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Web Publishing Ethics – How Illegally Edited/Re-Published My Writing

Updated on October 11, 2011

. has ruined an article I wrote, “ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM IN ART IS REALLY PRIMAL REALISM”, by changing the original wording in ways that are grammatically incorrect, awkward, imprecise, and entirely different from the meanings I intended, thereby infringing on my copyright and violating the terms of use for re-publishing my article.


Writers Beware, Publishers Be Warned

This hub is a consumer alert for fellow writers, and a critical review for web publishers who wish to use copyrighted articles legally. Towards this end, I point to an established web publisher, The Center Of Abstract Art Images, associated with the website,, where the webmaster has demonstrated incompetence, ignorance, and apathy in regard to publishing one of my original articles about abstract expressionism.

I have now been involved in two different cases where two different web publishers misused my articles.

In the first case, the web publisher carelessly allowed her name to be credited to my exact words in an article I wrote, which she posted in her blog, without giving me credit as the original author. When I called her on it, she claimed that she misunderstood the publisher terms of use attached to my article. I still have difficulty accepting how an intelligent person could misunderstand the precise wording of those very clear terms of use. Fortunately, my article eventually disappeared from her blog altogether.

Problem solved.

In the second case (my current case) of article misuse, the web publisher inflicts a more insidious insult, because he or she has exercised care to include my name with the article, but the article that he or she actually posted is a horribly re-worded version of the original. What this webmaster has presented and credited to my name is one of the worst examples of editing that I have ever seen (i.e., an abomination of writing that I would NEVER allow in plain view for the entire world to see, let alone allow my name to be associated with it).

I have sent three emails to the “contact us” address of the offending website, asking the webmaster to respect my copyright and to adhere to my article terms of use. So far, I have received NO response.

I have seen NO corrective action.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The ... good article ...(my original) appears at, a well-known source of short, content-rich articles, specifically intended for re-publishing on the internet. Clearly-stated terms of use forbid publishers from altering these articles in any way.

The ... bad re-write ...(nothing original, or competent, about it) appears at, a website whose webmaster apparently needs to work on his or her English composition skills. Even more, this webmaster needs to improve his or her knowledge of copyrights.

Presenting the entire text of each article would cause hubpages to treat this hub as an unacceptable copy. Ugly details of the bad re-write, therefore, are illustrated in the following table that lists ONLY my good article words, which the offending webmaster changed in the bad re-write. I hope this table serves as jolting constructive evidence of how writing can go terribly wrong, ... intellectually, ethically, and legally.

I summarize below the table.

How A GOOD Article Falls To BAD Re-Writing

listening to
In other words
In other phrases
long before
extended before
much more fundamental
a a lot a lot more basic
analysis of
examination of
record keeping
report keeping
means of resonating
implies of resonating
seems to have
would seem to have
As an alternative
has everything to do with
has every little thing to do with
simply to sense the world
just feeling the globe
to respond
to react
had little to do with
had small to do with
by means of
creative method
innovative approach
Pollock's Proper Place
Pollock's Correct Spot
simply feel
merely feel
in my view
in my watch
area, because
region, since
future photographers
potential photographers
fluid dynamics events
fluid dynamics occasions
wet paint
damp paint
more fragile
a lot more fragile
drying cannot preserve
drying can't maintain
Consequently, if wet paint
As a result, if moist paint
art form
artwork kind
, then another, different
, then an additional distinct
best represents
very best represents
records its peaks
data its peaks
Creating such artefacts
Developing this kind of artefacts
Capture Vs Express
Capture Vs Convey
Making use of
to capture
to be ready to seize
by natural means
There is indeed
There is in fact
being in the right place
being in the correct location
a camera
a digital camera
happen spontaneously
take place spontaneously
further significance
further importance
already self-justified
previously self-justified
record it
document it
repeated enjoyment of
repeated pleasure of
after it disappears
following it disappears
artists create
artists produce
true permanence
correct permanence
form of beauty
kind of elegance
, thus, prove that beauty
, thus, show that attractiveness
This active beauty, furthermore,
This lively elegance, morever,
artists willing it into existence
artists inclined it into existence
The webmaster at seems to think that English composition is a playful affair of substituting words, where he or she has no clue about gradations in meanings and usages that give true, logical cohesiveness to writing !


My original article is roughly 560 words long. Roughly 80 of these words have fallen victim to the promiscuous, word-altering hands of the webmaster at These worse-than-amateurish word alterations degrade the quality of my original article, thus, they degrade my reputation as a competent writer. My name remains falsely credited to this abomination of my original composition.


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    • Robert Kernodle profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kernodle 

      6 years ago

      Ignorance is bliss.

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 

      6 years ago from Twin Cities

      This is disgusting. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

      I periodically think to myself -- you know, I should really run a few Google searches to make sure my writing isn't being bastardized or used without permission.

      Then I think -- you know, I don't even think I want to know...

    • Robert Kernodle profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kernodle 

      7 years ago

      I truly do not mind who uses my content, as long as I get a credit somewhere, and as long as a significant profit is NOT being earned, where I should be getting a share of the pie for my creative efforts that generated "the pie".

      So, yeah, JUST ASK, or just follow the terms of service of the particular article source.

      Especially if my name remains on the content, then leave the content the way I created it. It really is not my content anymore, with my name on a selectively rewritten version of the original -- it is a derivative work, falsely presented as my work, which viloates copyright AND publisher terms of service for people who re-publish from the website designed for this purpose.

      Why bother re-writing, using a robot writer, when my name is going to remain on the writing? Why even bother re-writing without a robot, when the writing is readily available for simple use by web publishers who seek to add fresh content to their websites?

      This incident makes no sense to intelligent people. Obviously, a lack of intelligence is behind the whole incident.


    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      This is such bad practice, i am glad you are not letting people get away with it. Whatever happened to asking. I see it working even better if someone just asks to use your content and you come to an agreement and work together to promote it!

    • Robert Kernodle profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kernodle 

      7 years ago


      That re-writing robot is quite a revelation for me.

      What a bogus appplication !

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      7 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I am sorry to hear this has happened to you. It is down to lazy people who cannot write themselves and steal other peoples articles.. I doubt very much that this person would have spent so much time going through your article and altering the wording. There are now programs out there that do this automatically. You Google rewriting copy and you will find them. That is why your article looks so bad, because it is rewritten by a computer program and not a human. I only know of this because it happened to my partner too.

    • Robert Kernodle profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kernodle 

      7 years ago

      QudsiaP1 asked, "... may I ask how you discovered the bad re-write?"

      ANSWER: From time to time, I do Google searches using my name. When I see somehting new, I click on it. The bad re-write appeared one day, when I clicked on something new in a search that I had not seen before.

      I started reading, and as I encountered one grammatical train wreck after another, I first questioned my own sanity. My copyright notice was on the article, and, generally, my paragraph headings were the same. Many of the words were also the same. "Did I really write this other, NOW horribly-unfolding dribble?", I asked myself?

      "NO !"

      I went back to my original. I started reading. I printed out a copy. I went to the later-to-become-known-as "bad re-write", made a copy of it, and then got out a pen to circle all instances in the bad re-write that differed from my original.

      I obsessed on this in amazement, shaking my head in disbelief, again more intrigued by the ignorance than insulted by the insensitivity to my copyright.

      I tried to picture this person, going through my original article, ... "la la la" ... merrily tossing out substituted words, under the delusion of a pseudo-creative mission to somehow make what was mine partly his or hers.

      At first, the situation was a tragedy. But now the situation is more of a commedy that I am having fun with, to be honest.

      Hey, you know,... somebody's foible has enabled me to write this unique tribute to his or her, ...... shall I say, "need for knowledge" (i.e., "GET A CLUE !").

      Robert K.

    • poetvix profile image


      7 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      This is really scary. I have been ripped off but at least was quoted correctly. I am so sorry you have to go through this. It must be so very frustrating especially considering that they are not responding to your contacts. I really hope this works out for you. I don't understand why or how people can just steal like this, for it is stealing regardless of calling it plagiarism, copyright infringement or whatever label, it's still just old fashioned thievery.

    • stunnercold profile image


      7 years ago from Dubai

      This is just unacceptable, i say you invoke the DMCA and get it straightened out.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Goodness gracious, I cannot even imagine what your initial reaction must have been like. Had I been in your place I would have been absolutely furious. I am glad to see however, that you have taken the higher road and instead chosen to spread awareness of what kind of folly lies out there and how such fiends can take our original work and make an utter mockery out of it.

      I am quite concerned that almost all of us lie under this threat, may I ask how did you discover the 'bad rewrite'?

      I am going to share your article so that more people are made aware of this.

    • Robert Kernodle profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kernodle 

      7 years ago


      I do not have the feeling that vengence is intended. Perhaps the offending web publisher's first language is NOT English, and he or she sees this attempt at re-writing as an exercise in developing skill in the language. After all, he or she has posted this bad re-write on his or her own art website, which I assume carries some weight of personal pride.

      Of course, there is nothing to be proud of in posting a mangled English composition. I have to be harsh about this, because the errors are so pronounced.

      A harsh critique is precisely what might get this person's attention. I hope he or she is reading (or will read) this.


    • skye2day profile image


      7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I happened to catch your hub on the home page at hubs. I am shocked. Why would anyone take the time to reword and rewrite an article that is obviously yours. They must have it out for your skilled writing is all my finite mind can come up with. A very hard game they play.

      Vengeance is mine says the Lord. He will put justice to this. You have taken the steps. I pray and hope this is resolved and this article attacker will have consequences and soon. So sorry to hear about this. There are many wolves on line as in the world out here.

      God restore this to right quickly! He can make a way when there seems like none. Many Blessings on your journey Robert. Hugs to you.

    • Robert Kernodle profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Kernodle 

      7 years ago


      Honestly, I am not harmed so much as I am amazed. I just hope the offending party comes across this hubpages article in the search engines.

      After I have had my creative go at this case (i.e., via mass humiliation education), and I have gotten no results, I will contact the website's host, to file a complaint. I have access to exact instructions from the host on how to file a formal copyright infringement complaint.

      Meanwhile, let us all view this as a constructive lesson.

      "If it doesn't kill you, then it makes you stronger."

      Shaking my head,

      Robert K.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      7 years ago

      I am so very sorry to hear this! I share in your well deserved anger, hurt, outrage, unbelief! I hope you have contacted Legal help. If you would like I can recommend someone for you. This is just awful! :( I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing this info, I will pass this on to the masses! :) I will then e-mail you with where you may see it. Bless your heart.


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