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Why on Earth Is Any Squid Filing a DMCA With Google?

By Edited Dec 25, 2015 2 29
No phishing!
Credit: Widjaya Ivan / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

In Direct Response

Today was monumental for me. Finally, some of my proof is being circulated in HubPages forums.

Since I've never joined HubPages, I do not participate in the public forums. But I, like everyone else, can read them.

Tonight, I'd like to publicly address Marisa Wright's question:

"Why on earth is any Squid filing a DMCA with Google when the accounts belong to them and they can simply log in and delete the Hubs themselves?"[1]

Note: Those of you who follow me know that I provide screenshot proof and footnotes. All sources in my bibliography (at the bottom of the page) include clickable links to the original webpage.

Login, bash, logout
Credit: Sean MacEntee (smemon on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Additional text added by RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Here Are the Reasons Why Marisa Wright

As you stated in the Confused by Google DMCA dashboard thread, "Google has NO authority to remove a page from any website except Blogger. All they can do is remove the article from search engine results."[2]
 
The first email that people received from HubPages (even those who deleted ALL of their lenses) stated in the subject: "Your Lenses Have Been Imported!"
 
The exclamation point on the end and the fact that Paul Edmondson is a millionaire doesn't make this legal.
 
The other bothersome statements in that first email are these lines (which certainly looks like a phishing attempt to me):  
"To access your Hubs, you'll need to verify your email address and reset your password by following this link: https: //hubpages (dot) com/signin/squidoo/reset/

On that page, you'll be asked to input a verification code. Your verification code is: blah-blah-blah"

How do we know what that verification code means? (It was other former Squidoo writers who told me what was written in that first email - I've never opened mine. The subject line was enough proof that an illegal transaction had taken place). 

Rather than ask original content owners (authors) whether or not they would grant HubPages permission to post their articles (with HubPages ads, Amazon and eBay modules) on them, HubPages bought (paid cash according to you and others) to Seth Godin et. al.

Addendum April 23rd, 2015:

A HubPages article, Seth Godin's Failed Squidoo Site Sells Out to HubPages,[3] 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.

From Kasman in Business on Persona Paper

"Is HubPages in trouble?"[4]

Screenshot of "Is HubPages in trouble?" by Kasman
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Gee no wonder Marisa doesn't write much

She's bashing my proof everywhere it's found:

I've been amazed at how often Marisa Wright shows up on various posts and articles about my proof. She seems to be some "expert" on HubPages or is deeply connected in some way to how this "business" transaction has played out.

Interestingly enough, I vaguely recalled her slamming my proof here in InfoBarrel's forum too.[12] 

Hmm, she certainly fits the description of a shill - which is also illegal.

Online, here are some key factors[13] to consider if you feel a shill is operating on your website:

1) How long has this person been on site (and is s/he active)?

2) Does this person use your website (which includes forums, posts, and comments) to solicit others to their site or services?

3) Shilling is illegal in most countries[14] (including Canada and the US).

If you conclude that an account holder is merely using your site to push their own site or agenda, you should consider banning their account. In every case, you can cite your own terms of service as the reason which must state (in North America) that you are required to operate under federal, state, or laws of your host country.

A Fool and His Money
Credit: David Goehring (carbonnyc on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Note: In Media section at bottom, you may click and see my screenshots enlarged on a separate page (which you may link to).

August 21st, 2014 Dancingqueen (Marisa Wright) made aware of my wishes
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Further along she says "They Won't Be Deleted"

But here's the proof we were told "they will disappear"

August 21st, 2014 Marisa Wright tells TanoCalvanoa "they won't be deleted" and "they will disappear"
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

From HubPages Forum Thread

"Is There Some Kind of Filter On Squidoo Lenses That Came Over?"[5]

Barbara Kay's comment on "Is There Some Kind of Filter On Squidoo Lenses That Came Over?" HubPages forum thread
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Oops, Paul Forgot to Deny Paying for Lenses

Marisa Wright stated in "Why Did Hundreds of Hubs Become Unfeatured for Quality Today?" forum thread[7]

Marisa Wright comment to Paul Edmondson
Credit: RoseWrites

To Be Clear

These are the policies and laws that were broken:

First, Squidoo had no legal right to sell user information with the express permission of each and every content owner (author) that was on Squidoo. I find it curious why the Terms of Service has been completely removed from the site and subsequent copies found on the Internet Archive WayBackMachine have been hacked. 

Fortunately, I (and others) kept an original copy. The following is a snippet of the Terms of Service that I agreed to upon joining Squidoo.

Squidoo's Terms of Service Stated[6]

Squidoo's TOS "7. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS YOUR PRIVACY POLICY"
Credit: RoseWrites

Both Squidoo and HubPages Clearly State

They Do Not Own the Content

So, according to every legal resource[8][9][10] I could find (and my own lawyer), here are the key points to keep in mind:

1) Unless Squidoo-HubPages executives were certain that the content was in the public domain, they should have sought permission from each and every individual content owner (author) on Squidoo before posting identities, profiles, photos, videos, and articles on HubPages.

2) Identifying content owners was (and is) simple and crucial to obtaining permission. I had a notice on each and every lens (article) and on my profile page (while on Squidoo) which stated:

"Every single article I've written is: All rights reserved and protected by copyrights from 2010 - 2014 sousababy." [Don't worry, though, even without such a statement you are protected under the law].

3) This may sound silly, but if Seth Godin and Paul Edmondson could NOT obtain the permission of each and every content owner on Squidoo, they would "have to redo" the content (which can be time consuming and/or costly). But hey, I heard Seth Godin wrote some books. 

4) Both Seth Godin et al. and Paul Edmondson et al. should have expected to negotiate a fee directly with each content owner (author) of the work. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but just because Seth Godin et al. told Paul Edmondson et al. that he could post thousands of Squidoo articles on HubPages (without getting permission from each author) does not make this transaction legal. Even though many lensmasters (content owners) expressed wanting to "keep their link juice."

California State and Federal Law

In order to not trigger the duplicate content filter here on InfoBarrel, I've covered this in-depth in my article Theories Why HubPages Unfeatured Former Squidoo Articles. The key point is this: 

It is illegal to sell content that doesn't belong to you. And, if someone uses such copyrighted work (content) without obtaining the express permission from the content owner/author of said work, a civil lawsuit can be filed in federal court.

If the person(s) who obtained this copyrighted work is using it to make a profit (the way HubPages is right now), the U.S. Attorney can seek further action.[11]

Finally, This is False

Here is the truth (Google could verify it too):

I did NOT file all 293 DMCA notices to Google, I wrote to them and sent them proof and an explanation of what has transpired. Their response was: 

"If you pursue legal action against this site that results in the removal of the offending material, our search results will display this change after we next crawl the site. If the webmaster makes these changes and you need us to expedite the removal of the cached copy, please submit your request using our webpage removal request tool at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals."
 
So, it seems that Marisa Wright knew that "Google has no authority to remove a page from any website (except Blogger)" after all.
 
I also told Dressage Husband this. HE must have inferred that I've filed hundreds of DMCAs (which I suppose I could still do, but simply don't have the time or energy).
 
Instead, I have emailed HubPages ISP and written an open letter to Brian Britton, the General Manager of Level 3 Communications. I've had no response from them. Therefore, I've been forced to proceed with legal action which included filing an IC3 report (free to do) and a complaint with Consumer Affairs.

I responded to Marisa Wright (see comments)

and then I receive this email from Sue Adams:

Stop it already (email from Sue Adams at HubPages)
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

The subject line states: Stop it already (I will be forwarding this along to my lawyer and Consumer Affairs).

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Comments

Dec 6, 2014 11:14pm
RoseWrites
Addendum: As per the argument that "all Hubpages bought was the Squidoo domain" and "the right to host the lenses was purchased, not the actual content" is correct.

When you buy a domain, the content needs to be either your own or someone's who you obtained the permission from to host. Buying the Squidoo domain or URLs are simply addresses.

The act of IMPORTING content (that clearly isn't owned by Seth Godin or Paul Edmondson) is taking (stealing) content that doesn't belong at all to them. And UNLESS lensmasters gave their express permission (I did not) then it would be a violation of their own terms and federal and state laws.
Dec 7, 2014 2:44am
Dancingqueen
Thanks for quoting me, Rose. The reason I was asking is that when your content was imported to HubPages, you were given access to that content so you could edit or delete it as you wished. So why don't you delete them since you have that power?
Dec 7, 2014 3:02am
RoseWrites
Because in order to access my content, I would need to "verify my email address, reset a password and follow some link. Then, I would need to input a verification code."

That looks like a phishing attempt to me and my lawyer. [So NO, I really didn't have that power, now did I].

Numerous attempts were made by me to let Corey Brown know (publicly it is posted, in fact), Susan Deppner, Bonnie Diczhazy, and Seth Godin of my wishes. Numerous (if not hundreds) of former lensmasters also knew of my intentions.

So I (and others) naturally assumed that my Squidoo content would just disappear offline. This would have been great, because by now I could be posting my work on InfoBarrel (where I routinely earn 90% of the ad share - not 60% or ?less on HubPages).

You see Marisa Wright, I face duplicate content issues having my work posted on HubPages without my permission.

But thank you for chiming in, another writer told me precisely what it entailed to delete his HubPages account (even though he had no lenses) and yes, it sure reads like a phishing attempt. I've included this information now in my article.
Dec 7, 2014 2:45am
Dancingqueen
Addendum: my feeling is that if you write to Google to have the content removed, all that HubPages has to do is say, " the writer has control of that content and she is the one who has chosen not to delete it", which is true, and you will look pretty foolish, don't you think?
Dec 7, 2014 3:09am
RoseWrites
HA, I think Google has had the input from others and perhaps the IC3 in this case.

And no, I am not the ONLY one who reported Squidoo and HubPages to the IC3. There are hundreds of onlookers who have seen how you and others operate - using crowd psychology. Not too many enjoy being the whistle blower (and every whistle blower gets bullied).

As I'm sure you know, the IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

The IC3 would have powers that go beyond any lawyer or even Google. They can delve much deeper into white collar crimes and demand proof from Google based on THEIR internet crime experts.

Looking foolish is the least of my concerns . . what about you?
Dec 7, 2014 2:45am
Dancingqueen
Addendum: my feeling is that if you write to Google to have the content removed, all that HubPages has to do is say, " the writer has control of that content and she is the one who has chosen not to delete it", which is true, and you will look pretty foolish, don't you think?
Dec 7, 2014 3:10am
RoseWrites
See above comment - I didn't want to delete any of your responses Marisa Wright. Thank you for helping me clarify some crucial points.
Dec 7, 2014 3:39am
RoseWrites
To Sue Adams at HubPages,

In response to your email "Stop it already" you state: "If you don't not want to be on HubPages, all you have to do is close close your account there."

I've already answered this question above but will address you personally:

Because in order to access my content, I would need to "verify my email address, reset a password and follow some link. Then, I would need to input a verification code."

That looks like a phishing attempt to me and my lawyer.

I am sorry that demanding me to "stop it already" will not have the desired effect because we live in a free society. In Canada and the US there are laws that protect people from having their identity, email, user information, profile, and content bought and sold.
Dec 7, 2014 3:40am
RoseWrites
Add "without their express permission."
Dec 7, 2014 12:35pm
Dancingqueen
Anyone who sees the normal process of signing up for a writing site as "phishing" is determined to find conspiracies where none exist, and therefore there is no point my attempting to have a rational conversation with you. I do not propose to enter into any further debate on this article.
Dec 7, 2014 12:47pm
RoseWrites
Well, yeah.

I NEVER signed up for HubPages now did I?

I only signed up to Squidoo - who promised to NEVER sell my email, user information, identity etc. without my authorization.

So, to find 293 of my articles posted on your site (opps, on HubPages) that I did NOT put there was like finding my car stolen and then receiving an email that states: "You Car Has Been Stolen! We're really happy with your car and in order to get paid for it we want you to "very your email address, reset this password and follow this link. Then, we need you to enter this verification code."
Dec 7, 2014 12:35pm
Dancingqueen
Anyone who sees the normal process of signing up for a writing site as "phishing" is determined to find conspiracies where none exist, and therefore there is no point my attempting to have a rational conversation with you. I do not propose to enter into any further debate on this article.
Dec 7, 2014 12:50pm
RoseWrites
Oh hey, good point.

I never joined HubPages - yet my profile (on there without my permission) stated I "Joined 2 months ago."

Why is that Marisa Wright?

And what do Hubber Scores really mean?

Oh what does that "verification code" in that first email for? Does it match up to some "buyer" out there?
Dec 7, 2014 12:51pm
RoseWrites
Oh hey, good point.

I never joined HubPages - yet my profile (on there without my permission) stated I "Joined 2 months ago."

Why is that Marisa Wright?

And what do Hubber Scores really mean?

Oh what does that "verification code" in that first email for? Does it match up to some "buyer" out there?
Dec 7, 2014 12:35pm
Dancingqueen
I am sorry, for some reason my browser is double-posting my comments and I do not know how to delete the duplicate - if you are able to delete the double please do so.
Dec 7, 2014 12:52pm
RoseWrites
Oh it happens to me all the time, no worries.

I don't want to delete them because then outside readers might wonder if I was reluctant to have this discussion with you.
Dec 7, 2014 2:41pm
Dancingqueen
I'm not sure I understand. If the duplicates are deleted then no one will know they ever existed, surely.
Dec 7, 2014 3:15pm
RoseWrites
It will state "comment deleted" - if I delete thread, I might lose some if this precious evidence.

Whenever people read or see "no comment" or "comment deleted," they tend to "imagine" things that were never said at all. Or worse, they might think I didn't have a valid response to you.
Dec 7, 2014 12:54pm
RoseWrites
Sorry about my grammatical errors - in a hurry.
Dec 7, 2014 2:24pm
TanoCalvenoa
"If you don't not want to be on HubPages, all you have to do is close close your account there." This is funny. Considering no desire was ever expressed to be there in the first place (in fact, quite the opposite was expressed). Calling it "your account" makes it sound like you made it and approve of its existence - and leaves out the fact of theft.
Dec 7, 2014 2:41pm
Dancingqueen
Not really. It is your account because it was created on your behalf. If you feel the publication of your articles was theft, you have the power to walk in and reclaim your property any time you like. Of course if you believe in this ridiculous phishing theory then you won't, but you have been given ample opportunity and it's entirely your choice.
Dec 7, 2014 3:13pm
RoseWrites
I never joined HubPages, nor did TanoCalvenoa.

Your line "it was created on your behalf" is the most ridiculous manipulation I've heard of identity theft yet.

No, I don't have the power to "walk in and reclaim my property" when I would need to:

a) verify my email address
b) reset a password
c) follow some link
d) input a verification code

It looks EVEN more like phishing since TanoCalvenoa deleted ALL of his articles around Aug. 20th.

So he is probably now wondering (as I and hundreds of other silent onlookers are) what the "verification code" was for?
Dec 7, 2014 3:24pm
RoseWrites
Also, why did authors on Squidoo who already had HubPages accounts "not allowed" to simply put their Squidoo work on their existing HubPages account?

Sure smells like a buyer is connected in some way to this "password, link, and verification code."

While I'm here, Hubber Scores are for some other third party too, aren't they?
Dec 7, 2014 3:51pm
TanoCalvenoa
Theft in this case is a fact, not something subjective that you "feel."
Dec 7, 2014 4:04pm
RoseWrites
Yes. The first thing my lawyer said when he received a copy of that email from HubPages Sue Adams was, "How did this person get your email?"

I suppose the NEXT manipulation that someone at HubPages will come up with is this:

"Not only did we create your profile on your behalf, we already decided to keep the money your work is earning - since we knew you'd donate it to us anyways."
Dec 9, 2014 4:16pm
Browna86
This mess is still confusing. I've read the terms of HP when the announcement was made of the buyout and was pretty much crossed. I didn't like the wording because it made mention of earnings going to HP rather than me if something should go awry or if failed to do something regarding my account and writing submissions.

Not to mention there was too much digging involved to find the info I was searching for. I understand that not all are bothered by this but there are those who are.
Dec 9, 2014 9:54pm
RoseWrites
Yeah, and sadly word is that earnings have been "adjusted downward" - cut by a third to 40% in most cases. And truthfully, HubPages terms of service states: "You acknowledge and agree that HubPages may change the revenue share with you at any time, in HubPages’ sole discretion."

Recently, HubPages also added this: "You acknowledge and agree that you will not publicly disclose payments or earned balance (including any sub-components thereof) from the HubPages Earnings Program without prior written consent of HubPages."

So, I wonder if people who complain about making less than 60% will have their accounts closed. (Any breach in the terms means they will lose ALL of their earnings). This is part of the reason I never joined HubPages.

Thanks for commenting and supporting my efforts in all of this - it means more than you know.

Take good care,

Rose
Dec 28, 2014 7:57pm
RKHenry
I find it amazing that tshe actually came over here to basically bully you on your own turf, so to speak..., now that is comical.

Wow, what a mess they have created, and then secondly for this ms wright woman to come over here, and get in a spat with you over this legal issue.., is such poor form on her behalf. I have two accounts on hubpages, and I learned a long time ago, the ones that keep their mouth shut and off the forums, are the ones that succeed. And, this spat is proof of what I am saying. It's bullying, and good for you Rose for standing up to it. I would not have the knowledge to have done that. I am truly amazed.
Dec 28, 2014 8:29pm
RoseWrites
Actually, her coming here jogged my memory to that August 21st, 2014 forum post. I was baffled (at the time) at how much flak I received for just standing up for my rights. It seems that some people are vehemently against what I am proving to be the facts and the law.

I know some people REALLY wanted to keep their "link juice" and (unfortunately) I found out that some of that "link juice" was off the backs of others that were harder working and more deserving. So, it's not surprising, that these social loafers want to keep their links to others' work. Hence, the bullying.

There's much more to this than meets the eye.

Thanks again for your words of support - your timing is impeccable (I just deleted a couple of harassing posts from another article of mine about all this).

Sincerely,

Rose
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Bibliography

  1. "Why Did Hundreds of Hubs Become Unfeatured for Quality Today?." HubPages Forum. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  2. "Confused by Google DMCA dashboard." HubPages Forum. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  3. Writer Fox "Seth Godin's Failed Squidoo Site Sells Out to HubPages." HubPages. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  4. Kasman "Is HubPages in trouble?." Persona Paper. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  5. "Is There Some Kind of Filter On Squidoo Lenses That Came Over?." HubPages Forum. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  6. "Squidoo TOS." Internet Archive. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  7. "Why Did Hundreds of Hubs Become Unfeatured for Quality Today? ." HubPages Forum . 6/12/2014 <Web >
  8. "The Basics of Getting Permission." Stanford University Libraries. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  9. "What Work Does Copyright Protect." FindLaw. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  10. "Your rights as a copyright owner." University of Texas Libraries . 6/12/2014 <Web >
  11. "California Penal Code - Section 496." FindLaw For Legal Professionals. 6/12/2014 <Web >
  12. "Squidoo is Moving to Hubpages." InfoBarrel Forum. 7/12/2014 <Web >
  13. "Shills in the web hosting industry." WebHosting Talk. 7/12/2014 <Web >
  14. "Shill." Wikipedia. 7/12/2014 <Web >

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