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How to File a DMCA Copyright Complaint to Google

By Edited Sep 18, 2014 2 6
The top floor of the press: Loading apples on a conveyor belt to be ground up.
Credit: Watershed Post on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

If you were an active writer (aka lensmaster) on Squidoo, you probably already know that on Friday August 15th, 2014 (around 5:00 pm ET) Seth Godin posted an announcement titled Squidoo and HubPages.[1]

However, for those of you away on holidays or busy with back-to-school preparations, you might not know that your work will automatically be moved to HubPages (without your consent).
 
Here's the kicker: you cannot delete your account or your work now. And even though Squidoo has kept the "edit" button showing under each lens title on your dashboard, it doesn't work.
 
Lucky for Squidoo, though, the public can still view ads on your lenses and even purchase items from them. Sure, Squidoo is going to be paid by those advertisers - but you aren't. The only thing Squidoo will pay you for is Amazon or eBay sales earnings (which is usually pennies).
 
In fact, you won't be paid for your fair share of the ad pool, though, or anything after their ridiculous August 29th, 2014 deadline[2] (when everyone was forced to delete or be automatically shoehorned into the deal Seth Godin et al. made with Paul Edmondson, CEO of HubPages).

Missed the Deadline? Too Bad

Feel Entitled to July & August Ad Pool Revenue? HA, Squidoo says NO

sweep away
Credit: Rigel on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Since Squidoo made it clear (numerous times) that lenses would not be transferred until September 2nd, 2014, I reasoned that my 293 lenses would be earning ad share revenue, Amazon, eBay, and "small payments" from some of Squidoo's partners. With my share of all of those earnings held in trust.

By deleting my account on August 29th, though, I'd only be paid for Amazon or eBay sales - Corey Brown made that clear on his post and I included a screenshot of his answer (below) to another writer who asked for verification.
 
I also decided to videotape my effort to delete my entire account on August 31st, 2014 at midnight (shown after the following screenshot) to ensure that I am entitled to my fair share of the ad pool revenue, etc. for all of July and August.
 
And you are too, if your work is still online and you cannot access it. NO, you do not need to click a button on your dashboard or a link on HubPages to be legally entitled to access your content.

A Deleted Lens is NOT Eligible for Ad Pool

"for any portion of the ad pool for that pay period"

Screenshot of Corey Brown answering payment question
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

My videotaped attempt to delete my work

and my account on August 31st, 2014 at midnight ET:

What About Duplicate Content Issues?

I simply don't feel it's fair that we are denied ad share revenue for all of July and August - even though Squidoo would be showing ads on our lenses until (at least) September 2nd, 2014.

Do you?

And even though the revised Squidoo and HubPages Transition FAQ[3] states: 
 
"If you want to take your content to another platform, that’s fine."
 
It would appear that our work is held hostage. I cannot delete it so that I won't face a duplicate content issue or penalty elsewhere.
 
For some reason, we need to click a button (on our dashboard) or a link on HubPages to gain access to our own content again.
 
This is wrong.
 
Squidoo and HubPages do not own our content (or "data" as they've referred to it lately).
 
I tried to edit my work by erasing it but it never "took." Essentially, Squidoo has stolen my work and is denying me rightful access to it. They are showing ads on all 293 articles of mine and they are profiting from it (when, I guess, I will not be).
 
Unless of course, I accept a forced transfer of my content to HubPages.
 
It's seems wrong that I may now face duplicate content penalties for using my own content on other platforms.
 
So, I decided to start filing DCMA complaints for every article that Squidoo is withholding so that Google knows of my intention to use my content on other platforms.
 
Along the way, I reasoned that other writers (aka lensmasters) who were on Squidoo may wish to do the same. Up next is a pictorial guide of how-to file these DCMA complaints.

You Don't Need a Lawyer

This is completely free of charge

First, you need to access Google's page titled Removing Content From Google.[4] Then you will be given a vast array of options. My pictorial guide addresses written content, but there are other options (such as YouTube or Images) that may be important to you.

Author's note: All of these screenshots were taken by me.

Step One

Step 1 Google DCMA complaint

Step Two

Step 2 of Google DCMA Complaint
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Step Three

NB: The 2nd option may be applicable in the future

Step 3 Google DCMA Complaint
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Step Four

Step 4 Google DCMA Complaint

Step Five

NB: For some, "Image/Video" might be more appropriate

Step 5 Google DCMA Complaint

Google Provides an Overview of Your Answers

The light bulb icon shows up and you open a new page

Step 6 Google DCMA complaint

You Need to Fill in the * Entry Fields

But remember, you don't need a company name

Step 7 Google DCMA complaint
Step 8 Google DCMA complaint

Here's What I Wrote in the Box

Identify and describe the copyrighted work:

Squidoo denied me access to delete my entire account on August 31st, 2014. I am in the process of putting my content elsewhere and specifically (for this complaint) my article titled Summertime & Our House Finch Chicks is being partially rewritten and moved to Paw, Mane 'n Fin titled Our Porch Light Became a Home for a House Finch Family (and is set to publish on September 6th, 2014).

I want to launch this complaint since I may otherwise face a duplicate content issue.

Only Put the URLs in the Box

Step 9 Google DCMA complaint

Fill These In and Do the Captcha

Step 10 Google DCMA complaint

You Should See This Confirmation

Step 11 Google received legal request
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

It Can Take a Couple of Weeks

You can see here that my report is "Pending"

Squidoo reported to Google and is "Pending"
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved
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Comments

Sep 8, 2014 12:23pm
TanoCalvenoa
I completely agree with, "It would appear that our work is held hostage." Part of their plan is evidently a coup, snatching up ad earnings and the vague and undefined "small payments," and not giving them to lensmasters who don't cooperate. This explains their anger over being asked basic questions over this whole process - they know they're doing something wrong.
Sep 8, 2014 11:01pm
RoseWrites
Thank you for checking this one out and commenting Jonathan. I think the social connections that many people made on Squidoo have kept them from accepting some harsh truths. Time will tell, of course, and everyone has a right to make their own decisions. I only wish people were given the whole truth (without so many vague answers and "spin" put on those HQ posts). People made decisions out of duress and without knowing all of the facts and what they are entitled to (by law).
Sep 10, 2014 7:48am
Browna86
I was browsing Google + one day to see if there were any posts under the Squidoo+ page. Nothing new. Then I headed over to the Scholarship Points G+ page to get my bonus code and what did I discover? A Seth Godin quote. Not one but two. One also appears on their FB page.

Still not sure how they managed to do the transfer of information since I sure certain permissions are needed. This is an interesting new development. Thanks again Rose.
Sep 10, 2014 8:10pm
RoseWrites
You're welcome. I looked at Squidoo's FB page and didn't see any quotes by Seth Godin (so I'm unsure of what you discovered or what it said). Care to expand on that? If not, that's okay with me.

I think Squidoo HQ's mantra "click the link on HubPages" is the way lensmasters are somehow giving their permission (albeit under duress and in order to ensure they get paid).

Even if HubPages rejects thousands of Squidoo pages, they'll still gain huge amounts of traffic (since people need to find their work there now) which will increase their Alexa ranking.

We'll just have to wait and see how Google reacts to this and these reports (hope I'm not the only one filing them).

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Take good care,
Rose
Sep 10, 2014 10:27pm
Browna86
I really was half asleep when I responded. Actually I was talking about ScholarshipPoints FB and G+ pages that featured Seth Godin quotes.
Sep 11, 2014 4:38am
RoseWrites
I see. I can only imagine what those quotes might be . . .

"Don't make a ruckus."

"Small really isn't the new big."

"Stop stealing dreams, start stealing from writers."
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Bibliography

  1. Seth Godin "Squidoo and HubPages." Squidoo. 15/08/2014. 7/09/2014 <Web >
  2. Corey Brown "Reminder: HubPages Opt Out Deadline is Tomorrow." Squidoo. 28/08/2014. 7/09/2014 <Web >
  3. "Squidoo and HubPages Transition FAQ." Squidoo. 7/09/2014 <Web >
  4. "Removing Content From Google." Google . 7/09/2014 <Web >

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