Pinterest, Part 2- Even More Evil (and a Book Video)

Last post on Pinterest, pinky promise.

It has come to my attention today through an old high school friend on Facebook that Pinterest is even more evil than I thought- and this time it's a little serious. Ever heard of a thing called copyright? How about Terms of Use?

Basically, and technically, you could be sued over what you put on Pinterest, if you're lifting images without making sure there's an obvious citation (and not just the link copied over from the pin). And even if you are repinning form an original source you have to make sure that there's nothing on the site stipulating image use- so that "repin" nonsense it a little dangerous. A lot of websites and blogs are now including "pin it" buttons, which voids the liability, so you're safe there. But artists and photographers are especially wary, since other businesses (even Pinterest in a round about way) can take their prints and sell them, since the whole file is stored, not just a thumbnail. Pinterest's Terms of Use basically waives them of any copyright infringement and puts it back on the pinee- you. And me. Shady, for sure- the document is long and I highly doubt any of us has truly read the whole thing (I just skimmed it). They are of course making it easier for the people that own the images to report violations, as have they created a code to block pinning (like Flickr uses).

So what does it mean? Should we cancel our accounts or depin things? Honestly, I'm not really sure. Personally I plan to go on and "clean up" my account, at some point. I feel that it's okay to pin things that are directing to corporate sites meant to sell things- by pinning a dress or some shoes I'm essentially advertising for Modcloth, Anthro, or whoever. I'm also pretty comfortable pinning recipes from original sources- I'm not passing off the recipe as mine and am generating traffic to blogs. What I've decided against are blatant artistic photos. At that point not only is it copyright infringement, it's just plain wrong. So many artists and photographers take pride in their work and don't make money off it; the fact that eventually Pinterest, or someone else, may make their company more corporate and somehow rob these people of revenue isn't okay (there's so many articles out there that use some serious technical and legal jargon; research them for more info). Some artists are completely fine with pinning- anything for exposure. Some, though are rightfully upset. I've heard of some people being bothered, too; they hear of their wedding pictures or newborn portraits pinned by strangers and are uncomfortable. It's just a matter of being mindful about what you pin.

And I'm not trying to panic anyone- I find it very unlikely that a process server is going to show up on your doorstep serving you papers for pinning someone's photo of a English Bulldog hugging a random lady (note to self- remove that one). But, then again, that's what everyone said about music piracy- they do like to make examples out of the little guys occasionally. I think, though, that people must come to terms that nothing is sacred on the Internet. If you put something out there you need to realize that it could go viral and soon be everywhere within seconds. If you don't want people to see it, don't put it on the effing world wide web! This whole Pintergate (I just made that up- original, huh?) is obviously an over-reaction, on many levels, but it's something to be aware of. Stay calm. Your pins on making brownies and pillows out of dental floss are fine.

This is so relevant to bloggers, too. I have tried really hard to pin from original sources and give credit, either through a link that says "source" or by adding a hyperlink to the actual picture. I've played around with a few options, and from now on I plan on doing photo credits at the bottom of my posts- easier and clear. I've also included a sidebar indicating what a person is to do if I someone haven't credited the right source. It's just the right thing to do.

I feel like Diane Sawyer. I'd love to hear your take on the issue, and if you've done more research on it to share.

Two interesting articles on the pinning scare/overreaction: DDK Portraits and Lex Technoligiae

And, since you sat through another post in Pinterest I shall reward you with not only the promise of it being the last, but also of a spoof on the whole Huckleberry Finn censorship fiasco. I seriously think rappers should take on their approach- "Yo, yo, yo my robot, let's go get some bitches and hoes..."

[source: I took this from]

I kid, I kid.

1 comment:

  1. When I first explained Pinterest to Sergio, this is exactly what he said. He brought up the whole copyright thing and now I'm all paranoid. I'm rethinking Pinterest. I've also been paranoid about my blog contents. Although I keep it pretty private and lighthearted, you just never know with those crazies out there.