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Dear Google, HubPages Is Posting My Content and I Need to File 293 DMCA Notices

By 3 6
Appalled that http://sousababy(dot)hubpages(dot)com/ is still keeping my identity and work
Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel (formerly sousababy on Squidoo) / All rights reserved

What's the Deal?

I let Google know

I am writing this because I'm slightly baffled at what I received in my email from Google removals. Here is what it said:

"Hello,

Thanks for reaching out to us.

It is unclear to us what the specific copyrighted work or works are that you are asserting have been infringed. Could you please provide more detail by identifying the work or a representative list of works? It would be helpful if you could provide us with a link to the original source of the copyrighted work. Once we understand better what your contentions are, we'll be able to further investigate the issue and take the appropriate actions.

Regards,
The Google Team"

I Wasn't Specific Enough, I Get It

And let me say this upfront: I thought I made my complaint clear, but perhaps it wasn't.

When I first issued a DMCA complaint against HubPages, I was hoping the Google removals team would understand my preemptive complaint. [I cannot post any of my 293 articles that were on Squidoo because they will trigger the duplicate content filters on here].

The one I rewrote (from my original Squidoo article titled Summertime & Our House Finch Chicks[1] is still on HubPages). I posted it on Paw, Mane 'n Fin [also run by the InfoBarrel guys] and is renamed as Our Porch Light Became a Home for a House Finch Family.[2]

I can't tell you how unfair it is that I cannot use my original work. And to completely rewrite 293 articles? Come on. So yes, Google removals team, I am writing this for you and for others who will probably come forth with similar complaints.

Here's the proof that Squidoo HQ knew of my intentions. One statement by a fellow writer (made on my behalf):

"One fellow lensmaster, sousababy, intends to leave her account up until close to midnight August 31st with intent of being paid for August."

Screenshot Proof

Screenshot Proof that Squidoo HQ team knew my intentions
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

And It's Still Shown Publicly

You can find those comments on the original announcement made Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Corey Brown titled Important Update on the HubPages Transition.[3] If you Sort by Newest, they are the 14th and 15th comments. Of course, now they state: "2 months ago" as the posted date.

Yet, since Squidoo removed their Terms of Service [I still have a copy of it], I decided to take another screenshot of it today (November 4th, 2014) shown next.

Also important also to point out (in that August 22nd, 2014 post) is this statement by Corey Brown:

"...your account and pages will be moved automatically to HubPages beginning on September 2nd."

As of November 4th, 2014

Same screenshot proof (Squidoo knew my intentions)

Screenshot proof of my intentions
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Notice the Date Stamp (2 Months Ago)

Why didn't I post it you might wonder? Because Squidoo HQ banned me from being able to post my concerns. I'm guessing they banned anyone who protested.

In fact, in Corey Brown's August 28th, 2014 post titled Reminder: HubPages Opt Out Deadline is Tomorrow,[4] he advises this:

"If you experience any issues, please file a bug report so we can address it as quickly as possible. Thanks!"

Bug reports were ignored - we all knew that on Squidoo. Only certain people had their complaints addressed. This is why my friend TanoCalvanoa posted that comment for me.

And let me remind you once again that Corey Brown stated:

"Everything is on track for the timeline to begin converting accounts on Tuesday, September 2nd."

Another Person Who Could Not Contact Squidoo

"I can't file a bug report or contact support anymore..."

Others couldn't get through to Squidoo
Credit: Screenshot by RoseWrites

So, Just Before Midnight on August 31st, 2014

I tried to access my account on Squidoo but couldn't:

Dear Google Removals Team

I also filed an IC3 report immediately

When I discovered my identity, profile information and all 293 of my former Squidoo lenses [articles] were on HubPages - I was shocked.

I made other efforts to let SquidTeam members know of my intentions, even Susan Deppner in her August 22nd post on Google Plus titled UPDATE (Friday): Critical information and dates for the Squidoo/Hubpages transition.[5]

Here is what transpired (also included in my article Sorry Seth Godin | Did I Make a Ruckus?):

I wrote: 

"I will not be able to delete my entire Squidoo account until August 31st, 2014 at 11:50 pm ET (since I'll be on vacation). What about all the people who have been on vacation before all of these announcements that Squidoo sold out?"

Ms. Deppner responded:

"Their lenses will be transferred over to HubPages, they'll get an email, then they can either set up an account or delete the lenses from there."

I replied: 

"I refuse to click any link or button - since if my lenses are moved = theft of my content. Let Squidoo IT guys know that I will be videotaping my attempt to delete MY content on August 31st, 2014 at 11:50 pm so I can retain my "maximum" payout OWED to me for ALL of July and August. I was never asked if I wanted my content on HubPages and I never gave my permission. A Squidoo URL is simply an address." 

Ms. Deppner stated:

"Feel free to send something to Corey. I have nothing to do with any of that."

I wrote:

"Can you let me know his address then? Bonnie did not allow me to contact anyone and apparently "Gil" was assigned specifically to deal with me (after I reported the blackhat linking scam that numerous people were involved in). Thanks in advance Susan."

Ms. Deppner stopped corresponding with me for 27 minutes. Eventually, I told her after waiting 12 minutes that I'd be offline. I really had to pee.

Ms. Deppner finally wrote:

"The best I can do for you, Rose, is to refer you to the official post that is linked above."

So, I wrote to +Susan Deppner (addressing her only on Google Plus). But, she blocked me from responding to her specifically. So, I wrote the following:

"Gee Susan, Bonnie banned me from commenting everywhere but on my own lenses, so I can't.

Odd that you can relay the message for me (since you work with these folks). Anyways, since I'm boarding a plane (and leaving the computer behind) I'm asking that someone else might let him know.

Of course I will be videotaping my attempt to delete my entire account on August 31st at 11:50 pm ET (for legal purposes). That way, I can get ALL of my deserved income from Squidoo (50%) that is held in escrow for me.

I refuse to click on any button or link to make $ for Seth et. al. I own my content. A Squidoo URL is simply an address. To move my work without my express permission (by altering a URL) is theft." 

I gather that once Susan Deppner realized she couldn't delete legitimate concerns of mine, she unblocked me - but not without calling me a liar first. (Guess only Google, her, and I know the truth).

So, I wrote her back:

"Oh gee, Susan, I guess you unblocked me now. Thanks. Still very odd that you cannot let Corey Brown know for me - nor that Bonnie told you (I guess) that I cannot comment on any HQ posts. Bon voyage!"

Within 24 Hours, I Filed an IC3 Report

On September 13th, 2014, HubPages emailed me:

After jumping hoop-after-hoop to ensure the SquidTeam (and fellow writers) knew that I did NOT consent to having my content moved to HubPages (nor my user information, photos, videos, and user information being "sold" to Paul Edmondson et al.), the first email I received from HubPages arrived on September 13th, 2104.

It remains unopened and simply states in the subject line:

sousababy: Your Lenses Have Been Imported! [See screenshot next].

I also received emails from HubPages that I had accolades and awards, followers, and even fan mail. Strange since I never joined HubPages.

Carefully, I documented my IC3 report to help others who wish to do the same. You have up to "6 months" to claim that you "first realized you were defrauded." There is a drop down menu that ranges from "1 week" to "6 months." That means, by February 15th, 2015.

My Gmail Inbox September 13th, 2014
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Receiving Stolen Property is a Crime

California Penal Code 496 PC

HubPages own Terms of Use states:

18. GOVERNING LAW

These Terms will be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to its conflict of law provisions.

Well, sorry Paul Edmondson et al., but according to Shouse Law Group, California's receiving stolen property law (Penal Code 496), imposes harsh criminal penalties on people who:

  • buy
  • receive
  • conceal
  • sell, or
  • withhold from the owner

any property that they know has been stolen.[8]

So, Google Removal Team and the IC3

Money Changed Hands. This is theft and it is illegal.

I hope this explains why I need to have my content back. All 293 of my articles now on HubPages are there without my express permission. 

Wonder if money changed hands? Yes, it definitely did (although writers never saw any of it). In WriterFox's article Seth Godin's Failed Squidoo Site Sells Out to HubPages[6] it states:

"I asked Marina Lazarevic, Product and Quality Manager for HubPages, if money actually changed hands in the acquisition. Her answer was yes."

I will proceed to file another DCMA complaint that lists all 293 articles of mine (or write multiple complaints, I suppose).

I just felt that you, the Google Removals Team and the IC3 needed this succinct list of what's transpired. I also wrote this to help others come forth.

The reason this needs to be proven as illegal is because HubPages has the following stated in their Terms of Use:[7]

"In the event that the Agreement is terminated by you (pursuant to HubPages’ receipt of your written termination notice) the entire amount of an earned balance in your account will be permanently forfeited by you (and you hereby waive any claim relating to the dispute of such payment and disclaim any and all interest in such funds)."

For writers online (and most of us don't make much money), this above clause needs to be found null and void. 

I never joined HubPages.

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Comments

Nov 4, 2014 7:27pm
RoseWrites
Addendum: I found it interesting that in Corey Brown denied having any knowledge of how to delete content on HubPages.

In his post http://hq.squidoo.com/squid-news/reminder-hubpages-opt-out-deadline-is-tomorrow/ he states in the comments section:

"You'll have to check with HubPages on how to delete your account."

Hmmm
Nov 5, 2014 10:17am
conevrob
What a mess! Sure am glad I didn´t have to deal with that. I never wrote anything on quidoo. At least when Helium closed down, they have allowed us to remove all of our content and it´s been very simple.
Nov 5, 2014 12:09pm
RoseWrites
Yes, this is an illegal transaction. I'm amazed that people (even on HubPages) are singling out only Seth Godin when Paul Edmondson is ALSO breaking the law by buying, receiving, and withholding from the owner their content (and earnings).

By "withholding from the owner their content/earnings" I mean that Paul Edmondson et al. are keeping all of the earnings from those articles (even though they were posted without the permission of the authors) unless people submit their payment info.

If people decide to delete their work on HubPages, they need to put their request in writing. And by doing so, HubPages gets to keep all of their earnings.

Another strange Terms of Use on HubPages is the clause "You grant HubPages a worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license, for as long as your Hub [article] is displayed on HubPages and for a commercially reasonable time."

What's a "commercially reasonable time?" Probably until after the Christmas/Holiday season.

Even worse, is that if people do not "get active" on HubPages within 6 months - HubPages keeps all their accrued earnings too.

And the icing on the cake was this discovery: On August 20th, 2013, a fellow lensmaster (writer) on Squidoo named Naiza died. Squidoo HQ gave one of her articles "Lens of the Day" (http://www.squidoo(dot)com/philippines_myhome).

I just checked HubPages and found her work, photo, and old profile on there: http://naizalm.hubpages.com/ (It says she "Joined 7 weeks ago" - just like my stolen profile page).

Someone (not Naiza) is not profiting from 321 articles of hers.

I'm glad I (and others) filed an IC3 report. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

If I were on HubPages (even before this happened) I'd be looking to go elsewhere. I just hope that by reporting Paul Edmondson et al. that people who leave do NOT forfeit their earnings - hence that clause (and others in HubPages TOU) needs to be found null and void.
Nov 5, 2014 2:58pm
TanoCalvenoa
My situation is that I deleted my Squidoo lenses in late August, after specifically asking Corey Brown about whether I'd be paid everything owed up until the point of deletion, and he lied and said yes - but the later said that we'd only be paid a portion of what we're owed. He denied that going along with the transfer was required to get everything owed, but then they punished me for not going along with it by only giving me about half the money they owed me - just confiscating (stealing) the rest despite having promised to me that that's not what would happen. What a mess they've created. And yes, I filed an IC3 report about this too.
Nov 5, 2014 3:13pm
RoseWrites
Glad you filed one too.

I think I know why they transferred your profile (even though you deleted your articles). Because our profile pages had a PageRank (mine was 5; high than the blackhatters on Squidoo who embedded my profile URL into theirs or their work). I think YOUR former Squidoo profile page (even without lenses) had a high PageRank too - so it temporarily boosted HubPages to acquire (steal) it.

Plus they were probably hoping you'd reconsider and start writing on HubPages.

Thanks for checking this one out, I value your contributions enormously.
Nov 5, 2014 3:14pm
RoseWrites
Typo alert, high was supposed to be "higher" (cooking dinner).
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Bibliography

  1. sousababy (aka RoseWrites on InfoBarrel) "Summertime & Our House Finch Chicks." HubPages. 4/11/2014 <Web >
  2. Rose Webster (aka RoseWrites on InfoBarrel) "Our Porch Light Became a Home for a House Finch Family." Paw, Mane 'n Fin. 4/11/2014 <Web >
  3. Corey Brown "Important Update on the HubPages Transition." Squidoo. 22/08/2014. 4/11/2014 <Web >
  4. Corey Brown "Reminder: HubPages Opt Out Deadline is Tomorrow." Squidoo. 28/08/2014. 4/11/2014 <Web >
  5. Susan Deppner "UPDATE (Friday): Critical information and dates for the Squidoo/Hubpages transition." Google Plus | Susan Deppner Post (Shared publicly - Aug 22nd, 2014). 22/08/2014. 4/11/2014 <Web >
  6. Writer Fox "Seth Godin's Failed Squidoo Site Sells Out to HubPages." HubPages | WriterFox. 4/11/2014 <Web >
  7. "HUBPAGES TERMS OF USE." HubPages. 4/11/2014 <Web >
  8. "Receiving Stolen Property California Penal Code 496 PC." Shouse California Law Group. 4/11/2014 <Web >

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