write your own stuff and chill out when pirates steal it. Much easier written than done. Some how I got 778 words out of this debacle. You can, too.


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      un-edumacated ? Last year I couldn't spel awthur, bow I are one! Thankx to HubPages I get to talk to doctors!

    • LucidDreams profile image

      LucidDreams 6 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida


      I enjoy reading nicomp articles there any chance you could re-write your comment in plain english so us un-edumacated folks could understand?

      Just kidding!!!!!!! god, I have to work hard to keep up with you people.

      I hate thieves, rather then "steal like an artist" I am going to "move like jagger" right outta here before I make a bigger fool of myself.

      nicomp......your writing just begs to be taken......that's a compliment!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @drbj: Thank you for your kind words and your inanimate object interviews.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Rude, unprincipled pirates might attempt to steal your verbiage, nicomp, but they will never attain the fame and adulation that your hubs engender. You set the standards for new hubbers to emulate with your almost 800 hubs containing a plethora of rational and erudite information.

      BTW, thanks for the mention of my unique interviews with inanimate objects (as well as the Banana Spider). You are the man!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      All you can do is complain. Just keep on writing your wonderful Hubs. Any time something bad is done to you the person responsible will receive twice in return.

      The Frog

    • profile image 6 years ago

      unscrupulous sites that do this will be stopped eventually without doubt

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Imitation is the highest form of flattery but imitation put through a spinning machine? Dunno

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      Being a Hubpages Elite is overrated. You get the highlighted title, no extra money, adulation for nothing, and gushing over your comments. I manage without it. Outstanding hub on making lemonade out of piracy though!

    • LucidDreams profile image

      LucidDreams 6 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida

      I was waiting to see what you may write next. Your style is contagious but impossible to copy. Keep that in mind........I had one stolen a couple years back and found it ranking higher then my orginal also for a certain keyword phrase. It ticks you off but, well either way, good to see you blowing off a little steam while educating people at the same time.

      By the way, I really dislike all the spun articles I keep seeing. Especially here in the middle of the night (my time)-garbage churned out like a sweatshop!

    • Johnjfernando profile image

      jkchandra 6 years ago

      Well said! I hope whoever did this really regrets it real soon. And don't stop the good fight. I know lots of people here on hubpages that have the same problem and have filed complaints and other sorts to successfully have there work protected from those plagerizing bafoons! My hat is off to for writing such an article to inform others to at least take action in the right manner. Thank you!:)