It's worth a read as it affects what HP can do with our content.
"6. PROPRIETARY RIGHTS; CONTENT OWNERSHIP
By posting Hub Content on the Service and until such time as You remove the Hub Content on the Service, You grant HubPages a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable license, to reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, distribute, modify, adapt and publish the Hub Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your Hub Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed."
"Commercially reasonable time thereafter was removed" and there seems to be a new bit covering all the new media types that exist and could exist in the future. However I think the important bit is the "until such time as You remove the Hub Content on the Service".
If it's "royalty-free", it means we get no money from any other use of the content by HP. They keep all of the money.
If HP has "non-exclusive" rights, it means we can use our content anyway we wish, such as reposting on our own websites.
Furthermore, HP is finally dealing with Hubs that are libelous.
You are now legally responsible for your Hubs rather than HP. In other words, you are subject to lawsuits for libel and defamation of character if you aren't very careful with your facts about people, companies and institutions.
I've been making very good money on HP this year. I'm also old and have no other place to put my work. When I started doing well here, I decided I'd ride this horse until it dies, so that's what I'm going to do. It didn't cost me one sent to come onto this site, I've had a free and excellent online writing education here, have met great people and made some friends. I'd like things to continue as is, but if things go South so be it. I probably don't have a lot of time left in my old life, so they probably would have gotten my hubs anyhow.
As you know, HubPages was acquired by Maven last year. As part of that, we now can potentially get your content even broader traffic, while still tracking and crediting it all into your earnings. Hopefully, we can make you more money because being part of the Maven ecosystem of sites allows us to get more eyeballs in front of your content. There is no change to your account. You still retain all the same rights and control as previously on your content.
Could you please explain what the TOS phrase "royalty-free" means in the context of what you've just said?
That made me laugh.
Seriously though, I think HP is doing fine on the traffic and earnings front.
Why did it make you laugh? Do you understand I'm talking about money outside of HP?
I thought that was the case. I was hoping to hear that I was wrong, but I guess I wasn’t.
"...what the TOS phrase "royalty-free" means...
"It means no money."
Come on. When partially taken out of context, that exchange was funny.
As for totally in context, I've already reduced my exposure to minimum; not because of lack of trust of their ethics, but for other previously ranted about reasons.
As for what I consider a boilerplate contract (same as like, say, with your bank); I'm willing to let HP's history of good faith conduct trump that.
Thanks very much for the word of confidence. I needed something from staff here to feel good about continuing to work.
This is concerning. It sounds almost as if we are giving up our rights to our own work!
Also of concern, under #3, "You are solely responsible for your Hub Content."
If that is the case, then they should not be messing about in our hubs, making assorted "edits!"
I am NOT responsible for any changes made by HP editors; I will refuse any such responsibilty.
The changes made were not mine, so how can I be held responsible?????
The site is beginning to become too draconian for my liking. It seems like the ride is over, and it may be time to get off.
I think it was more or less the same before, apart from the bit Eubug pointed out.
No need to worry about it. It's still your content and you can unpublish anytime you want to.
I'm fine with the edits. I still keep copies of the originals. It's HubPages platform and we are, in effect, using it to our advantage, so they can do what they like.
The point I was making about the edits is, they are NOT my work; so how can I be held responsible for content that is not my own??
(As rule #3 says, "Hubbers are solely responsible for their content." Edits by HP are not my content! So how dare they have the audacity to attempt to hold me responsible for changes they made??!!)
I seem to remember the old Helium website had very similar terms.When that site disbanded, even though we had time to remove our content from the site, there were many, many duplicate copies of our work all over the internet, which had been put there by Helium.
They had used their right to "worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, irrevocable license, to reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, distribute, modify, adapt and publish ... until such time as the content is removed from Helium". This meant that even though we owned the content and could remove it at will, the damage was already done and I had to rewrite every one of my articles to avoid "duplicate content" warnings before they could be published on another site.
That's another excellent point, Beth! How can I use MY OWN WORK on my blog or anywhere else, if HP is allowed to re-distribute it with impunity? Then "The Big G" could very well charge us with duplicate content. What a mess!
If we retain the copyright to our work, then how can they do that without violating said copyright??? I think there is some very sneaky leaglese going on, that is not necessarily legal...
As Beth suggests, it could be content such as Kindle books and videos. So it wouldn't be indexed duplicate content normally accessible by Google.
Hmm, I'm sure they had the foresight to run the new terms past their lawyers first. ...
What would be rather nice would be for staff to make this thread, and tell us what that actually means to us. Legalese is not my primary language.
It gives HP/ Maven further earning opportunities by allowing them to adapt content to produce e-books, YouTube videos or similar.
That's possible. Hopefully we get a cut of the profits
The "royalty free" bit suggests they do NOT give us a cut of the profits,
It also says they may use "any name, username and likeness."
Does that mean they could publish books or videos USING OUR NAMES?
THAT is really freaky. I do NOT want people writing sub-standard books or videos using MY pen name.
I had just come BACK to hubpages after a long time away (thanks to massive computer troubles) AND had just received my first pay out about 6 months ago. So I was STARTING to put together some more articles for them but with this...?
Thank you for addressing my question.
But doesn't this bit:
"reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, distribute, modify, adapt and publish the Hub Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your Hub Content"
refer to this bit:
"all media formats and channels".
So I interpret it is as meaning that the content can be manifested in any way, not just as an article on a website. There isn't any mention of duplicate copies. In any case wouldn't that be conflicting with Google terms?
Google doesn't mind duplication. However, copies tend to rank lower in search results. And if you remove your original article and then republish on another site, Google thinks that one is the duplicate, not the original copy, and so moves it down the search results.
I started this thread so that everyone is aware of the implications of the change. I'm sticking with HP/ Maven as I've stopped adding new hubs and am happy with the income generated. However, for anyone creating lots of new material or just starting to write online, this may be a wake-up call to start your own website or blog.
Why duplicate our content when it influences Google negatively?
It allows HP/ Maven to reproduce all or part or our work as part of publicity or investor update articles without royalty implications. They could also use our work on new niche sites or blogs (as yet un-started) to give them the volume of words that would attract advertisers but would exclude additional payment to us for our work.
About halfway down the (very lengthy) page, Marisa Wright (now sadly left this site for other ventures) makes much the same point about the new ToS being very similar to Helium's and the problems that caused writers. Maybe that was one of the factors that helped her decide to sell her HP account and move on?
No need to panic. Just be concerned that they are going to make a lot more money off your content, and you won't see a dime of it.
How though? And as has been pointed out, wouldn't that be a violation of copyright?
As a guy who has nearly a decade of relationship here, I think I'll wait for Robin or someone to show and 'splain.
I guess by agreeing to the TOS, we're giving them permission to copy stuff, so there's technically no violation. We can't publish copies of our existing content from elsewhere here though, so presumably that has something to do with it not being original. Does Maven not face the same problems? If it's only for promotional purposes, it doesn't seem such a big deal.
Another question, if we remove content here, do they have to remove all our content they reproduced?
Great question. And thanks for unintentionally reminding me I've still got stuff on InfoBarrel which is worth rewriting to put here as all original.
@eugbug and Wesman
No, the replicated content doesn't need to be removed from the web by HP/ Maven, even if you later choose to take your original article off their sites.
If you don't agree with the new terms then you need to remove your content from the sites before October 2nd. Like Marisa I thought something like this may happen when Maven took over. Over the last year I've gradually removed the majority of my work from HP. I had nearly 200 hubs and now have less than 50 remaining. I will probably leave these here for now even with the new terms.
I guess the only upside here is I've continually become a better writer, so in worst case scenario, I could surely rewrite most everything in a superior manner.
I still think staff needs to appear here. I mean, this is pretty obvious, and tell us something. And with the sorts of persons on this thread, it seems like if they don't, then the worst has been confirmed.
My income keeps rising, and should that continue, then I'd remain as happy a camper as I'm capable of being.
I agree, HP has been a great writing site. And I'm still a happy camper here despite posting this thread.
As for staff commenting ... their hands are probably tied by their lawyers as to what they can say to us over and above what is written in the official document (link in opening post.)
The copyright protects you from someone other than HP and Maven from taking your content.
The TOS is a different type of rights. It is an exception to the copyright because you are giving HP and Maven the right to use it anyway they want.
So if we file a DMCA, their counterclaim would be valid? Personally the worse scenario I could envisage is Maven selling my tutorials to a company like Wikihow and then having to compete with my own content.
If I understand your question correctly, you can't file a DMCA counterclaim against HP and Maven because you are automatically giving them full rights to your content when you publish on HP under the new TOS.
Regarding Wikihow, yes, you are correct. Under the new agreement, HP and Maven literally could compete with you using your own content. Scenarios include:
1. Selling the content to other services and networks.
2. Creating websites outside of the HP network.
3. Packaging content for other products and services, which others have pointed out include ebooks. Based on my personal experience with repackaging for ebooks, that's what I would do.
FYI, I have negotiated quite a few content distribution agreements during my career. So I'm concerned about what I see in the new TOS.
I see. Thanks for the explanation. I'm not stupid, I just have never thought much about this sort of thing before.
With respect, you had no reason to think about this sort of thing before.
You now have to decide if the money you get from HP is worth giving up any potential money that Maven makes from your content elsewhere.
The really short notice is a red flag about something, but not sure what.
I did some research. Until such time I discover an actual betrayal, I'm leaving my remaining articles on HP for the time being. I'm sure HP will be thrilled.
I look forward to the answer from Alicia's question, Matt.
The section that mentions "royalty-free" is the same as it was before. The HubPages Earnings Program section, which was also unchanged, explains how earnings are governed and calculated.
It's unfair. It's not like we can afford a legal representative to explain the legalese or hash this out.
Matt, Thank you for clarification. Curious though, how will our content be used other than how it is used before the TOS update?
"Royalty-free" means without a king or queen, like when Charles I was beheaded at the end of the English Civil War, or the USA following the revolution. HubPages are making it clear that Paul Edmondson will never be allowed to wear a crown or sit on a throne.
Well, this thread has me horrified and looking at a website to move my content to. I suppose I have to get my own site. Any idea where that might be less expensive to do? GoDaddy has nearly trippled their price in the past yr or two!
Blogger/Blogspot still free. And you get 100% of the revenue. Do incorporate a domain name with it, seems to make a big difference in getting traffic.
Why? The Terms haven't changed substantially since you were last here.
I'm not horrified. I have every faith in HP - they haven't let me down yet.
Another problem with leaving HP - my articles are sort of all over the map - oh there's a few I'd just leave here I guess - not that they have any traffic. But for a new website if I don't get subdomains or something, I won't be able to separate out my subjects. - Things like witchcraft, writing, scary stories, and self help are going to become problematic all lumped into one site.
Really ticked I didn't find out about this till today.
"Royalty Free" may mean that HubPages don't have to pay us to publish our articles elsewhere. It hasn't been defined yet. It doesn't necessarily refer to advertising royalties.
Does "remove" mean the hub needs to be unpublished or deleted?
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