Stolen content (with little assistance) hurts everyone

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  1. TeriSilver profile image94
    TeriSilverposted 2 years ago

    Usually I find a couple pieces of stolen article copy on different sites.  Today, it's more than enough to make me comment here. HP notifies us, adds the complaint link, and the complaint file cut-paste copy but little else to build a brick wall against content thieves.  For every click some other site gets with our copy, it's money stolen from writers and Maven.  It's time to take this more serviously and for the company to be more involved in, not only protecting itself, but protecting the hands that feed it. Writers can only do so much, it's the publisher with the real clout.  Please, HP, help us protect what's ours so we can help you, too.

    1. bravewarrior profile image88
      bravewarriorposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      +1. Especially when entire niche sites are being copied!

    2. Kenna McHugh profile image91
      Kenna McHughposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      There needs to be a better solution from HubPages.

    3. chef-de-jour profile image97
      chef-de-jourposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I get what you're saying but picture HP staff trying to chase down every plagiarist and cheater and copyright thief they come across! Impossible job. Just can't be done. Thankfully most of the stolen stuff in my experience ends up on junky sites which means original material isn't affected. If I find copied versions of my work I sometimes end up filing a DMCA. Makes me feel better knowing I've at least tried to do my bit.

      This link might help: … B&rd=1

    4. Matt Wells profile imageSTAFF
      Matt Wellsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I understand the frustration. HubPages cannot file a DMCA complaint on your behalf. It's your content so you will have to file the complaint. If the site that copied your content does not respond you can file a DMCA complaint with Google. If the content is indexed it will be removed. Please visit the FAQ for instructions:

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image91
        Kenna McHughposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Matt, it's good to see you chime in. I have a question: Is there any way on HubPages end that can block or prevent others from stealing?

        1. Matt Wells profile imageSTAFF
          Matt Wellsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Unfortunately, there isn't anything we can do to prevent your content from being copied. Do keep in mind that search engines know your article was published first and that the sites that are copying HubPages content are generally not indexed or will eventually be removed from search results.

          1. Kenna McHugh profile image91
            Kenna McHughposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Good point, thank you.

          2. TeriSilver profile image94
            TeriSilverposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            That's good to know.

        2. eugbug profile image95
          eugbugposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          There isn't really because even if Hubpages disables highlighting and the right click context menu for copying or the hot key, ctrl-c, thieves can still view the HTML source and copy from that. If pages are rendered as images, OCR software can be used to convert images to text.

          1. Kenna McHugh profile image91
            Kenna McHughposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Make sense. Thanks.

    5. Miebakagh57 profile image69
      Miebakagh57posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I agree wholly. Maven should sit up.

  2. Rupert Taylor profile image95
    Rupert Taylorposted 2 years ago

    Yea verily Teri

  3. poppyr profile image91
    poppyrposted 2 years ago

    I agree. It takes ages to file a complaint and most of the time there's no address. I've spent hours chasing website owners to take articles down. One time someone had copied my article about hamsters, and the owner got offended saying her writer would never copy. I had to provide proof I wrote the content first, and it was a very painful process. In the meantime my articles were stolen ten more times and it's too much to keep up with. I'd also love a better solution.

  4. CYong74 profile image95
    CYong74posted 2 years ago

    I have more or less accepted that this copying business is inevitable.

    There will always be scums who thinks stealing content will make them the next billionaires. There will also always be the clueless who think copying text and stealing images is perfectly fine; we get these here all the time.

    As much as I’m reluctant to, I have to agree that such theft seldom adversely affects my traffic.

    The whole question of what HP can do is also an endless debate. I’m sure there are ways to restrict copy-pasting on our pages, etc. But how long would these work and would they have any impact on SEO?

    It’s also a waste of time to confront web hosts or talk to thieves. Outside of countries that don’t give a hoot about copyright, most hosts are reluctant to antagonize their paying clients. It’s far more efficient to just file a Google/Bing DMCA; it takes but a minute once you’re familiar with the process. Sure, it doesn’t erase anything but the penalty sometimes scare the copycats into removing the page. This is especially so if they have AdSense enabled.

    As for HP doing these filings on our behalf, I’m sure it’s possible with some sort of authorization. But with so many of us, how long would it take? I rather HP staff focus on improving the sites and approving articles/submissions. Again, it but takes a minute to do a Google DMCA strike.

    1. viryabo profile image94
      viryaboposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      That’s what I do.
      If they have Adsense ads on their site, I simply file a Google DMCA. It works most of the time.

      1. TheShadowSpecter profile image85
        TheShadowSpecterposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        How can I tell if their ads are Adsense ads?

    2. DrMark1961 profile image96
      DrMark1961posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I agree that it seldom affects traffic except when it comes to Youtube.When the thief steals one of my articles there, and I am able to find it, I find that they may end up having 5 or 6 times as many view as my original. Google ranks stolen articles very low, except when it comes to Youtube, which they own. They will put the stolen article above my own original.

  5. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
    PaulGoodman67posted 2 years ago

    I agree with Yong. I understand the emotions, but pragmatism is the order of the day for me.

    1. What are HP supposed to do? They can't police the world? They can make it easier to fill out a DMCA, but they can't force a shady person in Bulgaria to behave differently. They're not going to start hiring lawyers for hubbers.

    2. The articles belong to us, this is just a platform. In copyright law, it's the owners' responsibility ultimately.

    3. I've been here 11 years and I've not seen a pirated article beat mine in the Google rankings for a long long time, so what do I care. Those stolen articles get very little traffic in most instances.

    4.Yes, stealing is morally wrong and generally they're breaking laws, but a degree of pragmatism is surely in order. Maybe one day the internet will become less of a free-for-all but it's always had a chaotic nature so far.

    5. Google and other search engines take the stealing thing into account when they put together the rankings. That's how it's fought. It's a far from perfect system but that's how it is.

    6. Any changes won't come via HP, a single, private, medium-sized company in California. People also steal articles from blogs and other sites, it's an international internet problem.

    People can do what they want, I'm just giving an opinion. In some instances it might be the right thing to chase offenders. But generally, I don't think it's a good use of my time to spend hours/days going after people, so I normally don't.

    1. TheShadowSpecter profile image85
      TheShadowSpecterposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I've heard on the news that Google has a whole legion of lawyers working for them.  Therefore, I don't think that they are ill-equipped to deal with the plagiarism problem.

  6. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    Hubpages could use an automated DMCA tool like MUSO where all you have to do is enter the url of the content.  When I was a more active author I used it, but these days I don't want to cover the cost.  It was effective most of the time.

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
      PaulGoodman67posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      HP make it easy enough to file DMCAs, I think. But what was notable was that it didn't seem to have a big impact on the people getting upset about theft when they introduced the current system.

      My impression is that the thing that upsets people most (apart from being generally upset about just the idea of being stolen from) is when the DMCA is ignored. While it happens in a minority of cases, it's a common enough occurrence.

      Making DMCA filing even easier might make a difference, but my feeling is that people will continue to be upset.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image96
        PaulGoodman67posted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I almost feel that HP shot themselves in the foot by introducing the copied content warning symbol and the DMCA help, although I understand that they were under tremendous pressure at the time to do so.

        The copied content warning prompts people to think that there's a serious problem that has to be fixed, when that's not necessarily the case.

        The current DMCA filing help is useful, and I've used it myself, but might lead some people to think that HP has some direct responsibility or involvement with copyright issues.

        Copying is endemic on the internet. But it's difficult and sometimes impossible to prevent by traditional means.

    2. CYong74 profile image95
      CYong74posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I doubt such systems would work for most situations. I’ve encountered web hosts who make it excessively painful to file a DMCA. Some outright state they will only review the request if you use their designated forms. Others demand all sorts of proof of identity, with the statement that they will only respond to actual copyright holders.

      It’s like, I’ve ever been asked to send an image of my passport. As if I would give that to some East European host whose address I can’t even find online.

      To be fair, I understand the reluctance of web hosts to antagonize paying customers; any removal will result in loud protest. It’s also a sad fact that many trolls file fake DMCAs just for the kick of it.

      In comparison, the Google DMCA system is much simpler and I’m also always successful. The downside is that the offending page isn’t removed, of course. But in a world where SEO is the king and the queen, it seems the best compromise.

  7. MariaMontgomery profile image91
    MariaMontgomeryposted 2 years ago

    I have had one whole article stolen by one person, and bits from my article on bougainvillea stolen by several people. When I click on the link to file a DMCA complaint, this is what I get:  "Unfortunately, we do not yet have DMCA information stored for If you are able to locate a DMCA instructions URL or an email contact for that site please let us know, we will add them to our database. You may be able to find the right contact in the U.S. Copyright Office list of registered agents, or for small or less reputable sites you may find useful contact information in the whois record or by tracking down the hosting company. If all else fails and the site has advertising you can try filing a complaint with the advertiser, for instance Google AdSense."

    Why is HP not helping us to be able to file those complaints?

    1. bravewarrior profile image88
      bravewarriorposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Maria, they give us the verbiage for filing and a link to the offending article. It's up to us to dig deeper and file the actual DMCA.

      Go to to find out who the host is of the site in question. You'll send your DMCA to that address. If you get no results, file a DMCA with Google.

    2. Matt Wells profile imageSTAFF
      Matt Wellsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      We can help you find the DMCA information. Please email with a link to your article.

  8. WryLilt profile image88
    WryLiltposted 2 years ago

    I never put anything on the Internet that I'm precious about; the Internet is full of spammers and scammers and they WILL steal every piece of content they can. Nothing can stop them doing that, and it's a futile task trying to track them all down. I had one article copied over 400 times.

    Personally, I don't stress about copied content UNLESS it's outranking me in Google. 90% of stolen content is posted on low quality spam sites, which Google eventually deranks, or get taken down.

    It's not just Hubpages either; I have quite a few of my own websites, and they also have content stolen regularly. I've had my content copied off Facebook, Twitter, and a dozen other places.

    1. NateB11 profile image88
      NateB11posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      More or less my view too. Unless it interferes with traffic, it's not an issue for me. And, as you point out, usually the "culprit" is a low-quality site that can't steal traffic.


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