My Hub Idea Copied By Same Hubber Who Praised It In My Comments

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  1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image89
    mistyhorizon2003posted 13 years ago

    I am so frustrated and angry right now. I wrote a hub on how to make plant pots from newspaper for free, only a couple of weeks ago. One fellow Hubber 'Harlan Colt', placed the following comments on my hub:

    "I love this hub! I have so many newspapers laying around I can make pots for days! What an awesome idea. You get the super highly coveted Harlan thumbs up, the Harlan vote up - useful and awesome votes AND last but not least... the Harlan Bookmark award! Eh? How awesome is that? HA!

    Great job!

    - Harlan"


    "Hey I was so enthused I made 20 pots while cooking dinner!

    Only I found something a little different to do. I rolled them around a can of cooking spray, then taped where the end came together with the roll and folded the tape over into the inside. Then while still on the can, I pushed the can up a couple inches away from the bottom then stuck the newspaper in water and let it soak a minute. Then I folded the bottom into it, then pressed the can into the bottom on a paper towel - to form the mold of the bottom. Then I set them aside to dry.

    My goal is to have 100 or more by this weekend. I have so many seeds to sew, but I can't put anything outside until the snow is off the mountain. Sigh... I woke up to frost this morning - still!

    - Thanks again

    - Harlan"


    Tonight I check in on Hubpages, and find he has published a hub on the exact same subject as if it were his own idea. No credit to me, and even claiming that one of his photos is of a tomato plant he planted 'a few weeks ago' in one of these pots, (no doubt if it is his photo it is of a tomato plant conveniently transplanted into a newspaper pot for the purposes of the photograph).

    Is there no loyalty amongst hubbers any more. Fine, I get it if we accidentally publish a hub that has a topic that a fellow hubber has done months before... but this is not the same. This is someone blatantly pinching someone else's idea for a hub (that they even positively commented on.. twice!), and then publishing their own and  taking the credit for it as if it had been their own idea all along!

    1. jpwriter profile image60
      jpwriterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Oh boy, when I first started writing online at a diff site I remember the first time I found an article that was on the same topic.   

      I was so worried that they thought I'd copied them that I messaged them apologizing!  A few times we just ended up linking because they complimented each other.

      I know, it's different. 

      And, no...there's no loyalty.  It sucks.  hmm

    2. Donna Suthard profile image61
      Donna Suthardposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I am so sorry that happened to you!  I don't understand why people feel the need to steal someone's ideas. There has to be a win-win situation for you. I'm glad he did get in contact with you..and apologize..and offer to remove the hub... you have our support!!

  2. Cagsil profile image70
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    A good idea is a good idea? hmm And, for some reason you're actually shocked by their action. lol

    Apparently, the hubber thinks that their method of SEO and Backlinking can out rank your hub. Otherwise, there would be not much competition for your quality type hubs.

    I doubt the quality compares to your hub, but it is possible. And, yes I realize that it was your idea to begin with, BUT if the person thinks they can write a better hub and out rank you, then I can see other people doing it.

    Example: I recently published by Gun Control Hub and many others have Hubs on Gun Control. I didn't take the idea from anyone, but wanted to get people to understand the importance of Government(especially the U.S. government) has no ability whatsoever to enforce any sort of Gun Control.

    There are plenty of people on Hubpages who I now have to compete with(try to out rank).

    Good luck going forward. I'm sure you're the better writer, so I have faith in you and your ability. smile big_smile

    1. profile image0
      Baileybearposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      apparently ideas aren't copyrightable.  If they wrote it differently rather than copied verbatim, then not technically plagerised.  Of course, the ethical thing to do would have been to credit you & link you.   It's a frustration faced not only by writers but in other places too.  Take the new pouch baby foods at the supermarket - they were making more sales than the existing brand with the glass & tin jars.  Soon they had pouches too.

      1. Cagsil profile image70
        Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Actually, an "idea" can be copyrightable, but it isn't called being copyrighted. It's called getting a "patent" and/or "trademark".
        Correct, but that isn't what happened here. And bring it up, only distorts what did happen.
        Like I said in my original post- a good idea is a good idea. If someone want to share their good idea with others and writes it online and someone else sees it as a good idea, then writes about their own experience with that idea. Well, it's their experience they are writing about and not so much the idea itself. Yes, it would be nice if they gave credit to whomever gave them the idea. That would be courtesy, not ethical.
        This example is just window dressing. A good idea is still a good idea and how one presents it to someone else is based on how it is 'packaged'.

        Like I said in my original post- my hub on Gun Control was written by many people. So, my idea isn't something new, but is an issue that has been addressed by many and I wanted to clear up the confusion(probably like many others did also).

    2. optimus grimlock profile image59
      optimus grimlockposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      about time you got a new pic

  3. AEvans profile image71
    AEvansposted 13 years ago

    Sad. I agree he could have at least given you credit especially when he commented on your hub. Geez. sad

  4. lorlie6 profile image71
    lorlie6posted 13 years ago

    Just left him a concise comment, though I hated giving him any traffic.  I'm off to take a look at the original written by you.  Sorry this happened, Misty.

  5. recommend1 profile image61
    recommend1posted 13 years ago

    Some SEO sites specifically recommend this way of operating, how to get into your competitors place.  It relates to tactics of displacing competitors websites but would equally apply to articles I suppose.

    It is crappy behaviour but as we can't patent or copyright the idea there is not much you can do I guess.

    BUT there is something Hubpages can do about it being published from Hubpages, maybe an email to team for them to think about this might not go amiss.  I would expect this 'hubber' to have hundreds of hubs in a very short time - all just re-writes of other hubbers material - STOLEN MATERIAL.

  6. AEvans profile image71
    AEvansposted 13 years ago

    I planted your link on the page. He should have given credit and both could have shared the spotlight. I don't believe the other hubbers realized what had happened. sad

  7. Uninvited Writer profile image79
    Uninvited Writerposted 13 years ago

    Suite 101 calls people like him "cannibals" and it is not allowed on that site.

  8. IzzyM profile image89
    IzzyMposted 13 years ago

    He used very similar wording to yours too misty - all this about plant pots for free when he could said bio-friendly or something different. Your title is much more search engine friendly so should do better in the long run anyway.
    How can one hubber do that to another?
    Actually I can think of several who have done it. That's why so many hubbers hide their work with other usernames etc.

  9. mistyhorizon2003 profile image89
    mistyhorizon2003posted 13 years ago

    Thanks so much to all of you, and I mean this more sincerely than you might ever realise. I feel sick right now, and this person has completely fooled me, (I am usually pretty streetwise). I just didn't need this today after my cat was killed this weekend. Already feeling very low, (and I mean the word 'very'). I so hope he gets nothing out of this, and to be honest, I hope Hubpages can advise him that this is not PC  behaviour, (although I doubt they will).

  10. mistyhorizon2003 profile image89
    mistyhorizon2003posted 13 years ago

    Harlan has emailed me and apologised sincerely for this. He says he does suffer from memory loss and really does not remember where he got the information/idea for his hub from. He even talks of leaving Hubpages as a result of his embarrassment, and offers to unpublish his Hub. I actually feel pretty bad for him right now, and have told him not to either leave or unpublish his hub. All I have asked is for a link to my hub in a links capsule on Harlan's hub, and him not to leave.

    Just so you guys know the current situation.

    1. IzzyM profile image89
      IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Aww...that is nice of him! yeah I think a link would be great and that will be the end of it.

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image89
        mistyhorizon2003posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I sincerely feel for him truly. Maybe I was too harsh, but too often these kinds of problems result from 'less than ethical hubbers', and it is easy to lump them all in together.

        Thanks Izzy

        1. IzzyM profile image89
          IzzyMposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I have suggested he delete my comments from his hub but it might be a good idea if you delete all reference to this from yours and he deletes all reference from his of this whole incident.

          Otherwise it will all there for the world to see in the future.

          I will happily go back and comment on both hubs if that's important just to say what a good hub it is etc.

          1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image89
            mistyhorizon2003posted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, I agree Izzy, you are totally right. Actually I already posted this suggestion on Harlan's Hub, and will now do the relevant deletions on my own as a gesture of good faith.

  11. brimancandy profile image79
    brimancandyposted 13 years ago

    I will tell you one worse than this. I used to belong to a few personals websites, which I later found to be pretty worthless.
    Anyways, I was looking at a few personal ads, and darn if I didn't find a picture of myself with someone else's name on it.

    So, I sent this person and email. And, in the email I said, gee you are a nice looking man, considering that you look exactly like me, and enclosed a picture of myself for this person to see. And, I received an email back. Oh man! Is that you. I'm sorry, I'll take the photo down right away!

    I was kind of Flattered though, that someone thought that using my picture would land them a date. But, I have not been back to that site in a long time. But, it still makes me wonder and giggle.

    As for someone trying to copy my work, I have not had that happen here yet. That was more of a highschool thing.

  12. Aficionada profile image80
    Aficionadaposted 13 years ago

    It's so encouraging to hear a positive outcome.

  13. rebekahELLE profile image84
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    I think if things like this happen, it's best to contact the person first.
    I noticed once after I made a thread about a hub that was doing well for me, that a number of similar hubs soon cropped up..even from top hubbers. I think it's the nature of writing online. Look how many hubs there are about how to make money with Google Adsense.. hmm
    At least my hub has regained it's page 1 spot. 
    I learned my lesson about divulging successes in a forum.

  14. theherbivorehippi profile image65
    theherbivorehippiposted 13 years ago

    What a crappy situation but on a side note....I LOVE your hub!  I'm going to make these for mom's on her way over and I'm going to show her, she will Love this too.

  15. Stacie L profile image88
    Stacie Lposted 13 years ago

    welcome to the club...when someone has a good idea ,it will be copied...

  16. mistyhorizon2003 profile image89
    mistyhorizon2003posted 13 years ago

    Thanks to everyone for their comments and support. Actually I really do feel quite bad for Harlan now as he is genuinely very embarrassed by this whole incident, and has admitted he suffers from memory problems (he emailed me the details and I do believe him). He has taken down the text and images from his hub and instead directed people to mine and renamed his hub 'Mistyhorizon wrote a great hub... I loved it... then I stole it'. I have told him he should put his Hub back to how it was and not stay away from Hubpages for a few days (as he is talking of doing). All is forgiven as far as I am concerned, and this wasn't done deliberately. I hope everyone will rally round and convince him that we believe him and will put the incident behind us.

    1. camlo profile image83
      camloposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Glad to see this isn't as it originally appeared. I'll go and take a look at the Hubs in question.

  17. AEvans profile image71
    AEvansposted 13 years ago

    He has forgiveness in his heart and to be brave enough to post a hub with being purely honest by what he did,tells me he has great character. Misty has forgiven him and the rest of us need to put it to rest. If she has forgiven him, I have too. No reason for him to leave he means well and people enjoy his writing. smile

  18. camlo profile image83
    camloposted 13 years ago

    Harlan is obviously sincere - his Hub is now merely an advertisement for Misty's Hub. Judging by his comments on his Hub, it seems he was truly horrified when he realised what he'd done.


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