Copyright, Girl Scouts, and My Hub, Part II

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  1. prokidwriter profile image96
    prokidwriterposted 6 years ago

    I'm pretty dejected right about now. I spent some time with an analytics tool to determine if I should pursue DMCA takedown requests regarding my copied hub, Girl Scout Wide Game to Celebrate Juliette Low's Birthday. In looking at the statistics, traffic to my hub has decreased by approximately 70% since three Girl Scout Service Units, a Scribd user, and one unrelated scam blogger copied my content and posted it to their respective websites. The copied content varied from 100% (the blogger and the Scribd user) to 25% of my hub, with no attribution, no link back to my original article, and without my permission to post. I was able to get the scam blogger's website de-listed from Google search, and Scribd responded in less than 30 minutes, but I hesitated to do anything to the Girl Scout sites. Ultimately, I decided that by allowing Girl Scout Service Units to post my copyrighted material without permission wasn't doing anyone any good. It sent the wrong message to Girl Scouts and goes against the Girl Scout Law. So I emailed the three SUs and asked that they remove my content. One responded right away and the content was removed. The other two did not respond. I went up the ranks to the Girl Scout Councils and asked that they remove the copied content, and  heard back from one. I chose to submit a DMCA takedown request with the ISP of the "worst" offender, because their document containing my content actually outranks my original document in Google search results, and because they were nonresponsive. For a time, that worked, their website was frozen and I assumed that the Girl Scout SU was removing my copied content. Then, this week, the website was unfrozen and my copied content was still available from their website, and their document outranks mine in search results.  I think this is horrible, awful, terrible and totally contrary to copyright protection, going well beyond any interpretation of Fair Use. I've submitted another DMCA takedown request to the ISP but to date have not had any response. I don't know if there is any recourse if nobody, including the ISP, responds. In previous years, I could always count on hundreds of article views in the weeks leading up to Juliette Low's birthday, but last year I had hardly any due to the copied content. In my experience, I would say that the DMCA takedown process is nice in theory, but in reality, it does not always work. Sometimes you don't win and you lose control over your copyrighted material.

    1. Writer Fox profile image47
      Writer Foxposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      What is the URL of the copied content?  (Post it with spaces or XXX so that it is not a clickable link.)

      1. prokidwriter profile image96
        prokidwriterposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Writer Fox, I'd rather not say where the copied content lives. To me, it's not important where the copied content is - what is more surprising/important is that even if a writer does everything correctly, and follows the DMCA takedown request protocol, and is polite to the "offender," it is still possible that the "offender" and their ISP can ignore a DMCA takedown request. I can, I suppose, go to Google and ask that the website be de-listed from search results, but they recommend talking to an attorney first, to be sure that Fair Use does not apply. Don't know if I can afford that expense...

        1. Writer Fox profile image47
          Writer Foxposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Well, if you want some help you can send it to me by email.

      2. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Guessing here, but it looks like:
        ht  tp:// to me.  Hosted by Probe Networks Colo3-Telecity FFM at ip

        1. Writer Fox profile image47
          Writer Foxposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          It looks like that page has been removed.  But, the cache is still showing.

          To remove the cache of the plagiarized content on Google:

 … page=ts.cs
          (click inside the circle which says 'Web Search', then scroll down the page and click inside the circle which says 'A piece of content I am concerned about has already been removed by the webmaster but still appears among the search results.' Then, click on the link 'this tool.' You'll then be asked to sign in and then to enter the page URL and, if the page is still live, a word from the outdated cache page that you want to remove.

          To remove the cache on Bing/Yahoo:
 … l-cb6c294d

          It can take 24 – 48 hours for the removal process.

        2. prokidwriter profile image96
          prokidwriterposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Hi Wilderness and Writer Fox, The site that is causing me problems is a Girl Scout website, a small Service Unit. It's one of those situations where "no one" is in charge, that is, it's probably a volunteer who posted the copied content and it's not a priority. Their ISP temporarily froze the site, but it's back up now, and the copied content is still available from the site. I haven't had any luck in getting the ISP to tell me why they unfroze the site. They simply don't respond to my emails. Writer Fox, thanks for the URL to remove cached content on Bing - I'd forgotten about Bing...
             I want to ask Google to block the site from search results, but they got me scared when they cautioned me to talk to an attorney first. Apparently, if I request that they block the site, and the Girl Scout SU in question protests and claims "Fair Use" and sues me, I could be liable for a great deal of money - even though it is my original content and I never gave them permission to copy and post any part of my content on their site!

          1. Marisa Wright profile image96
            Marisa Wrightposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Stop overthinking it!  That's a standard message and even if they objected, it would be your choice whether to respond to any legal action.

            Anyway, how likely is a Scouts organisation to sue you?  They probably copied it innocently and if they ever notice what's going on with their site - which it sounds like they won't - they are unlikely to try to fight it.


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