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?"
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.
Here Are the Reasons Why Marisa Wright
"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).
Addendum April 23rd, 2015:
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.
From Kasman in Business on Persona Paper
"Is HubPages in trouble?"
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.
Hmm, she certainly fits the description of a shill - which is also illegal.
Online, here are some key factors 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 (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.
Note: In Media section at bottom, you may click and see my screenshots enlarged on a separate page (which you may link to).
Further along she says "They Won't Be Deleted"
But here's the proof we were told "they will disappear"
From HubPages Forum Thread
"Is There Some Kind of Filter On Squidoo Lenses That Came Over?"
Oops, Paul Forgot to Deny Paying for Lenses
Marisa Wright stated in "Why Did Hundreds of Hubs Become Unfeatured for Quality Today?" forum thread
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
Both Squidoo and HubPages Clearly State
They Do Not Own the Content
So, according to every legal resource 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.
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:
I responded to Marisa Wright (see comments)
and then I receive this email from Sue Adams:
The subject line states: Stop it already (I will be forwarding this along to my lawyer and Consumer Affairs).