Monday, March 26, 2012

Pinterest and Copyright...My Head Hurts!

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I've been dreading writing this post, because it is such a touchy subject...Copyright. I've had a ton of emails asking whether people should delete their Pinterest accounts. I just want to mention, whatever I write here is my opinion and my own thoughts on this subject. Be kind in the comments section...I might cry!! LOL

The definition I found online is...


1. the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.
We all know what copyright is, but boy is it confusing...more so with the ease of information through the internet and computers. The new HOT website Pinterest has brought the topic of copyright to the forefront, especially in blogging. Many of us have Pinterest accounts and talk about it on our blogs.
The concept is awesome and that part I won't back down from. It's brilliant actually. Pinterest allows its users to have "virtual" cork boards where you can "Pin" your favorites. Favorites in any category you, sewing, quilting, home decor, style, crafting etc. You can follow other Pinners and they can follow you...just like blogging. The wealth of inspiration that flows through Pinterest is astonishing.
You can "pin" something directly from the Internet and Pinterest automatically links the picture you have chosen to the actual site it came credit to that person, blog or owner of the picture, idea, recipe, tutorial etc. You can also "repin" something that you see on one of the other pinners that you follow. Just make sure if you repin something, the actual true link is still there to give that person the credit. (I know confusing, but once you start, it's like inspirational caffeine!! LOL)
Here's the MESS, what I can decipher from all the chatter on the tv, radio and blogs...when you take a photo or idea and copy it some place else, without permission from the are violating copyright rules. We know that part, but I assumed since it automatically linked back to the author that was enough. Is it?
For ME and I mean for ME ONLY...I love sharing what I do. When I started this blog, I knew that once I clicked the "Publish Post" button, whatever I put out there was out of my hands to some degree. You have to really understand that, if you publish something on the Internet, it's out there for the world. Do I have a copyright paragraph on my side bar?...yes. This just covers me so I don't see one of my projects or patterns mass produced in the millions and some one else profiting from it. What I do want is someone to make and love the things I share on this blog. Make things for you, your family,  friends and even make a few and sell them at craft fairs or etsy shops. I even have a "pin it" button on each post, so you can pin the idea to your boards.
Blogging is inspiration and sharing of ideas, so I'm not sure why someone would be upset if their picture is "pinned" to some one's inspiration board. They LOVED it that much, they PINNED IT!! It's also linked back to you and your site. If they found your project on the Internet, then it must have been posted by you, so it's "out there" for all to see anyway. Posted for the world to see...really, the WORLD. If it's linked back to you to give you harm done. Right? (This is where I might find some opposition)
There is a new HTML code that you can add to your blog as a gadget. It will pop up if someone tries to pin something. Something like... This site does not allow pinning. Click HERE if you want to see that from Pinterest
I don't have any hard facts for this next part, but I feel most Pinterest users are like me (I am naive though)...we pin something because we love it and want to refer back to it at some point. I will NEVER use a picture I have pinned for profit...NEVER. and to think that I was violating copyright rules...NEVER. Will I ever find the time to make all the things I pin and find inspirational? Definitely not. I just love collecting ideas. Pinterest is just like all those magazines I rip the pages out of and save for future reference. Pinterest compared to my saved magazines pages is like comparing the Jetsons to Little House on the Prairie. Lol
Here is another point I am confused take a photo and save it to your Pinterest account. What makes pinning something to Pinterest any different than...
  • placing or saving the picture in your "favorites" or "bookmarks" on your computer or saving the photo in your photo section
  • or sending the picture to a friend through emails or texting
  • sharing a picture on your blog even if you put the source
  • using sites like Stumble
  • using Evernote which is a free program to save things on your iPhone or difference, just on your phone or iPad instead of Pinterest. You are taking inspirational photos from the web and placing them some where else.

The other issue with Pinterest is their terms of use. There has been so much hub bub about it, they changed their terms. Click HERE if you want to read the new version. Seems like they are really trying to keep this concept fair for everyone with the new changes.

Not sure what the point of this post was other than to explain what I've been feeling and to see what others are thinking too.

What's on your mind about this topic?

So, so confused,


  1. All this mess about Pinterest is driving me crazy. It is nice that they changed some of their terms and there is now some code to block pinning from your site, should you choose. It is unfortunate that there are people out there who steal and cheat and ruin it for the rest of us, because I just use Pinterest so I'm not cluttering up my computer with all of the inspiration and ideas I've found on the internet. Seriously, my hard drive was full before I joined (and then my hubby amped up my computer so I'd have more room anyway). I think, if I read everything correctly, I agree with your viewpoint.

  2. I've been a bit confused, too :( Of course, I haven't allowed myself to spend too much time on Pinterest, just because it is so engrossing. I hope that the change in the terms of use policy is more clarifying and helpful for people. I do like how I can keep my few pins organized and refer back to them when I want (for recipes, tutorials, etc.)

  3. I love Pinterest. It gives me access to things I might not stumble upon otherwise. I think what you said about sharing and inspiring deserves a big Amen! It's what makes having a computer fun for me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Pinterest is how I found a lot of blogs that I now visit *daily*. I would be remiss if one of them stopped allowing Pins and to be honest I'd wonder about their motives and probably not go back. As a photographer I see copyright differently. If someone pins my picture bc they love it that's grand. A LOT of photographers are up in arms about it though. If someone took my pic and cropped out my name I'd be upset. If they tried to sell the image I'd be upset. But to pin it and say "awww how cute!", I do not see that as a bad thing.

    2. oh and to add, Pinterest is how I found this blog and I love it and I'm back every day. It was the pic of your super awesome sewing room that got me. :))

  4. I'm another pinterest lover, and it's actually how I originally found your blog! It's horrible how the actions of a few can ruin it for everyone- stealing patterns for profit, parents afraid to post pictures of their children in case they fall into bad hands, etc. I can see where people would be upset, but then again, duplication is one of the biggest forms of flattery, right? It's a fine line, with excellent arguments for both sides. I'm with you- I use it for inspiration, but then there are others who just ruin it all, and I bet if you looked hard enough, at least one of your patterns or tutorials is being passed off as someone else's work! It's a harsh world :-/

  5. I think I'm in agreement with you and your other commenters. I use it "like torn out magazine pages". I want to know where that tutorial was or that quilt that inspired me. I think it is a bit weird that it is so public but hey, I'm from a different generation that didn't have Facebook and seemed to value privacy. I don't think too many people want to know what I ate for lunch, what my current mood is, etc.... I'm not sure that someone else will be interested in my pins either. I know that it was a huge help when planning my daughters recent wedding.

  6. I agree, sort of, LOL! First and foremost I LOVE Pinterest. Love.

    I think everyone has a personal choice to make on the Pinterest issue. I had a lot of pins. I used Pinterest as visual inspiration and "visual bookmarking". I have deleted all of my pins (for now). When I first started using Pinterest I had NO clue that you could link back to the source and certainly did not know how to. I simply did not have the time to check every pin I had and rather than be disrespectful (at the least) by not crediting a source I deleted (sob!).

    I think that someone blogging about a quilt or general craft or recipe or the flowers in the garden has to expect that they have "put it out there" I think someone who makes their living through professional photography and has a website with copy write info there has the right to not expect to see their work on Pinterest, particularly with the use agreement that was in place. My biggest concerns were due to the use agreement (which I admittedly did not fully read when I signed up. I am already hijacking your comments, so I won't list my details here :-). Along with that, while I feel like I have a grip on what I should not "put out there" There were/are at least a few cases of scans of patterns and recipes from currently published books that were uploaded and passed around. If it were my work I would not be happy.

    I have not read through the new terms of use thoroughly yet, I suspect they are much friendlier. I sincerely hope so, because I want my pins back!

    As for the issues that confuse you...well, they confuse me too. Not sure where or what the line is. Why it is there or when it is crossed...Here's hoping it all gets worked out peacefully :-)

  7. I'm glad that you posted your thoughts. I feel pretty much the same. I'm just enjoying the a very light, non complicated way. I don't think (and am hoping) that no one whose picture i post will chase after me because I really LUVed the picture and just posted it to a "favorites" virtual cork board.


  8. From what I've come to understand from my own research, the issue isn't so much the individual users, but what will happen when the site monetizes.

    Right now, everything is free. No one is being charged for anything, there are no ads, no money is being made. Still, Cold Brew Labs (the company behind Pinterest) has a ridiculous amount of cash coming in from investors that are hoping for the pay out when Pinterest takes the same steps to start making a profit from their massively popular site, steps similar to those Facebook took. Remember when Facebook was ad free? simple? straightforward? just college kids? Then everyone got on, there were games, ads, sketchy selling of personal data. The real issue is what happens when Pinterest/Cold Brew Labs starts making money off of what users are posting, the vast majority of it being content that is not theirs.

    For some original content generators, that won't really be an issue. They will be glad for the traffic (and Pinterest drives a TON of traffic, more than Facebook and Twitter combined according to some statistics, and sorry I don't have the source off hand). And isn't that what bloggers want? Increased traffic and awareness of their site? But the ends should not be used to justify the means if it comes at the expense of creators, especially those who are trying to make a living off their creative content. Legally, linking back gets sketchy as a form of credit or citation. Personally, I hate when pins don't link back to original content so I can see the real information about a great looking recipe or a cool project or product or give credit to the original content creator. It shortchanges the users and the creators. For others, there is a real chance they could be financially affected by Pinterest. Photographers seem to be one of the most vocal parties.

    There is also the issue that whenever you pin an image, a full sized image is stored on Pinterest's servers. When an individual does this, saves a picture to their hard drive, emails it to a friend, it (usually) is safely in the realm of 'fair use' since no one is making money off it and it is being used for personal means. When a corporation does it there is usually money involved and that's things get messy. Who and how do they compensate? how much? do they have individual contracts? a flat rate? a per-click rate? I do believe that someone else should not be making a profit from your product and not compensate you.

    Personally, I think Pinterest can be a wonderful tool, a fantastic means of sharing information and inspiration, and an awesome visual bookmarking service (I mean, how great is it to SEE everything you bookmarked?). I love it. I have found many great blogs I never would have come across otherwise. But I have stopped using it and am contemplating deleting my account (although whatever images I pinned will be on Cold Brew Labs' servers for an undisclosed, possibly indefinite amount of time) because these waters are just too murkey right now. Yes, there are ways to use Pinterest in a perfectly legal way. Only pin your own content or content with "Pin It" buttons or which you have permission to use the images. But to me, that seems like too much of a hassle for something that is supposed to be a personal use.

    So, long story short, money (even if it's not real-yet) is going to make things messy. Pineterst is a great service, the execution of that service has not considered the full extent to which it fits into (or does not fit into) the law.

  9. You are my hero!! I have been on the fence whether to speak out on this craziness and you my dear, just read my mind. The ranting and petitions and post after post makes me want to pull my hair out. I shall vent for a moment....

    I've been wondering - If pinning to Pinterest was such a risk then why is every big name magazine, retail store and recipe site promoting Pinterest? They all have high paid legal teams that review everything these companies do and if they were given the green light to play around pinning what is the blogging world fussing about??
    Like everything else in life - there are rules to follow, proper etiquette that is expected and most of all being honest and fair. You are so right about posting anything to the web. - once you hit publish you put yourself out there for millions to see. At that moment you lose all of your control anyway.

    I know I am naive to think everyone is good and wouldn't steal ideas and always gives proper credit. I also don't know of I'm right or wrong with the way I feel about Pinterest. I do know I enjoy pinning and I pin responsibly! Thanks for sharing your thoughts so honestly!! AJ@queenofmynest

  10. I have read your comments with interest and yes, I thought the very same thing when it first started - it would be very useful to have a 'scrapbook' online to go back to when inspiration is needed ;-) The 'devil' as they say, 'is in the detail' My main concern is that when 'pinning' to Pinterest the person doing the pinning (I quote from Pinterests updated terms here) "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 ......" I DO NOT grant Pinterest any of these rights and the person pinning my images from my blog or my store or my photo album does not have the right to do so either! I do hope this can be worked out to benefit of the users and the original owners of the images - it really IS a wonderful idea to have an online scrapbook to refer to when needed ;-)

    1. I think that is what they've changed... that they won't be trying to make money off your pins. They sent me an email that I skimmed sorry I'm being so vague.

  11. I thought that pinning was fair because it linked back to the original source, until someone pointed out that if I put one of your photos on MY blog, and then other people pin that, it credits me with the photo. This may be fine if I've linked to you, but even then some people might not go the extra step and I get the traffic and credit, not you. Like all the wonderful tools we have now, there are downsides, but hopefully it will all sort itself out to the benefit of most people.

  12. thank you for this blog post...your post reiterated my we do (or like we are supposed to do) we should give the credit to the person who does the work...from sewing to photography , from cooking to home decor everything...

    the sad part is some people don't want to do that many other things happening in this world..."Misuse" what ever we have before "using" it...

    i really loved the idea of online pin board...and i was really disturbed to see the scanned copy of patterns and tutorials from books and magazine, flood on pin boards just like that...

    Copyright violation is always illegal...even if we save illegal copy to computer or pin it to pinterest...

  13. Can I just start with a HUGE "thank you" for this post. At last a voice speaking up for the (I suspect) vast majority of us Pinners who just want to bookmark stuff we find on the internet.

    I HATE when someone has pinned something from google images or flickr and there's no link to the original tutorial/blog post. Now, if we could just get those people to pin correctly ...

    One bad thing about the "no Pin" HTML code for blogs - if someone wants to pin a picture from your blog and you have that code in to stop them, they can just put that photo on to their computer (by a screenshot if you have the right-click blocked) and load it up anyway. It would show as an "uploaded by user" pin with no link back to your original post. Which would you rather have? A link back or no link back?

    Like you, I doubt I will find the time to make most of the things I've pinnned but, oh, it's fun! My daughter calls Pinterest a "happy place". It's where we own that beautiful house with that huge kitchen, tidy garden and vast book room. We sew quilts or clothes all day long and make bags/jewellery/desserts to our hearts' content. A girl can dream, eh? :o)

  14. This is a tricky one, isn't it? I love Pinterest too, but find the terms a little hard to swallow. Even with the new Terms and Conditions, it makes me reticent to pin because I don't have permission to do so and certainly don't have the time to ask people. I like seeing my own pictures pinned as it is nice knowing someone appreciates my ideas, as long as it's properly attributed to me that is! I think I need to write a Pinterest policy on my blog so that folks know what/how to pin my photos. I hope Pinterest figures it all out and I can start pinning again.

  15. After all the hubbub started regarding copyrights and Pinterest, I went back and look at everything I had pinned. I made sure that each pin went directly back to whomever I pinned from and "think" that solved any potential issues. I do not pin from other boards unless there is a direct link back to the initial posting. I know I can bookmark whatever thing I find interesting but bookmarking is cumbersome and pinning is so much easier. And I do know how to set up topics for bookmarking but again, pinning is just such a nice tool. I certainly would not want someone to think I was purporting content as my own if it is not!

    1. Before I pin something, I click on the photo and follow it back to the original source and pin from there. That way as soon as the photo is clicked, it goes to the person's site so they get the credit

  16. Let's hit the Tylenol together! Thank you for speaking your mind/confusion. Same here. I think Lauren here put it very clearly. I love Pinterest, so much better to have the visual link up there instead of weeding through links that I bookmarked and can't remember what they were about. Now, I have the pic there and immediately know what it is, I can look up tutorials with one click. Brilliant! I try to pin from the original source and give credit where credit is due, especially now with all the confusion. (Must admit though that I've not gone back and check every pin from the beginning).

  17. It's like you have read my mind! I totally agree with all of your comments - you put it out there, people love it so they want to look at if for future use and maybe they will find the time to do something with said pin. I for one also have a long list of things that I'd love to make, do and even try but I certainly don't have that sort of time. So I pin it and then go back ever so often to look at it again. Who knows in a year I might delete some of those pins because being a women you always change your mind and tastes. Pinterest helps me figure out what my design/decorating style really is. Glad the naysayers who are afrain I might make their stuff and sell it will be able to put a block on their stuff. Now I can continue to pin away and not have a care in the world. Happy Pinning!

  18. When I first started pinning, I had no idea whether it was linked back to the original source because like many things on the Internet, I had no idea how or even why it was so important. Now I always link my pins back to the original. In fact, I've deleted one or two of my first pins for that reason. It is a shame that like many things in life, a few bad apples spoil if for the rest of us who just want a place to organize the things we find that are inspirational or funny.

    Thanks for the post and an added thank you to Lauren who took the time to really put it in understandable terms.

    I'm going to continue pinning for now but continue to make certain to give credit where credit is due.

  19. Good post. I love Pinterest, though I don't spend much time there. The concept is great, but I guess if I were an artist, I might have different thoughts about the site. I thought about deleting my site then thought I'd wait it out and see where this all goes. It appears that Pinterest is addressing issues with changes/clarification on their policies. I think I'll stick around for a while.

  20. This has been quite the headache....I didn't go as far as deleting my account on Pinterest, but I did go back, take a closer look at my pins and deleted a lot of them. If my Pins didn't go back to the original source, it was gone. I generally didn't spend too much time there...I must say, I really love having a visual bookmark verses a long line of links on my computer. I would love to keep Pinning just for that part. For now, even with the new terms of service, I am laying low. I am waiting and watching to see what happens.

    Jennifer of That Girl...That Quilt wrote terms of use on her blog about pinning that she made to share with other bloggers. I thought I would pass that along. =)

  21. I love my pinterest boards and refer back to them many times to recall recipes, lookup pattern instructions pinned from someone's blog, etc... I try not to re-pin things without sources. Mainly for me is that I don't want a photo of a meal someone cooked if I can't find the recipe for it. I tend not to pin flickr or etsy items (tho. originally I didn't realize this) because I'm mainly trying to pin items that I may want to copy, aka pins with patterns offered or instructions that came from the creator not just photos of someone else's work that they are tyring to sell. With my own blogs, my pins are not blocked because I love how much traffic comes from pinterest. I agree with Karen, I've put it out there - on my blog, on facebook etc.. and I expect it to be floating around the WWW world. I don't like it when pins not only don't have the original source, but in a blog post, if the source is to their blog only and not the specific blog post it came from. I've found many blogs that I follow from pinterest. I kind of wish there were some tools in place to not allow people to illegally pin things. And I certainly hope (tho. my hope is from innocence in hoping that money doesn't drive EVERYTHING)that pinterest is not a scam that just allows some big parent company to USE pins for their own financial purposes. The concept of pinterest is AWESOME and I hope there is a good way to keep the site for its virtual pinboard purpose yet keep everyone legally, happily pinning with good intents!

  22. I agree with Cathy and Lauren - it's not the pinning that bothers me. It's the fact that someone else can pin my stuff, and then Pinterest automatically gets all kinds of rights to my picture, without my permission. Since I'm not a Pinterest member, I never agreed to Pinterest taking my stuff...but it can, anyway. And I don't know what it will do with it once it goes to profit. It's different from a personal bookmark/email sharing because one (or a few) people can't really profit off my picture. So I'm still on the fence about the whole thing - still not joining, but not taking away permission to pin.

  23. I think we will all need lawyers these days just to sign the online agreements for places like Pinterest. There is so much to read and understand just to be a user.

    This is what Pinterest says about how they and others can use your pins:
    "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."

    My interpretation of the above is that yes they can and will use your photos, etc. that you took from your blog or elsewhere for their own profits and you do not get any money for YOUR efforts. I don't mind sharing my love of making quilts and knitting, but if I designed something myself and THEY profited from all my hard work, that isn't right.

    I love doing what I do and sharing and I love when I get inpired by others too out their in blogland or anywhere on the internet, but stealing is stealing if someone takes what you did and uses if for profit without your consent. Once you PIN something it belongs to Pinterest the best I can understand this. Also from what I've read by others that if you pin without asking permission and someone else uses what was pinned for their profit, whomever pinned it could be held legally responsible and could get sued? Again, who knows if this is happening, but I wouldn't want to put myself in that position of getting sued. Most people who agreed to use Pinterest did not read the user agreement at all or they wouldn't have agreed. There is way too much legal-smigal stuff there to try and understand. So I would rather be safe than sorry.

    I have always just "pinned" stuff to my computer in different folders. That way I don't have to show the world what I have pinned and I can add or delete things as I like without having to agree to any user agreements, which I am sure can be legally binding or they wouldn't have you agree to it. If there were no legal issues involved, they wouldn't make you register and get an account with them, would they? When they make things so complicated I don't sign up for them. I don't do Facebook or Twitter either.

    1. It was the "suing" part that gave me pause on Pinterest, because I have always been careful to click through to the source and if a Pin takes me to a place that is profiling someone else's work, then I create a fresh Pin from the place of origin. I think that's only fair. While I know the "monetizing" part will get ironed out because there are millions of creative folks whose very livelihoods depend on it, what I don't like is the users being the scapegoat. It feels very much like Napster all over again...and we all know horror stories of individual users, folks just using the system as it was intended, being sued for thousands of dollars. THAT makes me queasy.

  24. Karen, you should do take on a lot for the good of the cause; bless you!

    Whenever anyone puts anything on the WWW they are either putting it there for the world to see and share or they are taking a risk of their idea/information being pirated. Like you, I have a copy write clause on all my blogs and if push came to shove, I would use that in a court of law to have my property returned as solely mine. I am not a designer/artist, so I am not hugely concerned, however, none of my blogs are "pinnable" because I use photos of family and friends and like to protect their identity as much as possible.

    I have pinned two artist thus far, but emailed both for permission first. Both felt the exposure to their art was worth the risk of possibly having to fight someone down the road for copy write infringement.

    We all make choices and some of us take risks. If you want to take advantage of all that is available on sites such as Pinterest, then burst your bubble and take a chance.

    Thanks for all your wonderful ideas, and for caring and sharing.

  25. Thanks for the post Karen. You are brave.
    my 2 cents worth.
    I pin recipes I want to try. After a few days I delete the fattening ones...too tempting.
    I pin pictures of quilts cuz I have a problem with not being able to see enough of them. (TMI?)
    I have no intentions of making even the ones that I comment that "I'd love to make this". Seriously, I've got more than enough UFO's that I've been blogging about for 2 years and still they aren't done (TMI?)
    I pin pictures of beautifully decorated rooms that I would love to have in my house but that would require me to 1. move or 2. rob a bank or 3. rewind my life and marry a rich guy. 4. REALLY learn to love to paint...Since none of these are going to happen-- I will just drool over the pinned pictures.
    If you want to come to my blog and pin one of my crappola photos, has been very good for my ego to find something of mine pinned...validating isn't it. (Definitely TMI)

  26. part of the fuss with Pinterst changing their terms is the the original terms state they are allowed to sell any of the items that are posted to their site (I'm probably oversimplifying, but thats what I got out of it) and its this potential to sell someone else's work without their knowledge that is a problem. Facebook has already declared everything on their site to be theirs and they have shown they are willing to use this for profit, this upsets some people cause what they thought was private may not stay that way.

    I'm not against any compnany making reasonable profit, just not at the expense of its users. I do agree that once something is online you don't really have full control of it any more. Maybe what we need is a better way to crack down on the blatant violators of copyright infringement.

    I hope Pinterst can weather this storm cause it is a great concept, but copywright issues are not going to go away for a cool concept. Allowing bloggers to choose to participate (or not) is a good first step.

    Great thought provoking post today :)


  27. Thank you! I have tried to follow the ever changing pace of Pinterest. I do so much off of Pinterest and just love it. However, I DO make a point to not repin but find the original source so that the person who actually made the item or is selling the item (Pottery Barn) would get credit. I also make sure to NEVER pin anything that is from and Etsy shop.
    I love getting updates like this because I can stay on top of my game and hopefully not break any rules!

  28. I love your comments! I also love Pinterest. What I so agree with you on is the comment someone loves your idea, project, etc they pinned it! I've always been told copy is a way of someone giving you a compliment! Thanks for your blog - it is so very helpful!


  29. Karen, you are a brave woman! Thanks for posting your comments about these things. It helps us all to investigate and make an educated decision about Pinterest!
    I don't have a Pinterest account, yet. Might some day. I already have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I am not sure I want to add another relationship like that to my busy world!
    I just had a funny memory...remember when "refunding" became a big hit in the 80's. All those grammy's committing fraud. Some of them really got into big trouble!
    It all seems OK when you are just a little fish in a big pond (aren't we all)...until you are the one caught in the net. eeewww!

  30. I share your thoughts completely!

  31. Very well said and I totally agree with you! I too pin, because I like something or I want to be able to refer back to it. For me it's a combination of a scrapbook of sorts and a visual bookmark. I would never use someones image, art, words or whatever to make a profit from. Those that want to will find a way. There are many other pinboard sites out there and we aren't hearing about them. I think it's just because Pinterest has gained such popularity so quickly. I would also like to add that last week I did receive an email from a well known artist asking me to please remove my pins of her work and so I did. I do not have any plans to stop pinning or to delete my boards unless the person whose original content it is asks me to. I think most of us are just wanting to share and enjoy what's out there. Not to undermine or make a profit. Great post!

    Cathy ♥

  32. The key word is "exploit". We are not making a profit off of our posts. If anything it is free advertising for the copywrite holder.

  33. OK, this will probably upset a few people. I love Pinterest due to how easy and quick I can keep up with the ideas and inspiration I store there. I don't plan on making huge profits from stealing whatever from Pinterest sites. I love it for the very basis of what it is. A huge bulletin board. I love how I can find ideas for my daughter's homes and can easily have them see these ideas in their homes at their leisure.

    Sorry if I raise a few blood pressures.

    Lafayette, La

  34. I agree with Sandi, above, I LOVE Pinterest. I use it as a file for all the wonderful ideas that everyone has, mostly for some inspiration. I'm not the most creative person, but if I see something that I like then I can try to make something for ME, not to sell or to make a profit, but for the satisfaction that I can actually make something. I know there are going to be people who abuse, but there are also some of us that need help, LOL. I love reading the recipe, or the different decorating tips for each season. If I find something I like, I will always pin from the original site and if I make something and put on my blog, I will ALWAYS thank the person and link back to the blog that gave me the inspiration.

    I'm sure that some people don't agree with me, but we all have our own opinions, sorry :(

  35. Oh! I totally agree with your take on Pinterest. Trying to be fair and informed I have read so many different takes on it. I guess, I too am too trusting. I'm pinning for inspiration only. If they do away with Pinterest I'll live but to be honest, I've quit following some bloggers because of their adamant stand. If you are posting it on the Internet, I feel it's fair game. You've put it out there. Anyway, I've not read the comments above as I am just tired of all the drama. So for bloggers, do what is right for you. If you are too strident and adamant I'll just quit following you. Just like the TV...if you don't like the content, turn it off.

  36. Amen sista! I know there are "bad apples" out there but the MAJORITY of Pinners are just doing it to be clutter free. I, myself, had 2500 favorites on my AOL account. Yes, I know, I have a problem. And the only reason I know this is because apparently you can ONLY have 2500 favorites on AOL. I have since moved a lot of links to my Pinterest Boards. I get so excited when people "follow" me or re-pin something. There have been many a days where something I saw on Pinterest has had me LOL or solve a problem where I was clueles. IMHO, if you are afraid someone is going to steal your brilliant idea.....don't post it. Just sayin....

  37. My main issue is I've come across many photos that were repinned and I have not been able to get back to the original post. Believe me, I tried! I'm waiting for the happy day when I can have a private board. As a former designer and teacher, I feel very strongly about copyright protection so I've removed all the individual pictures I had up.

    I know it's more trouble, but we can bookmark pages we want to refer back to. Or make notes about what we saw, just like in the Little House days. It may not be as convenient, but it seems it's a lot more legal.

  38. Hello Karen,
    I couldn't have said it better. And sticking to the main theme. we put "it" out there for the attention to 'our' projects, so it's out there for all to see! Your analogy to the file folders of torn up magazines cracked me up! I have volumes of these things.
    Keep up your wonderful blog! I love every word you write.
    Cat Brennan a/k/a Cat's Country Place ( )

  39. I, too, loved Pintrest and used it often. Then all these article started popping up and I decided it just plain wasn't worth the hassle and the risk and deleted my account. I don't mind if others pin things from my blog, but for me it just seems like it's not worth it anymore to have an account. I now add things to my own computer for my use and my use only, but that's a pain too and takes up space. Not really a good solution either...

  40. I, too, love Pinterest and use it only for personal use. When pinning I only pin after I have gone back to the original site and have tried to be conscious of what the owner of that site has intended the use to be.

    However, I have become concerned about misuse. It began when I kept being followed by people like:

    "Adam Guerbuez, appearing in Headline News since 1995. Aggressive and Successful Internet Marketing Professional, featured in the Guinness Book Of World Records (Internet Section) - Keeping it controversial forever!"

    This is his own description of himself.

    He is following 21,406 Pinterest members and has 357 boards. Really!?!

    I believe the issue here is bigger than someone misusing blogging sites.

  41. Ok here's the body of the email that I got from them today. Karen I hope you don't mind me adding it since we are discussing it.
    We'd encourage you to read these changes in their entirety, but we thought there were a few changes worth noting.

    * Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
    * We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse.
    * We released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements.
    * Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.

    We think these changes are important and we encourage you to review the new documents here. These terms will go into effect for all users on April 6, 2012.

  42. Like I've told my children and My Mom told me and Her Mom before she..."A FEW Bad Apples Spoil the Cart!" I truly enjoy 'Pinning' and 'Following Pinners' for the sheer and utterly simple reason none other then to keep an electronic copy of ideas and "Would love to do 'Someday'inspirations".
    There is not one simple answer, but I feel Pinterest is doing their best to keep it fun for all.

  43. I'm glad you did this post. It's exactly how I feel. I don't pin things on Pinterest to use or to copy and call them my own. I love being able to "see" bookmarks. Some of them are for sewing ideas, but most of those are free tutorials or they link to the actual product.
    I know some people abuse rules and mess it up for everyone, but I'm not one of them, and I'm not taking my boards down.
    If you put it anywhere on the internet, it's just likely it's going to be copied somewhere.
    Thanks again!

  44. thank you for your post. im sure it took guts. i agree with what you said 100%. it always comes back to the almighty buck doesnt it??i just dont understand someone not being happy about having their things pinned. they put it out there in the first place. i also have started following a LOT of blogs because of pinterest, and also found some wonderful etsy shops. people that steal are going to do so, regardless of what we do to stop them, so let the 99% of the world have our fun. on pinterest.

    1. I agree Susan,
      I have bought stuff on etsy because I have seen it on Pinterest. I would never have seen it otherwise. I bought an ipad cover that I could have easily made myself, I even had some of the fabric, but because someone posted a photo of it on Pinterest, the person who made it profited from it.

  45. I always try to link back to the original site where the info came from, and then I mention the name of the site in my comment section when I pin it. I hope that in that way the originator's info will stay with the picture.

  46. Karen, I wish we were neighbors because I know we would be friends. We think so much alike. Thank you for expressing your logical and thoughtful comments. Keep up the good work. I always look forward to your posts.

  47. I couldn't agree with you more! I don't see how it's much different than google. You type in something, can see lots of images and when you click, it takes you to the site. If someone uses something for profit, they can jut as easily do that without Pinterest. I seriously think people have gotten uptight! If I pin it, I love it and am directing my friends to you to check it out themselves.

  48. I think you expressed it like it is. Once we do put in out there it's all over. I too must be naive too, I feel there are good people out there and just wanted to keep a memory of what they like. Thank you and all the other comments too.

  49. I totally agree with you! I haven't pinned much & have been afraid to for the last few weeks. I actually told my daughter it was like tearing out pages from mag.s of the things you like & that is is like a bulletin board. I haven't copied one thing & always give credit. The pictures just make me happy or remind me of a tutorial I want to get back to. I like it better than bookmarking which, when you think of it is weird, because it is public & bookmarking is more private. There are always those in the world who expect the worst in people, but I truly believe most of us are good at heart. The turmoil has had one side effect I don't think was considered. I no longer visit the sites of those who were so upset & vocal.

  50. I just wanted to add to those who are most concerned about copyright when they have posted content to the whole wide world. Copyright in the U.S. is not necessarily copyright worldwide. Check it out.

  51. I work in the rubber/digital stamping community. I own an online store selling stamping and scrapbooking supplies. I am also co-owner of a rubber/digital stamp company. There is a huge problem in the stamping world with stampers posting/pinning/sharing stamped or digital images on the web. This violates the stamp company's TOU. Pinterest is just another place where people can share copyrighted stamped images.

    Also, after reading an article written by a lawyer about copyright issues with pinned images from professional photographers, I chose the delete most of my boards. The article stated that should the owner of the professional photographer choose to pursue copyright infringement with their images, they can sue all people who have pinned their photo. Kind of like napster was able to sue a 12 year old girl for illegal downloading of music. Here's the article...
    Just something to think about.

  52. Thank you Thank you. I've rewrote my reply 5 times now because I haven't been happy with my wording so just Thank you. Most of us are pinning inspirations or pretty's, we're not out there to steal someone's hard work.

  53. I LOVE Pinterest. I look at it as a way to store bookmarks. I think that it is much easier to see a photo to remind me why I want to go back to a site. I don't know. I think this copyright stuff is crazy.

    Basically, I think that if you are afraid that someone will steal an idea, don't put it on the internet where it can be seen.

    Resourceful people that want an image can get an image whether or not there is a no download or no pin way to block it. for instance, you can use your smart phone, go to a page, screenshot it, crop it, and the image is on your phone. If a person is a good enough quilter, or seamstress, they can copy an idea by looking at it if they want to.
    I have been copying images to a folder on my computer for as long as I've had a computer. I use them for inspiration, or maybe I'm just a data hoarder.. The point is, I don't sell them, I don't copy from them. I don't use them in anything. They just sit on my computer and I look at them once in a while. I think that as artistic, visual people, we just enjoy seeing beautiful images, for the most part, I don't think that there is any ulterior motive beyond that. If someone is dishonest, they will figure out a way to get what they want, and once you put an image on the net, there isn't much you can do about it after that.

  54. Thanks for addressing it head-on, Karen. Your opinions are very similar to mine, and I would suspect, many many users. When it comes to patterns, etc, the use of a pattern to make a sale-able product is as old as the hills - the internet just makes sharing it faster. It is heartening to see the folks at Pinterest amending the TOU but I don't think they went far enough. While I continue to use Pinterest, I am much more cautious in my pinning/repinning. They need to fix the language about who is legally responsible.

  55. How can you reconcile using someone else's photos which violates copyright issues on pinterest, while getting upset that someone scraped your blog? Both are violations, so you need to choose where you stand on owning your own images and , or continuing with pinterest violating others rights.


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