Help! I don't HAVE a "Copyright Certificate"!!

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  1. Brett Winn profile image84
    Brett Winnposted 8 years ago

    HubPages alerted me that this hub had been copied: … ine-McCoy, and so I wrote the editors of that website and asked for it to be removed. I got this back (see below). I am just appalled. I'm not good at confrontations and have no idea what to do. The 2010 was the original date, it was edited in 2013. The PHOTOGRAPHS in the article were public domain. I wrote the article.

    ANY suggestions as to what to write back to this guy are appreciated.

    I do not have a copyright certificate! I thought just to honestly write and publish something was enough!

    What to do?

    Thanks in advance for all words of wisdom ....

    Brett Winn

    >>The source of your story is listed as "public domain" which was pointed out by my attorney. Can you please provide a copyright certificate showing that you are the author of this story? Also: You are specifically singling Panache out because our entry of this story does not even come up in Google when the twins' names are entered into the search engine. How did this specific story on my blog really come to your attention and according to my lawyer, numerous other sites have published this story, (not word for word but with enough similarities)-are you going after them as well? If not, why not? You mention that you published this article in 2010 yet my attorney says it was posted in Oct. 2013 according to Google.

    Provide me with a copyright certificate listing you as the author and I will remove your version of this story and replace it with the Wikipedia story on the twins.

    Or would you prefer to speak to my attorney about this matter?

    1. Rhonda Lytle profile image65
      Rhonda Lytleposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Go for the confrontation.  I bet you big bucks this guy or gal is all bluff.  First off, an attourney would not make that kind of mistake.  Second, they would tell him to shut up and let them deal with it for they know better than to tip off their arguing strategies like he just did.
      Email back.  Tell them remove it or you will file a complaint and report it to Google and they can speak to your attourney if they wish.  Then, get to filing.
      Go to the learning center to see where to file.  This happens to us all.  Don't be afraid.  Don't give up.  Never give in.

      1. Barbara Kay profile image76
        Barbara Kayposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        They are bluffing. A story wouldn't be worth paying a lawyer for. Just report it to Google.

    2. Writer Fox profile image32
      Writer Foxposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Forget about the site owner and the email.  Send a DMCA to the host, at:
      Put the words "Copyright Claim" on the subject line of your email.

      [This is the email to send:]

      Pursuant to 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A), this communication serves as a statement that:

      I am the exclusive rights holder of articles on the subdomain and the owner and author of the following article, posted on … ine-McCoy.

      These exclusive rights are being violated by material available upon a site you are hosting at the following URL:

      My request to to remove my content has been unanswered.

      This is my contact information:

      [List a name – It's supposed to be your real, legal name
      telephone number

      I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by me, the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

      I hereby request that you remove or disable access to this material as it appears on your service in as expedient a fashion as possible.

      I trust that you will discontinue hosting my plagiarized content on the website.

      [Put the same name you used above at the end.  This is 'signing' the notice and is required.]

      1. Thomas Swan profile image97
        Thomas Swanposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Hehe, good advice. You got in a minute before me!

        Writer Fox is right. Godaddy is the host. Contact them. They'll deal with it quickly. They will also keep a record. Any more infractions and the threat-happy thief may end up with no blog at all.

        1. Thomas Swan profile image97
          Thomas Swanposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          In fact, the bit about copying the Wikipedia story shows this person has no qualms about stealing. There is probably a lot more copied content on their site that could be reported.

      2. Rhonda Lytle profile image65
        Rhonda Lytleposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        This is good!

      3. lisavollrath profile image92
        lisavollrathposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        This. Always file the DMCA complaint with the hosting company. Don't even bother contacting the person who posted your content. They've already shown themselves to be unable to discern what is, and isn't, their work.

        1. Thomas Swan profile image97
          Thomas Swanposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Yea, most thieves won't respond. I must have filed over 50 DMCAs in my time here. I gave up trying to contact the thieves. Maybe 1/4 respond. One was abusive, another was trying to get personal information out of me. Some took the page down. All are criminals though, so it's not worth the trouble of sending them an email, waiting a week for a 25% chance that they'll actually respond, then sending another email to the web host. Just use "whois" or "whoishostingthis" to find the host, and get them to deal with it directly. Saves time, effort, and frustration.

    3. Thomas Swan profile image97
      Thomas Swanposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      This website owner is 100% bluffing.

      The mention of "October 2013" is because that was the last time you edited the hub. You, and Hubpages, know when it was first published. The fake "attorney" is just looking at the bottom of your hub and seeing the last edited date.

      There is no attorney. It's a nasty threat from a narcissist. The talk about being "singled out" reveals the emotions behind the threat. In their mind, they own your story and you're wrongly persecuting them. It's a reality they've become comfortable with, and one you're trying to destroy.

      There is no need to email back. I would even advise against it. This person will only get more nasty, and more threatening. Go straight to their web host. I assume this is panachereport (.com). According to whois and whoishostingthis, they are hosted by GoDaddy.

      Send a DMCA complaint to the GoDaddy abuse team. Say you attempted to contact the author and they refused to take the page down. They should get back to you quickly.

    4. Solaras profile image95
      Solarasposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      How do you like that.  He will remove your plagiarized story and replace it by plagiarizing Wikipedia.

    5. Rhonda Lytle profile image65
      Rhonda Lytleposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      You've been given great advice here about getting it removed, but don't be so quick to give up on your hub.  This happened to me once.  I emailed the HubTeam.  They were so helpful and I did not have to delete my hub.  Of course, I caught it before the filters, but still, they really are there to help.  They are real people and just as nice as they can be when you are in the right.  You are in the right!

    6. psycheskinner profile image82
      psycheskinnerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Send them a fully complete DMCA take down notice.  That is all that is required.  If they reject it, send it to their webhost. Or if necessary to Adsense or Google or whoever else might be involved in the display of that material online without your consent until they get off their high horse and take it down.

    7. Marisa Wright profile image89
      Marisa Wrightposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      He's bluffing.   An attorney would know what the law was.   You don't need a copyright notice.   Just ignore this guy, find out who hosts his website and file a DMCA with the host.

      1. Jayne Lancer profile image93
        Jayne Lancerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        By 'copyright notice', I meant the one we can enable on our hubs--when I last looked, the OP hadn't enabled it. It's not absolutely necessary, and probably doesn't usually do a lot to stop thieves, but it does at least clearly show the public when the hub was first published, which might have prevented this theft--because the thief is too stupid to realise that a 'last edited' date isn't the date of publication.

    8. Cardisa profile image90
      Cardisaposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I would call their bluff and ask to speak with their attorney. I would also file the relevant DMCA complaint.

  2. word55 profile image74
    word55posted 8 years ago

    Please read my hub on "How to Copyright" your work and be protected.

  3. ChristinS profile image38
    ChristinSposted 8 years ago

    This person doesn't have an attorney and is bluffing.  All you have to "prove" is that you are the original writer of the piece.  If another site published it and listed it as "public domain" then ask her where she took it from and tell her you'll be taking action against them to.  If she had a lawyer, you'd be receiving something legal in nature.  This sounds to me like someone who is good at theft of other people's work, don't let them intimidate you.

    I would also send this person a copy of current copyright law.  If you are indeed the one who published this originally, it is copyright protected automatically unless you specifically give away rights to the work.

  4. LindaSmith1 profile image60
    LindaSmith1posted 8 years ago

    Communicate by filing DMCA    Number 17

  5. LindaSmith1 profile image60
    LindaSmith1posted 8 years ago

    Report them to their host as well.

  6. firstday profile image62
    firstdayposted 8 years ago

    The letter to you states:  >>The source of your story is listed as "public domain" which was pointed out by my attorney. 

    This is wild tell them to send you where it is listed as public domain. Also set a time for them to remove your work.  That way all is clearly defined.  Sorry to see so much theft from hubs.

  7. firstday profile image62
    firstdayposted 8 years ago

    Also have them forward you their list of the other places that have published your work so you can notice them also.

  8. Sam Montana profile image84
    Sam Montanaposted 8 years ago

    Yes, the owner of that website is bluffing and wasting their time, why I don't know. Looking at a Google of your article I see your article dated Oct. 3, 2013. Using, I see that Panache Report's article did not show up until June 2014. It was not on their website in 2013.

  9. Marketing Merit profile image96
    Marketing Meritposted 8 years ago

    Why have you deleted your Hub Brett Winn?
    The first thing I would do, personally, is to get the web entry de-indexed from Google. Then I would file a DMCA. Nonetheless, the decision is yours.

    1. Writer Fox profile image32
      Writer Foxposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      That link worked a minute ago and now it doesn't.  The link needs to be working to file the DMCA unless there is a cache copy online somewhere!

      1. Thomas Swan profile image97
        Thomas Swanposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        The comma needs to be removed from the end of the link. Then it will work.

      2. Kylyssa profile image90
        Kylyssaposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        The link appears fine to me once I removed the comma from the end of the URL.

  10. Buildreps profile image89
    Buildrepsposted 8 years ago

    I would follow what Writer Fox (and Thomas) said. Lawyers work exactly like Rhonda says, so 100% this guy is bluffing (and full of 'you know' as well).

    As far as I can see you unpublished the Hub (the link doesn’t work anymore). This is something I never would have done - it's like admitting you're wrong.

    I would say the most simple way to prove that it's your property is the date you published it here on Hubpages. But since we have the possibility (and even encouraged) to re-edit Hubs once in a while, this wouldn't proof so much since the content has been edited. If you keep your content original (unedited) I would say you've all the proof you need.

    I wouldn't go through the effort to register documents, but a stamp from a government authority or a notary on the printed original is as solid as rock.

    1. lisavollrath profile image92
      lisavollrathposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I agree about not unpublishing the hub. Leave it posted. It's the proof you need to show that the other person's content has been copied.

  11. Shorebirdie profile image78
    Shorebirdieposted 8 years ago

    They must be awfully rich because copyright attorneys are extremely expensive.  You don't need a copyright certificate for anything.  You only need to register copyright to go for punitive damages, but can still sue for actual damages without registering.  This person (the one who stole the content) is full of crap.

  12. Suzanne Day profile image93
    Suzanne Dayposted 8 years ago

    I can only assume this person got to you if you removed your hub.

    If you have found there really is an attorney involved (albeit a shonky one), all you have to do is show them a date stamped Word file, or a date stamped web file of any kind from your hub. Eg if you saved "Save Page As" your hub, it has a date on it in its properties that can be used as proof of copyright ownership. Therefore, always keep an original copy of your hub in some form or another.

    You can send them a printscreen or something of the date stamping. But don't give them any original files at all or they'll pretend to be the original owner. Save it for a judge who will definitely determine in your favour.

    To be honest, once they see you have a date stamped file, they'd be stupid to pursue it anyway, because they know they will lose and will pay a lot of money for nothing.

  13. taiwokareem profile image63
    taiwokareemposted 8 years ago

    To get the original date of your published hub, Go to the hub and click on stats => Hub metrics. that is proof of the published date and I don't think you need all this Attorney things

  14. shay-marie profile image90
    shay-marieposted 8 years ago

    Oh, gross. That email makes me feel sticky. They sound like a Scammer with a capital "S." I put your hub into wayback. Did you publish it in December 2010? This is what I got for that date: … tine-McCoy

    Send this person that link if you dare. I agree with everyone else saying that you should report them via DCMA, GoDaddy, Google Adsense, whatever. Show no mercy. In fact, I probably wouldn't even bother sending this person the link. Just report report report. With a response like that I can almost guarantee they're doing this to other people. Disgusting.

  15. WiccanSage profile image89
    WiccanSageposted 8 years ago

    No, they're wrong and BSing.

    I would send them a letter telling them:

    - please do check with your lawyer again on copyright laws. If the lawyer is at all qualified in that field he should be able to tell the person that you don't need a copyright certificate.

    - include a link to copyright laws and information for them to educate themselves.

    - ask them to point you to the source where the article was offered in the Public Domain, because the source infringed on your copyright. (If they tell you it came from hub pages, explain that free content isn't copyright free and is still under the control of the author).

    - inform the author that if it's not down in 24 hours you'll be filing a DMCA, and explain what it is and what the result will be for him.

    You have nothing to fear, you should stand up to this person.

  16. misterhollywood profile image91
    misterhollywoodposted 8 years ago

    I would also fill out a Google Scrapper report! … Y/viewform

  17. aerospacefan profile image86
    aerospacefanposted 8 years ago

    Yes scrapper report is very useful. The head honchos at Google want people to report others who scrap. If they are busted they can get delisted off google forever!!!

  18. Jayne Lancer profile image93
    Jayne Lancerposted 8 years ago

    You could enable the copyright notice, although the oldest comment is three years old, which proves the hub was published before 2013. You've received some great advice on this thread, and should have no trouble getting the copy unpublished if you follow it.

    Love the hub, by the way. I just read it. Fascinating.

  19. FlourishAnyway profile image96
    FlourishAnywayposted 8 years ago

    If this person really had an attorney, my hunch is that the attorney would want to handle communications in order to handle it correctly and bill it for the big bucks.  They are screwing around with you -- that's my hunch anyway.

    1. taiwokareem profile image63
      taiwokareemposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      This I why I love Hubpages more, they inform you about broken links and Copyrights. If you truly didn't copy the culprits hub and instead it was the other way round, you need to stand your ground and fight for your right. You've got my back whatsoever.

  20. belleart profile image78
    belleartposted 8 years ago

    I've actually only recently added the copyright notice to hubs that have been up years, and it automatically put the year they were originally published, so surely if you do that the 2010 notice will appear proving you wrote it before 2013.  hope this helps a wee bit

  21. Shorebirdie profile image78
    Shorebirdieposted 8 years ago

    And, this is why I feel strongly about signing or watermarking my own photos that I use online.  People think its free to use unless you have some kind of notice on it.  It has saved me some hassle.

  22. CassandraCae profile image85
    CassandraCaeposted 8 years ago

    all of these solutions and you delete the hub why?

    1. psycheskinner profile image82
      psycheskinnerposted 8 years agoin reply to this
      1. CassandraCae profile image85
        CassandraCaeposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        my mistake, i did not notice the comma at first in the other link hmm

  23. LNAngel profile image84
    LNAngelposted 8 years ago

    They got the "Oct 2013" because that was the day it was last updated. So, apparently, their "lawyer" can't read, either. I agree - this is easily handled but the ball is in your court now. Stand up to them or file the complaint - but don't back down.

  24. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 8 years ago

    Their webhost appears to be Godaddy

  25. KathyBatesel profile image59
    KathyBateselposted 8 years ago

    I have not read other replies, but yes, publication is sufficient and you do not have to have any kind of certificate to prove it. If I was you, I would tell the guy to have his attorney contact you or remove the story IF you are certain that you have not surrendered your rights to it. Before you say you never surrendered your rights, you should ensure that it has not been reposted by you onto a site like Digg, where the Terms of Service state that by posting a link to material, you confirm that you have the right to do so and that you are dedicating the material to the public domain. (Google is NOT the public domain!) If you have YOUR attorney contact the violator, you could sue for damages and force them to pay your reasonable attorney fees and court costs, I believe, so I would probably describe this in my letter to them, too.

  26. Brett Winn profile image84
    Brett Winnposted 8 years ago

    WOW! I am just overcome by the generosity of all of your support, advice and detailed help! Thank you so much!!

    I wrote him back and gave him 48 hours to remove the content. I just checked ... it is gone!  Woo-hoo!

    I had forgotten what a GREAT community this is ... you guys ROCK!

    Brett Winn

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Indeed, I knew that person was full of it.  Good for you forcing them to take it down.  smile When we all fight the plagiarism of our hubs; I think it will eventually (hopefully) make HP less of a target because scammers will know, these Hubbers don't mess around! wink.

    2. Jayne Lancer profile image93
      Jayne Lancerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Glad to hear you've got it sorted out.

    3. PegCole17 profile image97
      PegCole17posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      This was worth reading through all the responses to see the generosity and good advice from your fellow writers here. Kudos to all involved. (Except the scammer or should I say, alleged suspect scammer?)

  27. LNAngel profile image84
    LNAngelposted 8 years ago

    Nice! smile

  28. Michael Kismet profile image92
    Michael Kismetposted 8 years ago

    This reminds me of Emilio Estevez saying "You mess with one duck, you mess with the whole flock"  smile

  29. CassandraCae profile image85
    CassandraCaeposted 8 years ago

    YAY, that is so awesome to hear, what a total bluff


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