I'm very grateful to Hubpages for putting the little red C on our dashboards to warn us when our content has been copied.
It didn't take me too long to hunt down the content thieves on a couple hubs and send out DMCA notices. The offending copies were on blogspot, so I assume Google will zap them forthwith.
However, my top hub -- which gets a few thousand visitors a week and many comments -- has apparently been the victim of its own success. It outranks all its copies in Google search results, but a Google search of a sentence halfway down the hub showed me there may be over a thousand stolen copies of it posted around and about.
I'm trying to DMCA the ones that are the top-ranked after mine in Google results, but it's like bailing water with a sieve. Either I spend most of my time hunting them down, or I give up and assume that Google will continue to rank my hub first, since it's at least a year older than the copies of it and connected to my real name via Google authorship.
Will Hubpages lock it if I give up the battle? I don't want to, but right now I'm feeling discouraged and overwhelmed (partly due to something totally outside HP -- an uptick in arthritis pain is giving me no energy for anything, let alone this).
From the notice on the hub itself:
"While your hub is not being penalized on HubPages, if this is your original content and it has been copied without your permission, we recommend that you protect your copyright by filing DMCA complaints with sites listed below, as appropriate."
I infer from this that there will be no penalty if nothing is done. And in fact, in rare instances duplicates cannot be removed by any reasonable means.
I would assume from all these comments that Hubpages knows the difference between copied and 'stolen' content -- it likely checks if its a copy as soon as it's posted, and then if others pop up later it will make that distiction and warn you about 'stolen' posts instead.
This is a testament for keeping an eye on your content on a weekly basis. This means searching for plagiarized copies and diligently filing DMCA requests, even if you have to hire an assistant to help.
If you have over a thousand plagiarized copies of a Hub, you have already lost ownership of that content, de facto. You can never move the content to another website or even sell it to someone else to post on another website. If you try that, it will probably never rank again. In short, your content must stay forever on HubPages. What happens if you wake up someday and there is no HubPages?
Have you considered automating the search (e.g., use a tool like Selenium or Python urllib2 and the like) ?
I had one, and when I filed the DMCA complaint, I got a reply, in French, starting out, "Unfortunately.....yada, yada, yada.." I was able to get the gist of the message, which was basically that there was nothing they could do about it.
:: shrug :: I'm not sufficiently fluent in French to carry on any further discussion or inquiry, and so I guess that's that.
Another of my "warning, your content may have been copied" notifications was a bogus notice. There was no copy at all of my content; the "suspected sites" (all 3 of them) were links to the very same AD for "treatment" of the condition mentioned in my hub....for which reputable doctors tell you there really is no treatment.
I don't know how to deal with that; there seems to be no way to get HP to remove the "warning" notice when no actual theft of material took place. It is like a 'crying wolf' signal, which remains visible to me, and then, what if someone down the line does steal that material???? I won't know the difference...and I don't think I should have to go re-checking on the bogus warning every week to find out. HP should take down the errant warning.
I have a couple of hubs with hundreds of copies out there that have been that way for years. As yet it hasn't been an issue, other than a small traffic one (hot keywords that spammers wanted) outranking me.
Can a member of HP staff please enlighten us further on this? I too have filed some DCMA's but the red 'probably stolen' sign is still there!
I know how you feel. It seems there are so many people who don't care about copyright and it is so hard for an individual to fight their case. I write ebooks and some of my friends told me that my ebooks were on various torrent sites. I've lost count of the number of sites that are giving my ebooks away free and I feel powerless to stop them. I tried asking Amazon for help but even they said there was nothing they could do and suggested I use DMCA which, as you said, is so complicated. I hope you do get it sorted. I guess you could take it as a compliment that your work is so great that others want to steal it! Not! :-)
This is one of the drawbacks of offering a free copy of an ebook when you first publish it on Amazon. The scrapers are all over that list! It's much better to offer just a sample chapter (you could publish the sample on HP) and make people pay for the ebook from launch. Plagiarists will seldom pay for an ebook they want to steal.
Hi Writer Fox,
Guess what? - I didn't offer them free at all, so the plagiarist must have actually bought a copy (which is a long shot!) or figured out some other way to steal them. I think your idea of offering samples sounds good though, I'd not thought of that.
I haven't had hubs copied, but years ago discovered some of my site's html pages suffered from that problem. I appreciate you raising the question and am sorry your arthritis is acting up- I know how that is.
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