Saturday, May 30, 2015

Crazy Ass HubPages Logic

Paul Edmondson Explains Similarities Between Importing and Posting Content
Satirical cartoon of Paul Edmondson as he explains why he didn't need content owners' permission and the similarities between "importing" and "posting." Created May 30th, 2015 by RoseWrites / All rights reserved (Note: You can click to enlarge cartoon)

The other day, I got into quite the brouhaha with a fellow Canadian who vehemently defends HubPages in the Squidoo "deal."

During the discussion, I stated how deceptive it is that HubPages is tallying registered users. Their Terms of Use (TOU) says, "You may not remove Author Content from the Service." I also pointed out that holding hostage someone's content/earnings and FORCING him or her to join HubPages (to obtain it) is highly unethical, deceptive, and illegal.

Yet I'm amazed to read the same line over and over. Logic that sounds like these comments:

"HubPages didn't acquire Squidoo, it only acquired the rights to transfer and host the webpages from that site." ~ colorfulone (formerly Tipi on Squidoo)

"...not the rights to the articles so much as the right to host them." ~ Stephen Parkin

What's this? A new law? 

One that supersedes the fact that both Squidoo and HubPages made it clear that authors own their content?

What the h*ll else am I going to do with a domain?
Paint it?
Take it to lunch?

The only reason (I can see) for stating authors own their content is to absolve HubPages from having to file DMCA NOIs.

As I mentioned in the comments section of Why on Earth Is Any Squid Filing a DMCA With Google:

"When you buy a domain, the content needs to be either your own or someone's you obtained the permission from to host. The Squidoo domain and its URLs are simply addresses. The act of IMPORTING content (that clearly isn't owned by Seth Godin or Paul Edmondson) is taking (stealing) content (unless each author granted them permission). I did not."

And the craziest argument I've heard is one from Dancingqueen (aka Marisa Wright) who tried this line to justify my profile being posted on HubPages: 

"It is your account because it was created on your behalf."

Without missing I beat, I had to state the obvious:

"I suppose the next manipulation that HubPages will come up with is this: Not only did we create a profile on your behalf, we decided to keep the money your work is earning - since we knew you'd donate it to us anyways."

Other Phrases That Bother Me 

When members of HubPages start to raise concerns about their content or earnings, I often read responses such as these:

"...which you agreed to when you created your account." ~ Matthew Meyer

"You own your content, but you give HubPages rights when you post on HubPages to modify it." ~ Paul Edmondson

Someone named jodijoyous asked Paul Edmondson: "Huh? Are you saying that you can - and will - modify our words regardless of whether we consent? Please clarify."

Paul Edmondson never answered her back.

Well, guess what former Squidoo authors? We did NOT post our content or create our own accounts, did we? Therefore, none of us can be held to the ridiculous HubPages Terms of Use.

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