Having not seen a response from the eHow team as to whether deleting articles and videos from eHow writer libraries on US accounts also deleted their counterparts on the eHow UK site, I answered the question for myself. The answer is, “Yes.” When a US writer deletes an article or video from their library, it is simultaneously removed from eHow UK.
Because one of my eHow videos had been stolen by so many other sites, especially in(dot)com, and because I could get no help on the matter from eHow and the offending sites did not respond to my requests to remove it, the risk was increasing that Google would see my eHow page as having unreliable, duplicate, possibly plagiarized content. The stolen videos were ranking above several of the eHow links to my video and someone else’s Twitter about my video. So I deleted it myself from eHow.
I will either move the video to Examiner (via YouTube, which at least watermarks it), or to my own blog in a few days, after it has been de-indexed by Google. While it will still not be that difficult for others to record it, it is not likely that anyone would bother. And if they did, having two or three plagiarized copies is not as big a deal as having more than 50 high-ranking illegal copies of my work that compete with my own, original publication.
After deleting the video, it immediately disappeared from both eHow.com and eHow.co.uk. It also disappeared from a few of the plagiarized sites, but not all. It is possible that it will still reside on the eHow server until deletions are batch-processed, if that is their procedure. I will continue to check and update the information here, in case anyone else is curious about this.
That being said, I would advise other eHow writers who find that one of their videos has a significant number of competing, plagiarized listings in Google to delete it from eHow–especially if it is not making much money, and if you cannot manage to force the offending sites to remove their copies. It may not be worth jeopardizing your profile’s reputation in Google to leave it on the site. It is unlikely that a video will ever make much money if traffic is being diverted to other sites, and you can always watermark it with your name and re-post it elsewhere.
The question that remains is whether eHow plans to compensate writers for using their articles and videos on eHow UK. I’m not even sure whether many eHow writers will be concerned about this, as long as the UK versions of our work do not compete for traffic with our original posts and lower our revenues.
We want eHow to continue to be a strong force on the Google playing field. It seems that it would simply be the right thing to do for eHow to tell us how the work we created and own the rights to is being used, and whether (and how) we will benefit from Demand Media using our work in additional venues to increase their bottom line.
For certain they are not paying residuals for content that is viewed through the ehow.co uk domain. I believe that the only reason eHow created a domain for another country was to create a loophole so that they could pay their US based freelancers less in residuals. Think about it, couldn’t people in Britain read eHow articles before the UK site was created? Of course. But now, since the clone site is technically a different site, eHow can say the their US writers, “ooo, sorry chaps!”
I feel dumb.
I never considered that, hey, UK readers could read those articles before, so why clone the US site for them?
And it apparently was not created to offer UK writers compensation, because the Writer Compensation Program clause was completely deleted from the UK site’s Terms of Service.
Thank you for pointing that out, ginam.