Saturday, January 23, 2010
2:52 AM | Posted by jp | Edit Post
eHow UK Site Impacted Earnings - Redirects Articles HomeeHow has taken action to move forward. They redirected the UK articles to the US articles supposedly as of January 21. While I think it is interesting an entire day went by without the action being reported, I am glad something has finally changed. I do still have some suspicions that are actually fueled in part by the way eHow has fixed the situation. As much as I wish I knew programming, I don't. I do find it interesting that they could remedy the UK situation by simply redirecting our articles. To me, this means that the intent with the UK site was clearly one of gathering views and making free money. eHow made a lot of money in the past half year by diverting viewers to their free mirror site. They clearly did NOT pay or compensate us in any way for any action over the past five or six months while using articles and lying about the real impact of the UK site.
If the solution to this UK situation is simply redirecting the UK articles back to the US articles then eHow absolutely had full awareness that the UK site set up unfair and direct competition. For members who supported eHow through this entire UK site charade, I just wonder if they realize what eHow UK did to members, them included. The multi-million dollar company built by community members made a mirror website with our content, without our permission, likely violating intellectual property laws, and then has the audacity to make a statement about community. I wonder what an intellectual properties lawyer or online copyright law attorney thinks about this blatant misuse of content. One thing is certain. Online content writers need to learn about copyright law, including how to report plagiarism when bloggers and scrapers use content without permission. The internet should not be a place without morality. I am going to read up on copyright law and suggest go to the library, search online, or read some books about copyright law and licensing.
Rich Says eHow Did Not Deceive Members - Can't We All Just Get AlongI am not a lawyer. I want to know what rights, if any, were actually violated in the process of them using my eHow articles on a cloned UK site then covering it up and not paying members for it. Rich, eHow's Community Manager commented:
"Look, everyone will have their own thoughts. However, I think few folks are really caught up in the fact that we intentionally tried to "deceive" our members, and that's not true. And, I'm being honest about this. I just need to butt in when I read such things because that was definitely not our intention. Our commitment is to our community and it's a team effort to tie up any loose ends that may have been over looked. You can't change things if everyone keeps having that mentality of "you vs me." If you want eHow to be the best site possible and a site that you can be proud of, then we need to work together, collaboratively, to make that happen. -Rich"
If the eHow community is going to move forward from this UK fiasco, eHow is going to have to make some kind of concession that they made a mistake. Although I suspect they legally cannot do that without admitting some sort of fault that can land them in hotter water. The community is asking for compensation*. Some people are talking about lawsuits. eHow "solved" the problem with a simple redirect of our articles. When Google crawls the site again it will read all the new code further directing it away from the UK site.
What then was the purpose of the UK site. Where do we go from here? If they can direct the UK back to the US then didn't they have to first direct the readers to the UK?
(update: eHow admits fault and compensates writers, sort of)