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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pinterest and Copyright Issues

It has come to my attention, that the website Pinterest has policies that are quite controversial regarding copyright issues.

They claim that all photos pinned gives them the right to use those photos as they choose.  Well, I'm not sure how they can make this claim a policy because people are pinning photos from all over the internet without permission from the copyright holder's.

I confess, I have enjoyed Pinterest for several months now and thought of it as a social network as well as an indirect way to promote my blog, website and Etsy shop however, it's a dangerous situation.  It never occurred to me that my copyrights were being infringed upon.  Please note:  I own the copyrights on all photos posted here on my blog, on my website, in my Flickr albums and on my Etsy shop!

If I post photos from anyone else's website here on my blog, I always ask for permission and I always include a link to the source site!  Not only is this the "legal" way of doing things, it's also proper etiquette.

I will be removing my boards from Pinterest momentarily and I would like to ask that if any of my photos are on your boards, please remove them as soon as possible.

I would like to point you in the direction of Sharon B's Pintangle blog.  Sharon has posted an indepth discussion on the subject of Pinterest and the copyright implications of using the site.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Glad you brought this up; had a friend who--without asking--pinned one of my photos and within 5 min it had been repinned I don't know how many times.
I never used Pinterest due to these issues~~wondered how they get around copyright when everyone else can post your work.
Granted, it was not one of my favorite photos, nor best, but it was MINE and I have copyright all over my blog.


Anonymous said...

I love your crazy quilt blocks. I follow your blog, to see all the prettys. I may have been guilty of posting your pictures to pintrest. I will go and see if I can delete any I may have posted. sorry but I did not know they were using them for reasons not so legal. I thought of it as a sort of like my personal bookmark page with pictures. Again I am sorry about this and I promise I only use it (pintress) for ideas and learning techniques.. EA

black bear cabin said...

i admit, i enjoy pinterest...but the things i pin are usually recipes, and the posts have an option to pin :) i am much more careful about it now though, and i saw this post on how to keep people from pinning your blog and is the link if you are interested. She also has a great blog :)

ShirleyC said...

They have now changed their policies starting April 6th. You should have gotten a notification email about this by now.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I haven't gotten involved in Pinterest, which sounds like it might be a good thing with everything I've been reading the past few days. I thought all along that it would raise some pretty serious copyright issues.

DIAN said...

this is really a useful reminder to read the small print. Not everything is clear on the net.


LuLu Kellogg said...

I too thought it was a good way to promote other Artists' work along with ours too. What a nightmare this is turning out to be.

Traci said...

Please... RELAX, ladies. This is NOT a nightmare. The new Pinterest TOS is more clear; please read it. They say very clearly they WILL NOT SELL your images, copywritten or not, nor was it ever their intention.

Pinterest was always intended to be a facilitator to help people find what interests them and follow the image to the website where they can find it. Nothing more, nothing less. I still think it's a great selling and marketing tool; if you want to share your product with the world, there's almost no better direct way to do it.... and it's FREE. Google, Bing, and other search engines offer image searches in the same way; click on the pic, it takes you to the website. Why isn't anyone outraged over THEIR practices? It's essentially the same thing; All Pinterest is doing is providing a larger thumbnail to view the pic before directing you to the originating website. Has NO ONE but me clicked on an image to visit the website and read more?

They used standard TOS guidelines when creating the site, which they have now amended into easier language so as not to be so scary. Before everyone condemns Pinterest as a site made up to capitalize on the images of others' hard work and sue innocent people for their participation, please read the amended TOS.

When you pin something from the web, then click on the pic, it takes you to the original website where it was posted (AKA your blog, etc). Only if someone were to download it, then try to pass it off as their own image would it ever be considered to be copyright infringement. Hence....the creation of watermarks (which I highly recommend).

If you are pinning from the web, you are not stealing images, and you won't likely be sued.... credit goes back to the original source (the website where it was obtained). If it were so bad, you wouldn't see large, heavily lawyered-up corporations like with giant red "Pin it!" buttons right under the photos, practically begging you to pin their images.

To put it another way: You (hypothetical) post your work on the internet. Obviously, this means you WANT people to see what you do. If you sell your work, you probably WANT to drive traffic to your website, blog, whatever. There are many ways to accomplish this. Pinterest is one of them. Pinterest, like Google, is just a library of images that lead people to find you. Is that so bad?

Why not let's spend more energy providing incentives to companies to help us bring traffic and business to our sites, versus trying to condemn and bar them from storing and sharing our content to a wider audience?

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