|(but love this!) Vintage chalkboards & magnet boards from Shugabee Lane|
When I first heard of Pinterest I thought that idea was really cool - what a neat way to share things I found on the internet. I could use it with my mother and friends and make new connections. It would be much easier than posting blogs or spamming my Facebook friends' feed pages with "omg! look at this!"
I started seeing my jewelry photos on the pinboards of others. Which was nice. But then something happened. It was without any link back to my Etsy shop, Flickr, website, or anyplace where I had posted my property. I started seeing my property without any attribution to me or my company - even if it did link back to me. I couldn't just search for my name, company name, variation of my company name, etc, to find all the places I was on Pinterest. It took a little more digging. And I'm sure there are more pins than I know of, the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
Many people may say that it is nice just to be noticed, to get the recognition, that "Any Publicity is Good Publicity." But I whole-heartily disagree. It is not publicity if there is no attribution.
Here's what it said before (and did anyone read this??):
1. Sharing Your Content
- Your content. Pinterest allows you to pin and post content on the Service, including photos, comments, and other materials. Anything that you pin, post, display, or otherwise make available on our Service, including all Intellectual Property Rights (defined below) in such content, is referred to as “User Content.” You retain all of your rights in all of the User Content you post to our Service.
- How Pinterest and other users can use your content. Subject to any applicable account settings you select, you grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify (e.g., re-format), re-arrange, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest for the purposes of operating and providing the Service(s) to you and to our other Users. Nothing in these Terms shall restrict Pinterest’s rights under separate licenses to User Content. Please remember that the Pinterest Service is a public platform, and that other Users may search for, see, use, and/or re-pin any User Content that you make publicly available through the Service. The rest & updated terms are here...
So, where does this leave me? I use the images of others on my blog to promote, discuss and simply share. I always give credit, link back, notify and ask permission. And if asked, I would remove (but that has never happened). But thanks to a little bit of html code, you can block people from pinning your images (and the images of others) from your website, blog or any other page that you have access to the html code.
Flickr has also begun to block pinning from individual user pages. However it is frustrating to have to opt-out of a service that you never opted into. Now only if Etsy will follow (and remove the built in pin-it button).
In conclusion, I completely understand that the majority of Pinterest users are well-intentioned and that the creators of Pinterest probably weren't trying to create the copyright/intellectual property-violating monster that they kind of have. I know many people who use Pinterest, who will continue, and that is completely fine - I'm not here to chastise anyone (or any of my clients or followers who have lovingly pinned my work to their boards. I do appreciate the sentiment, I really do.)
I am not naive enough to believe that blocking Pinterest on my blog or telling you how to protect yours will stop copyright and intellectual property infringement across the board.
So why I am I telling you this if so little will change?
Because, The more you know!, right? (NBC Public Service Announcement). Thus, knowing is half the battle. (Thank you, G.I. Joe). Also, knowledge is power. (Sir Francis Bacon). (I think I've lost it). Thanks for listening. xo
UPDATE: Since I have written this original post Pinterest has changed their user agreement/TOS. I have started to use Pinterest a tad (joined the dark side). I am still controlling the use of my own work and I am responsibly using others (giving credit where credit is due). You can read more here: Pinterest Revisted: http://www.leeohio-blog.com/2012/07/pinterest-revisited.html