Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Pinterest


Some time ago, a blog friend in the US asked me if I was OK about her 'pinning' photos from my blog onto her Pinterest board. At the time I didn't know anything about Pinterest and, when I looked into it a bit, I was somewhat unnerved by what I found out, as it didn't seem to me to respect people's copyright over photos. So I asked her not to 'pin' my images and she has, as far as I know, respected my wishes. However, a recent conversation with my daughter went something like: 'Mum, why aren't you on Pinterest yet? It's great, it's like having a magazine to browse that's full of all the things you're interested in. You should sign up and try it.' 

Well, to be honest, I am definitely a late adopter of new trends and gadgets. But, since I do respect my daughter and she is way ahead of me on keeping up with trends especially online/mobile, I had another look, even signed up so I could explore it properly. I can't say I have fully understood this phenomenon, let alone fully embraced it yet.  But what I did discover was that there are LOTS of my images already 'pinned' on people's boards. (There are probably some of yours too.)

My daughter reckons it's fine, as they can all be traced back to the originating site (ie: my blog) and so they are not breaching copyright or even using my images, but instead just linking to them.  She says I should be glad people like them and that from a 'pin' people might move on to reading my blog. I remain a little uneasy, though I recognise that I can't stop it happening.  I'd be really interested to know what other bloggers think.... Are you using Pinterest?  Are people 'pinning' your images? Are you 'pinning' other people's?

It does remind me that as soon as anyone posts a photo - on a blog, on Flickr or Facebook, on a website - you are effectively losing control of it (or so it seems to me). Despite the copyright laws, it is actually almost impossible to 'police' whether someone else uses your work.  I have discovered a couple of cases of people pinching my photos and using them without permission and without attribution. In both cases I contacted them and they agreed to take them down.  I have also had numerous folks contact me to ask permission to use images in different ways (books, leaflets, websites, calendars) and in most cases I have agreed, provided they are acknowledged as mine.  I don't mind so much as long as people ask.

I started my blog, perhaps naively in the beginning, as a way of challenging myself. I didn't really expect anyone else to be interested or to read it and I have been pleasantly surprised to discover the (mostly) friendly community spirit of blogland. I've made some good friends and had countless hours of enjoyment reading other people's blogs and being inspired by their pictures.  But I'm not sure whether I'm comfortable with this new development.... Should I be flattered? Should I be worried? Should I just embrace it all freely and have Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest buttons on my sidebar?  What do you think?

18 comments:

  1. I shall be watching the comments with interest. I have no experience with Pinterest, but I can rarely see a new bandwagon without wanting to jump on. My month's experiment with Google+ is nearing an end (less than impressed) so maybe I should dip my toe in the Pinterest waters.

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  2. I have heard about pinterest and lots of blogger friends use it. Like you I checked it out but couldn't see the point of it for me apart from the fact that my blog keeps me busy enough without getting involved with anything else. I am very easy going when it comes to my photographs. I don't really mind if others use them. It would be nice if they acknowledge the photographer but it is impossible to police and copyright is a laugh.I doubt anyone could do much about suing.I have been asked a few times by people if they can use my shots and It is a buzz. You should go to Google Images and you will probably find loads of your photos there especially if you type in Saltaire. As your daughter says they will link back to your blog. My advice is don't worry about it. If you put your photos on a public blog then expect them to be used by the public. I guess you can plaster a watermark on them but even that could be removed digitally. "If you can't beat them, join them."

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  3. It has been suggested that I should use pinterest, and I have found a lot of may images on there which as you mention is rather unnerving. Nobody has asked me to use my images on pinterest, but I see that there is a link back. Perhaps I was naive too and didn't realise the extent to which people could use your images. I cannot be bothered with pinterest, my blog takes enough time, and there is no interaction on pinterest or any written content, so what is the point of it?

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  4. I opened an account last year. Before the copyright issues were discussed. Used the site for a while but realised it wast for me.

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  5. I recently discovered that one of my pics was pinned on pinterest. Nobody asked me anything, but I noticed there was a link to my blog. I would have prefered being asked. I don't want to be on Facebook, on Pinterest, on Flickr, or anything else. First because I think my blog tells enough about me. Then because I have no time to feed all those things!I don't want to spend my life on a phone or on a computer, and I don't want everyone to be able to know everything about me.
    As soon as you post something on the web, you receive advertisings having to do with what you posted.This "Big Brother" side of the web is a thing that I don't like, and I don't want to tell more than I , and noone else, choose to show.
    But I admit that maybe, it's a question of generation..

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  6. I don't know anything about Pininterest, but will take a look. I'm trying Google+ and like it - though it needs time investment, which can be difficult, and Twitter - which is less interesting unless you are one of those who are on line a great deal. I have avoided Facebook because I got the impression they can do pretty much what they want with your material and there've nothing you can do about it. Plus, I think it has a sinister side - as maybe all of these things do; there was a fascinating programme on TV awhile ago about Google's project to digitise the world's books; think about it - and check it out. Scary stuff.

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  7. I have been on pinterest for quite a while now and although I do pin a lot of images I am aware that not everyone likes other people pinning their images, so with this in mind I always ask permission first if it's from a blog but I am also aware that I probably do pin things without permission. It's a real hard one to call.
    I have had people use my images from my blog but to be honest I don't really mind as I feel I have put myself 'out there' anyway by blogging.
    One thing I will say about pinterest it is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!!!
    : )

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  8. How interesting ! I have never heard about Pinterest and just checked their Website. Usually I am against Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc because my blogs keep me so busy. I had to subscribe to Facebook to see the pictures my son had published and suddenly I got hundreds of friends, I don't even know. I seldom go on Facebook, I just don't like it and all the rest is only a waste of time. But I'll check if it's interesting. I don't care if somebody copies my pictures, who respects copyright ?? Probably only a few people.

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  9. I was surprised one day to find a person who had liked my photos and pinned a large amont of them on her site. I was flattered but wonder who she was and was she following my blog or just accidently found my site and yanked them because it made a good gallery to view. I have a pinterest account but have never done anything with it. And yet all these people are following it, that I don't understand.

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  10. I've found my pics on there too but they all have a link back so I've just let it go. I've no time to get into Pinterest al all!

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  11. This is an interesting topic, and you have had a lot of good comments in response. I don't use pinterest and don't care if anyone pins one of my photos there. I do my blog for fun, not to make any money from the photos. Every time I have been contacted about using a photo, I tell them "sure," and I don't care about attribution.

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  12. I think they have got their act together a bit better now but in the beginning their copyright handling was very suspect and I've certainly kept clear of it - I'm much less bothered about FB which I find very good - keeps me in touch with a lot of folk and it's privacy settings are good provided you set them OK and don't get tempted by irrelevancies. More worrying is the new google image set up which is encouraging the bypassing of copyright notices. I like people to use my stuff so long as the acknowledge my copyright and those who ask first often get a higher-resolution image from me.

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  13. I think exposure via pinterest is very useful for people who are selling stuff through their Etsy stores and websites. I'm in touch via Facebook e-course groups with a lot of artists who are apparently making a living through selling their art and crafts online. So it has it's uses.
    However, I was really shocked to check Google and find images of my work cobbled together with an artist in the UK with the same name as me...... nothing one can do about it..... and now I think I'll have to go and check pinterest!

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  14. I wrote about this a while ago, here: http://www.them-apples.co.uk/2012/03/hey-thats-my-picture-copyright-and-the-new-internet/

    I'm quite relaxed about it - Pinterest is a great platform, and it generates a ton of traffic. As long as attribution is clear, that's OK with me.

    I've had my content re-posted and perhaps 'stolen' by all sorts of sites and publications over the years. I'm generally OK with the pinterest concept of pinning, or the tumblr equivalent of reblogging, but if there's commercial use, I'd prefer they bought my stuff from iStock instead...

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  15. Once it's out 'there', it's out there. Rather than fret about unauthorised use of my images, I tend to be quite judicious when posting. I haven't investigated Pinterest yet, but then, I resisted Facebook for ages before eventually signing up and enjoying the experience. However, Twitter and Google+ didn't really do it for me.

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  16. It is difficult to maintain control over your images once they are on the web, however as long as you only upload small jpgs they can only be used on the web. You can also attach copyright to your metadata so if they are being used commercially you will be able to claim rights. Something like pin interest is not possibly a way of getting noticed.

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  17. Interesting post and comments Jenny, i have discovered my pictures being used, funnily enough by some of the places I've written about, and on a Perth photo site, but these at least link back to me. Seriously all that other stuff is way to complicated for a technophobe like me!

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  18. There are some useful points made in all these comments. Thanks so much, everyone, for responding. Seems like the best advice is to stay relaxed and accept that you can't really control things once an image is 'out there'. I do upload my pics as quite small files with a watermark.

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