How to combat digital piracy!
Alas, that be some scurvy dogs on these waters! I suppose it has come down to this: Pirate references. I recently received a very disturbing email massage form the HubPages Team that notified me MY hub was a duplicate hub, and it was published elsewhere on the web! What? How could the hub pages team be deactivating my hub because someone hijacked it? Here is what I did to get the situation rectified and how I fought back!
Batten Down The Hatches And Square The Main Sail!
So after I calmed down from reading the very cryptic email, I stopped and had to think for a bit. The email the team sent me was a bit vague, and simply stated that they believed my article was republished somewhere else, and that I needed to change my article substantially in order to republish it. I was also told that if I republish the hub without any changes it was a violation of the HubPages rules and that I could be penalized. Wow, stop the presses, I was fuming mad! Why should I have to change my blog post simply because some hijacked it? It took a bit of digging but ultimately I found out what was gong on. If you have ever needed the HubPages team for anything, you know they answer your emails very quickly, the worst part of this process was waiting over the weekend to get it rectified. I mean this hub was just starting to get some great traffic, then BAM! It best pulled. Well when this happens you actually get a skull and cross bones, on your hub and it is automatically deactivated (hence the pirate talk). It turns out that if you believe your works should not be posted ANYWHERE else on the web, the it's easy to just send them an email and let them know what happened. What I found super frustrating is that there was no loin to where else it was published, so I quickly fired off an email stating the work was in fact my original and that it should NOT be posted anywhere else, I also inquired as to where it was reposted.
This afternoon I was pleased to get a very friendly email (considering that I was very pointed with my inquiry), and I was provided all the information I needed. The team was kind enough not only to send me a link to where it was published, but the date it was published as well as what actions to take against the person who shameless stole my article. In addition, they were kind enough to reinstate my hub and it was "certified original". Great, so I got my hub back but now what?
Any good pirate knows, that if someone asks for Parlay, then they should be given a fair chance right? Well I followed the link to the culprit who stole my article and I left a comment to remove the article, since they did not have permission to reproduce it in any way. I thought that was all I could do, but when the team sent me back information they also provided information on how to file a DMCA complaint. This seems like a very long and confusing process, but it stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This protects writes from intellectual rights theft in a new age. What this effectively does, is give you a mechanism to have your copyrighted materials removed form a site that does not have permission to republish them.
So I just followed the instructions set by hubpages, which lead to the site provider of the blogger who shamelessly stole my stuff. Sure enough, the site had a policy on how to report online theft and even gave an email address of where to send everything. I basically just emailed them the request information such as the URL of the site that was causing the harm, the reason why I was requesting it to be removed, as well as my personal contact information. It was that easy.
We Live To Fight Another Day!
So the end results were actually very encouraging. HubPages restored my initial creation since a real live human verified that I had in fact first published the article. In addition, within an hour or so the article was actually removed by the unscrupulous person who stole it. I know this because an hour or so after that, the offending website administrator actually sent me an email stating that they could no longer find the devious duplication and that they were closing the case and to refile if it shows back up again. I suppose had I not given the offender "Parlay" he may have been banned by his blog site, or been censured in some other way, but I have no way to tell. Despite this digital form of high seas piracy, everything worked out and I have my hub bag, generating hits, and in turn generating revenue!