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Content Stolen - Then Unpublished By Hub Pages

  1. Hope Alexander profile image85
    Hope Alexanderposted 6 years ago

    I can't believe what's just happened. One of my hubs was scraped and stolen. No big deal right? Happens all the time and its something that seasoned online authors get used to after a while because hunting thieves down is almost impossible.

    Well here's a new twist. Hub Pages found the stolen content (posted two days after my hub was published) and proceeded to UNPUBLISH MY HUB.

    That's right. They found the article on a rubbish scraper site, decided that my hub, published two days earlier was a duplicate - and promptly unpublished my hub.

    Guess what that means? That means that the person who stole my article now has the 100% full benefit on it.

    I've emailed the HP team who, far from apologizing for their error and republishing my article, told me to file a DMCA.

    So basically, if your content is stolen it could be grounds for having your original article removed from Hub Pages and even when HP investigates and sees with their own eyes that it's been taken by a spammy scraper site, they'll still side with the thief, leaving you out in the cold.

    I hope that this is a one off problem and I hope this is fixed immediately, otherwise a lot of hubbers, especially those who write in popular, high volume topics are going to have their hubs taken from them - not just by thieves, but by HP.

  2. BobbiRant profile image61
    BobbiRantposted 6 years ago

    THIS is one BIG reason I've moved to another site and Never give my best stuff to HP anymore.

  3. BobbiRant profile image61
    BobbiRantposted 6 years ago

    I forgot to mention I too had an article stolen not long ago from HERE!

  4. AEvans profile image79
    AEvansposted 6 years ago

    I have had articles stolen and have filed DMCA complaints. I believe HP takes them down to protect the original author. It also raises the flag that something is wrong. After filing the complaint and providing the information to Google all was fine. I am sorry to hear that happened to you Hope and Bobbi. Any site you move to can have the same issues, but they may not notify you by removing your work and before you know it. You are banned from Google and have a much larger mess to clean up. Hang in there and I am sure it will be resolved. smile

    1. Hope Alexander profile image85
      Hope Alexanderposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      It doesn't help the author to have their original article unpublished. It actually makes it impossible to prove that the original was yours because yours is no longer online and when it does go online it's going to be indexed as having been published *after* the stolen copy.

      Also I wasn't notified before my work was removed. My work was removed and then I was notified.

      I understand you're trying to be positive, but there's really no good reason for what happened to have happened and I'm betting there will be absolute hell to pay if it happens to more people.

    2. thisisoli profile image72
      thisisoliposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Why does removing the work of the original copyright holder protect them, infact removing the work makes it much harder to file a DMCA complaint because legally in a DMCA you need to post the link to the original work as well as the duplicate content.

      You cannot file a DMCA if Hubpages has removed your work for being 'duplicate'.

  5. Uninvited Writer profile image82
    Uninvited Writerposted 6 years ago

    Strange. I had a copied hub and Hubpages only let me know it was copied and it was not unpublished. Are you sure that is the reason it was unpublished?

    1. Hope Alexander profile image85
      Hope Alexanderposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Yep, the HP team confirmed it. They even sent me the link to the site where the hub had been copied and blithely ignored the fact that the copied article was posted two days after the original was posted on HP. They also ignored the fact that the site it was copied on is a blatant spam / rip site with terrible formatting and content stolen from all over the net. It's like they weren't even attempting to make a common sense assessment. 

      In the past I've received those copied notices and not had the article unpublished too... I'm wondering if this is part of the 'new approach' to problems on HP.

      I'm hoping they see that they made a mistake, but I think it's pretty shocking that this happened at all.

  6. IzzyM profile image90
    IzzyMposted 6 years ago

    This is shocking!

    I have a hub that was stolen by a big Chinese site (China daily) and then stolen hundreds of times from them. It was first stolen within a week of publishing.

    I too might have had mine unpublished if it weren't for the fact that Maddie Rudd tweeted my hub right at the start. (big thanks, Maddie!)

    OK I tweeted it too, but Maddie's tweet ranks above my hub in the search engines (along with the scraper sites).

    That hub doesn't yet have the 'c' copyright symbol on it to say HP know it has been stolen, so theoretically when the duplicate content filter picks it up, I could yet find mine unpublished.

    How can you file a DMCA when yours is no longer published? Google can't see it, unless you give them a link to the cache, I suppose that would work.

    Then again, as I have learned, all the scraper site has to do is file a counter-claim and Google back off, telling you to get your lawyer involved.

    1. Hope Alexander profile image85
      Hope Alexanderposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      And that's why I have never bothered with DCMA claims in the past.  If you write good content, you can guarantee that it will be stolen at some point. The thing is, in the past it was obvious when it had been stolen because not only was HP the original place of publication, it had authority. It didn't even matter that the content had been stolen, because your article went up first. Now HP are taking down articles, even if they were published first.

      Apparently the filter tripped on this occasion because the hub was stolen quickly, but that could happen to anyone who writes frequently and popularly in a single niche.

      I do not agree with the duplicate unpublishing system at all for many of the reasons you've listed and some which I added in my response to Maddie.

  7. frogdropping profile image86
    frogdroppingposted 6 years ago

    Unpublishing hubs does not protect the author. If anything it makes it worse. If unpublished long enough it vanishes from the system. Not a good move. Almost handing original content rights to the thief.

    Plus it complicates the DMCA process, as Izzy pointed out. How can you verify something that isn't published. Hope - I feel your frustration sad

  8. Maddie Ruud profile image80
    Maddie Ruudposted 6 years ago

    I've republished the Hub and addressed this with the team.  I apologize for the inconvenience.

  9. wordscribe43 profile image94
    wordscribe43posted 6 years ago

    Agh!  I'm so sorry that happened to you, Hope.

    My question is how can we be assured this won't start happening to the rest of us?  It seems there's a problematic glitch in the current system.

    1. Maddie Ruud profile image80
      Maddie Ruudposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      It's extremely rare that content gets stolen within the first few days of publication, so an incident like this is isolated.  We try to give authors the benefit of the doubt, but mistakes do happen.

      1. Hope Alexander profile image85
        Hope Alexanderposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you Maddie, I appreciate your help a great deal!

        I was concerned however, by the fact that the HP team wasn't initially so helpful. It's more than possible that content will be stolen within days of publication if you're writing on a topic that is popular with high natural traffic - and if you're established as an authority in a particular niche - which is what HP wants.

        The site I run refers thousands of people to HP every day. It's *very* possible that scrapers could pick up on my new feed and steal hubs there - and it's not in my control at all.

        It was incredibly upsetting to be treated that way (even by the automated system) and I have an established relationship with HP  - if I had been a new author, I probably would have written HP off then and there.

        We all want HP to do well, but systems need to be author friendly first. Assuming that an author has taken their own work and republished it on a spam site isn't author friendly (the dupe in this case even had the embedded links to other hubs still active). It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what had happened and had I just emailed the HP team and followed 'normal protocol' I don't think I would have gotten this positive result.

        And that's concerning, not just for me (though believe me, I am worried that this will happen again because yes, I write popular articles that have a high chance of being stolen) but for all authors.

        I've also stated my other concerns on this matter, that unpublishing hubs leads to dead links. That's not acceptable in my mind. If I write content, I need to know that it is there when I send people to it - and the fact that HP even considers, even for a second, unpublishing content before making a reasonable investigation for theft is not fair, or right. I now don't know that a hub I write will actually be there when people get to it - and that not only erodes visitor trust, it also erodes author trust as well.  Yes, this issue is fixed today, but who knows when the next aggressive spammer will come along and I now not only have to worry about them, I have to worry about my work being removed in a punitive way because of them. I have to worry not only about my HP content being stolen, but also being removed and my referring site being left with a dead link. The phrase 'victim of my own success' springs to mind.

        Authors are the lifeblood of HP and all systems should protect - not penalize it's authors, even by accident.

  10. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 6 years ago

    I have such a crazy idea. Is it possible to make any content, and I mean ANY, impossible to copy by anyone for any reason? Even by yourself, your own hub? I do not know if technically it IS possible. And I know it sounds crazy.

    1. Kangaroo_Jase profile image81
      Kangaroo_Jaseposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Even with an ability to not copy and paste text, someone would still be able to manually type out your article verbatim on another site.

    2. wilderness profile image98
      wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      No.  At worst it would require that you take an actual photograph of the screen, blow it up, scan it and put it through a reading program.  You would lose imbedded information in the text, such as links, but would have the words themselves.  You can't stop a camera from seeing the same screen your eyes do.

  11. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 6 years ago

    sad yikes