Monday, March 19, 2012

To Pinterest or Not to Pinterest?

We all have seen the different articles and posts about Pinterest. We have read the pros and the cons. When I first signed up for Pinterest I truly didn’t know much about it, how it worked, and most of what I seen at the time were cute sayings, that reflected my interest. As time went by though, every time I went to pin something, I felt guilty, I had a lump in my gut telling me, so I truly have the right to pin this? Who does this really belong to? How would I really feel to find my pictures pinned?

I suppose after years of graphic design, web designs, I learned a lot about copyright. I suppose this was the lump in my gut saying something is wrong here. I stopped pinning, kept adding followers, but never pinned to my boards anymore. I finally closed my pinterest account and have no regrets.

This weekend this article was posted which truly summed up my feelings about Pinterest and their policies. I know many of us bloggers, me included blog to share our ideas, things we’ve tried, recipes, crafts and such with everyone else. We share what is working and what is not. We hope we are able to add a little wisdom, support, and fun to our readers. We openly share photos, and open our homes up to our readers. While we do all of this we open ourselves up to some very vulnerabilities. I am not talking about some of the past issues, or concerns about are we putting our children at risk, but more about the act of someone stilling our hard work, our writings, pictures, everything we put on our blog? I have heard sadly where there are those who do still entire post content from blogs and post it as their own. While I must say I have never had this happen to me, nor know of it happen in my circle of followers, this is a reality of sharing on the Internet. I think all of us can at this point say, Oh That is so Wrong!

I have seen a few of my photos pinned, pretty much just pictures of cookies I have baked, I guess it didn’t really bother me, when I knew the person that was pinning these, but when I discovered complete strangers pinning from my friends boards, my pictures, I began to ask, am I loosing control of my personal ownership of my files, pictures, content?

Here we go this is the copyright law as it is written:

What is copyright?

According to the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 13th Edition, “Artists’ rights to control the use of their original creative art are defined primarily by copyright law.”

Copyright includes a bundle of individual rights, which allow the author to reproduce, display and distribute their work, or intellectual property. In the past, intellectual property required copyright registration in order to be protected. Current law says that from the moment a piece of intellectual property has been created, whether it’s a photograph, logo, song, article or drawing, it is protected by copyright – with no need for registration. That means that as long as you created the work, the copyright belongs to you. 

I guess it comes down to this: many bloggers make templates that they post for the taking, they usually tell you that this is a downloadable file. Many share recipes, which at this point they expect that you will try their recipe to see if you enjoy it too. We share ideas, crafts, science experiments, things our children are learning, that we expect you to either take and try or leave. For the most part when we use someone’s idea, we all are good about giving credit for where we got the idea. Yet, we don’t post other’s pictures on our blog, we don’t go around and take each other’s pictures and publicly post them on our blog and say “See what I found!”

I guess we will all have our own individual feelings about this issue, some will say but I share my work for all to see, and see Pinterest as another way to pull in traffic to my blog. Yet, I see where many times our work is not being credited, there isn’t always a link back to our blogs, that in itself takes away from the desire to bring more traffic. I have clicked on many pins just to see the original source, and have found them linked to nowhere.

Keeping the copyright laws in mind, and my personal feelings, I am no longer using Pinterest. If you would like to pin something of mine I would appreciate you asking me first. I think this should be the rule of thumb across the board, please get the owners permission before pinning their work. 

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  1. It's one I'm still thinking through. Where I'm ending up is the "Mommy blogger" type things where it's here's this cool science experiment I will probably still pin because most of the ones I know want to be pinned and shared. I'm starting to think I had a "funny" board, which primarily consisted of funny quotes and things like that. To my mind that might be closer to the art pictures that people were complaining about being pinned. So, I need to do some thinking about those types of pins.

    I will also make sure to not pin your blog without asking first :)

  2. I have mixed feelings about Pinterest copyright issues. The truth is that there were never any serious ways to prevent "stealing" Internet content. Pinterest makes it easier to aggregate and consolidate and adds social aspect to it, just like FB does. I think the problem that I see with Pinterest that someone can become my follower and access my boards without my explicit permission.