From Where I Sit - When Someone Steals Your Work
Stealing Your Work Makes It Stolen Property
Published on February 16, 2014. Mary McShane, All Rights Reserved
Help! Someone stole my HubPages article!
I made the above picture hoping to grab your attention.
If you look at the characters and icons in the photo, I think some of the symbolism is very fitting.
Take the pirate. We associate pirates with stolen booty or stolen property.
The lady with the baby carriage - for those who consider that their writing is like their baby, precious and wanting to keep it safe.
The cartoon eyes - to raise awareness that we need to be more vigilant. The green monster for those who are jealous and must steal because they can't write their own content.
The pile of money - for what you stand to lose from someone stealing your work.
What do you do when someone has stolen one, two, or more HubPages articles? On another site, what do you do when they have hijacked your whole website?
Someone did it to me. Not only did they steal my hubs, but they took my herbal and supplements blog and hijacked it word for word, even creating a new blog with the same title name but they added the word "and" in the title to be able to register it. Their blog looked exactly like mine. In every respect.
I say "looked" because mine is now gone. I deleted it because Google refused to remove their URL because with the word "and" in their title, it made the title different than mine. I don't think they even looked past the title at the content.
I wrote back that my name was all over the blog posts; Google said I had to prove ownership of it. My posts with my name were clearly timestamped with date and time, and my name and my sister's name were mixed in many of the paragraphs, listed as sources and references. How do I prove more ownership than that?
The person who stole my blog even left my name on every post and in the copy, still Google said I had to prove it was my work. The publishing dates were the same. They copied it within 12 hours of when I posted.
Other than the time stamp and my name as author, I don't know what else Google expects from me to prove authorship. I am thoroughly disgusted with Google.
ANOTHER SITE WHO COPIED MY HUB:
CNN has my hub What Supplements to Take on Your Diet Plan at the following link. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1058046
I wrote to them on February 10, 2014 and completed their form to ask them to remove my work from their site. After 2 days of no answer, I wrote again. I filled out the form they requested a second time. Today is February 16, 2014 and I still have received no answer.
On February 14, 2014 I completed the Google Webmaster URL form. Friday, I signed in to check the status and the word "denied" is listed. When I click on "denied," Google said I am not the author of the article. Hailey Adams is.
If you look at the name on the above link, haileyadams2 is the one who stole the article to post it on CNN. Her name has a line through it, meaning she no longer is employed or a member of their website.
I am weary from doing this.
I now have 13 hubs, one complete blog with title, and 3 blog posts from a second blog that have been stolen and put on other websites. I filed DMCA forms and Google webmaster removal forms and I get nowhere.
Two of the people who stole my hubs live in Yogakarta India and I've written at least 4 times to ask them to remove my article from their website. Yesterday I received this email from one of them:
We republished your article and your name appears in the byline and at the end as proof you were the author. Because we included your name, we are not required to remove it from our site. Thank you for contributing to our health forum."
UGH!! I did not contribute! They stole it.
Below are screenshots of the steps I have taken trying to get in touch with one website owner. After all I did with filing forms, etc. I am at a standstill until I hear back.
Update on this hub: On 2/25/2014, CNN sent the following email:
This email confirms that CNN.com has received your notification of claimed infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 512 (c)(1)(c) and has removed or disabled access to the material that is claimed to be infringing.
Sorry for going on about this but...
The following was my original hub on this topic.
When I got no results from my efforts, I inserted the above text capsule.
I was going to leave it at that, but thought you might be better able to help me if you saw the screenshots I have included below regarding my efforts to get results. If you have time, I'd appreciate your feedback on the above, and any directions you can give me about what I may have done wrong with the following info.
Proving Ownership Should Be Easy
With my name was all over the blog posts, Google said I had to prove ownership of the blog. Posts with my name were clearly stamped with date and time.
My name, Mary McShane and my sister's name Nancy McShane, were mixed in the text of many paragraphs, and listed as sources and references.
The person who stole my blog even left my name at end of every post (Posted by Mary McShane) and in the paragraphs. Still Google said I had to prove it was my work. The publishing dates were the same. They stole it within 12 hours of when I posted.
It shouldn't come down to who posted first. It should come down to whose name is weaved into the paragraphs proving they wrote it. Especially if the thief was stupid enough to leave my name there.
Copyright Infringement: Pursue it or not?
When your work shows up with someone else's name on it, you should be alert.
I was not.
I let the novelty of getting established on several writing sites get in the way of due diligence of keeping track of my work.
Guilty! However, those who stole my work are more guilty. And I think they may know it.
Do you know what to do about your work being stolen?
I went to Hubpages FAQ's and I followed the directions there.
For anyone thinking of starting this process, you have to decide if it is even worth it. You have to know what your expectations are and if you're willing to pursue it to the point of putting out real money for lawyers to accomplish the means to that end.
For me, if it was a manuscript, I could see putting out money for legal advice. But as you can see, I am talking about hub articles and blog posts, hardly worth spending money on lawyers.
Steps I Took When My Work Was Stolen
- I had to track down the sites who stole my hubs and my blog. Google wants precise information when you report websites to them. So you have to have your ducks in a row or they will kick out your complaint because they do not take the time to sift through websites looking for the exact part you are citing. They want to know the 5 W's. Who, What, Where, When, and Why. They want you to show them (cite) the passages with the specific wording about your complaint, so be prepared to hold their hand and lead them to it.
- The Who, What, Where and When are easy, just point them to the website that has your content. I skipped the Why part; I don't need to know the reason why. Maybe because they are stupid and can't think up their own content. Maybe since stealing content on the internet has become an acceptable practice, they feel it is free for all.
- I had to locate the owner of the stolen website. I took the name of the website and went to Google and entered: who owns healthylivingbox.net? See screenshots for how I followed the step by step directions.
What can we do?
Is there any recourse? Can websites be made to take down your work?
What is to keep them from starting a new website or blog and continuing to copy your work?
I'd appreciate any feedback you can give me.
Thank you for any help or advice you can give me.
After posting in an HP forum about Amazon Affiliate program cancelling my account after 90 days of no referrals and no sales, in the process of chatting, I mentioned that some of my Editor's Choice hubs stopped or slowed down in getting traffic (views) and it was suggested that maybe they had been stolen.
I highlighted two small paragraphs and clicked Search and sure enough, I found two hubs that were republished on other websites, one with my credentials still on it, and one with other people's names as copyright owner. The blog that was stolen in entirety had paragraphs from me saying: Advice from my sister, Nancy McShane, licensed nutritionist.... And they left that in there! I seriously doubt they have a twin sister named Nancy McShane!
My first knee-jerk reaction was rip them a new a**hole by firing off an email to the website owner.
But I chose to follow advice of others and report them to Google. I used Google's Webmaster URL removal but got no results in my favor.
Under that section, it says click here to file a different report. I gave them the URL of my hubs, a sample of the wording that was stolen and the URL of where my work was found. Because people who steal are not discriminating, I had to include a lot of text so Google won't have to look all through the website for a few words.
After this experience, I started including my name (by Mary McShane) directly in the title of my articles and in several paragraphs as well. I use COPYSCAPE logo, but in my opinion, it isn't worth the ink that it was made with. But it is there as a deterrant. The people who stole my work copied everything, even the COPYSCAPE logo, my photos, my polls, and my name - everywhere. And still Google said it was not my content.
I wrote to them again today to point out "specifically" where my name was in the body of the article so they won't have to go on a search and rescue mission looking for it. I used quotations and capital letters. They can't miss it now. Ok, yes they can. lol
Google's "denied" said the specific content I cited was not found on their websites. I went back and looked and it is all still there, so I don't know what they are talking about.
There has got to be an easier way of getting satisfaction. CNN should have answered, but they did not. MSNBC should have answered with a blurb that they removed my article, instead they wrote asking me to be a publisher. Bloggers will continue to copy other people's work and there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it.
I'm sorry if I repeated myself a lot here, I tried putting this hub together a little at a time because I got so exasperated with the process.
After all this nonsense, I hope you can see why I am so frustrated about this.
Just since the end of January, at least three times a week, I'm finding myself checking to see if I've been copied. Even though I tell myself it is paranoia, when I find yet another copied article, then I know it is not paranoia. I almost hate to look anymore. I don't know what to do.
I really don't want to stop writing here or anywhere else.
I welcome any and all advice. Thank you.
Wordpress copyright infringement complaints
This is just one of the sites who stole my hubs. healthylivingbox.net expires June 2014.
You can use godaddy.com or whois.com
If you use godaddy.com, this is the 2nd screen before it displays your requested info
Landing page for whois.domaintools.com
Have you ever had a hub or article copied to another website?
© 2014 Mary McShane