By now, I thought someone from HubPages would claim importing my content from Squidoo was a mistake, glitch, or oversight.
I've tried numerous ways to let both Squidoo and HubPages executives know of my wishes beginning with an article I wrote August 16th, 2o14 (the day after Seth Godin made his announcement).
Many of you know that I also filed an IC3 report the day after I received the first email from HubPages (shown further along). I didn't open it immediately. I knew the law had been broken as soon as I read the subject line.
Remember Corey Brown, COO and co-founder of Squidoo? Shown above is the post where TanoCalvenoa publicly reminds him of my intentions. And where it becomes clear that the previous 60-days worth of ad share revenue will not be paid out (unless writers agree to transfer their work to HubPages). Brown states in brackets only "Amazon and eBay royalties."
Whoa, Locked Out of My Account
I Tried to Delete it August 31st, 2014
Remember, Squidoo Promised Us
"We don't ever sell your email address"
Just a reminder, Squidoo's Terms of Service (TOS) has been taken offline, it stated:
"As a Lensmaster [writer], you will be able to incorporate various forms of content into your Lenses [articles]. Squidoo does not claim ownership of the content you place on your Lens [article]. The content will be owned by you or a third party from whom you got permission to post the content."
"HubPages does not claim ownership of your Hub [Article] content or author content. Such content will be owned by you or a third party from whom you got permission to post the content."
A HubPages article, Seth Godin's Failed Squidoo Site Sells Out to HubPages, by Writer Fox confirmed that money was involved in this business transaction.
Sadly, authors on Squidoo had their user information sold and bought by HubPages without their prior permission or consent.
Note: I sense that the article I've referenced above may become inaccessible in the near future.
You cannot sell content that you don't own. And in California (where HubPages is located) you cannot buy such content from a third party (Squidoo). The only way it would be legal is if HubPages negotiated a price with each author (content owner).
That is precisely what I (and others) expected to happen.
Based on the subject line of that first email I received from HubPages, I knew the law had been broken. So I filed an IC3 report. HubPages has NEVER asked for my permission to host my avatar (identity), profile information, or content (which includes photos and videos).
It was a number of weeks later that I opened that email and reported it to Google as part of a phishing attempt.
My reasons are based on the fact that HubPages refused to allow Squidoo authors to transfer their Squidoo articles to their existing HubPages account. [Many Squidoo authors already had a HubPages account prior to August 2014].
HubPages was firm that a "link" needed to be clicked on and a 9-digit "code" entered. I also received some of the nastiest comments on my articles (and in the InfoBarrel forum) from shills who practically demanded that I "click the link."
August 21st, 2014
We Were Assured Our Articles Would "Disappear"
September 13th, 2014
The First Email I Received From HubPages:
Read the Fine Print in HubPages TOU
Especially Under "Account Closure and Inactivity"
"Inactive" or Dead Authors = 100% Profit
HubPages TOU states:
"In the event of inactivity, the entire amount of an Earned Balance in your account will be permanently forfeit by you (and you hereby waive any claim relating to the dispute of such payment and disclaim any and all interest in such funds). "Inactivity" means that any of the following have occurred:
a) There has been no change to your Earned Balance for a period of greater than six (6) months;
b) Your account has expired tax information that is greater than six (6) months beyond the date of such expiration;
c) You have uncollected payments or unaccepted payments by the payment company into your account for a period of greater than six (6) months; or
d) You have not responded to attempts to contact you at the primary email address listed in the contact information in your account for a period of six (6) months from the date of the first attempt to contact you for which no response has been received."
Squidoo Did Not Require Tax Information
Matthew Meyer of HubPages Wrote this Forum Post
HubPages Requires Your Tax Information
To Get Paid (Even Though They Do Not Need It)
It's fairly easy to connect the dots here.
An author enters a 9-digit numeric code that records the user's full name, address, and possibly date of birth. [I never joined HubPages, so I don't know if they ask for DOB].
Later, when you reach your $50 minimum threshold payout, HubPages requires your Social Security Number (SSN) or Social Insurance Number (SIN). That SSN or SIN gets paired up with your 9-digit code for ?
HubPages requires this tax information even though they do NOT issue a tax form (of any kind). PayPal takes care of that (once you reach a certain number of transactions or earnings).
Your tax information and user information is recorded by HubPages and BINGO! Your identity is ripe and ready for an "accidental" or "sophisticated hack." Congrats, you are among the millions who have (or will have) their identity and/or tax refund stolen.
Think I'm exaggerating? KrebsonSecurity just published an eye-opening article titled Sign Up at irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You. If HubPages thinks that somehow the tax laws are going to change (to become more lax), they are grossly mistaken.
A Closer Look at HubPages Own TOU
Your Lawyer Will Likely Find These Discrepancies
But I NEVER Posted Anything on HubPages
Many Former Squidoo Members Didn't Either!
The Nitty Gritty
There were a few clues that led me to believe that Squidoo content was transferred to HubPages early in 2014. I compiled my proof in Dear Larry Page and Paul Edmondson.
a) I am not a HubPages author. According to HubPages TOU, an author is "a person that creates an account on the Service." [I never created an account - nor did many of you from Squidoo].
b) "You must register with HubPages and create an Author account..." [Again, I never registered with HubPages nor created an Author account].
The fact that HubPages is posting my identity (avatar) and former pen name screams "identity theft" to me.
This next passage from the HubPages TOU made me laugh:
"You may only use Hub [article] content to which you have the necessary rights, including (but not limited to) intellectual property rights regarding copyright, trademark, and trade secrets. This means, among other things, that you must have permission to use third party content from the content owners."
Proof My Identity and Content
Has Been Earning Money for HubPages
I received the following email from HubPages on February 21st, 2015 which confirms my work (and HubPages advertisements) have been viewed 10,000 times.
Writer Fox (a HubPages author) stated in HubPages forum that "a page view is worth about 1/2 cent."
Therefore, 10,000 views x 1/2 cent = $50.00.
Unfortunately, HubPages internally allocates both Amazon and eBay sales. They have NOT provided me with any information whatsoever about my sales revenue. All of my 277 articles that are posted (illegally) on HubPages have Amazon products featured for purchase (many also have eBay items for sale).
It might require a court order and internal audit of some kind to produce a "trusted" account of my withheld sales revenue.
I fully intended to post my work on InfoBarrel.
HubPages Owes Me At Least $50
And Amazon and eBay Sales Revenue
The email above is proof that HubPages is profiting from my content. Content that they never had permission to use.
In the state of California, this act results in an even harsher penalty. Remember, in HubPages own TOU it states: "These terms will be governed by the laws of California without regard to its conflict of law provisions."
I am in the process of seeking legal action against HubPages. I feel many former Squidoo authors also have grounds for a lawsuit.
More importantly, online authors need to retain control over their work and identity.
We have nothing without it.
Thank you for sharing this important information with other writers online.