The Personal is Pinnable

At some point this site will go back to simply being AlexandraWrote and not AlexandraWroteAboutPinterestgate. But several things happened in the last two days that remind me, yet again, that Pinterest is just one facet in a larger problem I’ve yet to figure out a name for. Right now, I’m calling it Bob.

Bob began as I tried to source a list for If Emily Posted of companies and sites that gave the OK to pin their content using the PIN IT button. Until I came across one that I know didn’t give permission. Mine.

Behance, who hosts my TYPE A site, has added the PIN IT button to their pages. The way it works is that the portfolio on my website is also featured on Behance (the pins don’t work on my actual site, just the portfolio). I really love the site – it’s like a visual LinkedIn, where artists show their work. My work is under copyright and yet, there is this.

I contacted them about this a few days ago and they responded to say the button is new and they will be discussing my question and then “look into updating our TOS.”

Update their TOS to what? All content is now available to pin, and the person liable will be the pinner. They don’t have permission and neither does Behance.

This isn’t the only site that has adopted the PIN IT button without considering that what they make available isn’t theirs to permit. But pinners don’t know that.

Before I respond to emails and comments that say I should be happy to have potential exposure, that I shouldn’t be online if I don’t want my work out there, I must explain that that isn’t the point. It’s not that I don’t want to share. I put it on the internet.

What I didn’t do was give anyone the right to provide tools that imply they have any rights to my work, and to allow people to share it on Pinterest, which has the right to modify, copy, and sell what is posted.

You might be facing a similar problem but not realize it. YOU.

Do you use Instagram?

The other night a friend of mine tweeted an Instagram via a desktop app that shares IGs on twitter. I went to the site and when the caption came up with her photo, along with it came the PIN IT button.

Third party developers who have created desktop sites to let you view and comment on IG feeds are adding the PIN IT button. Not Instagram.

According to Instagram’s TOS:

“Instagram does NOT claim ANY ownership rights in the ….”Content”…that you post on or through the Instagram Services. By displaying or publishing (“posting”) any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content…”

In their Terms for developers who create Instagram apps, they make the following very clear:

“Remember, Instagram doesn’t own the images – Instagram users do. Although the Instagram APIs can be used to provide you with access to Instagram user photos, neither Instagram’s provision of the Instagram APIs to you nor your use of the Instagram APIs override the photo owners’ requirements and restrictions, which may include “all rights reserved” notices (attached to each photo by default when uploaded to Instagram), Creative Commons licenses or other terms and conditions that may be agreed upon between you and the owners.”

Oh, Bob. The internet doesn’t understand how to use the internet.

I see some pretty personal images posted on Instagram. Pictures of your children, your family, your home, whatever. Now those photos, your photos, can be pinned and repinned and Pinterest can generate revenue from them.I’m not even sure how you’d search for them. Because these companies are adding this button to their sites.

You posted an Instagram because you wanted to share – just as an photographer/artist/blogger shares. But you want to have some control over where it is shared, right? Because it is your content, your art, your IP – whatever you want to call it. It’s yours. That doesn’t make you a credit whore. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to share or shouldn’t be online. It simply means you own the copyright. And you can grant permission to whomever you choose.

The problem is not Pinterest. We need to fix the way we use the web. Understand and respect content.

So, the question is will Pinterest press pause and reset their system so that this mess doesn’t get bigger?

And will you pin responsibly? Pinterest handed you tools and you know what’s wrong. It’s up to us to fix things, too.

Your two cents, please...