The conversations about whether Pinterest is acting as pusher in a sea of potential copyright infringement issues have been incredible. For the most part it assures me of what I truly believe: people don’t set out to do the wrong thing, and most, upon learning they are, want to know what they can do to fix it.
I am writing this at the same time many others are asking similar questions, and in the last several days, Pinterest offered some additions to their site, like coding to add to make your site un-pinnable. For some, I think this is a great thing. But those who like Pinterest and want to be able to share our original content with permission, we need other options.
For now, a SAFETY PIN seems as good a solution as any.
Since most people can install a widget, it doesn’t require coding that must be added to every page of one’s site. Simply choose the one that fits your needs at the bottom of the post and place it somewhere highly visible on your sidebar. While it doesn’t guarantee that people will honor the “thanks but no thanks” option, I think that it’s a start. (To add a SAFETY PIN to your site, simply click one of the images at the end of the post and save. I don’t know if I’ll ever say that again. But please, right click and save this one.)
The battle that is being waged about copyright and credits on Pinterest is complicated. While I believe in the importance of copyright and defend it, I am all for the ability to share and learn from one another online.
Sharing isn’t stealing. The two are not mutually exclusive. And proper credit is crucial to keep one from becoming the other.
I’ve had my work misused because it wasn’t properly credited. Copyright issues aside, what I found must unsettling with each situation was the lack of attribution. In one instance, after a photo of mine was published without consent, the publishers were quick to remind me it would bring me exposure. I had to remind them that if they googled the name credited, no one would find me. If the person who had taken my work and used it had at least credited my name properly I could have seen a silver lining in it. But improper credit = no exposure. Lose, lose.
I read comments on various posts written about the issues of copyright and credit online. When people, many sharing the surname Anonymous, write that you shouldn’t be online if you don’t want your work seen, I worry. Not so much about the work, but about the misinformation these Anons perpetuate.
In the last decades we’ve watched digital replace analog. The days of mix tapes are over. And so are the bad quality of a fourth generation copy of a movie. Piracy is crisp and clear on CD and DVD.
Still, the film and music industry continue to create and sell their work. And people buy it.
So, please do not tell me I don’t get it. There are plenty of people happy to play by the rules.
I am all for sharing. That’s what we do online all the time. But what I share and what someone does with what I share are two different things.
From country to country copyright issues vary, the idea of Fair Use is defined differently – these legal issues cannot be answered simply and tied up in a pretty box with a bow. But the issue of giving proper credit is simplistic in comparison. Use what you have permission to use, and make sure anything to share is credited to the original source. If you don’t have those things, bookmark it the old fashioned way. xo a.
A quick question: When you see corporations and companies creating Pinterest boards featuring their content, do you think that mans they’re telling us we can repin with their permission? I’m looking into it with several brands now but just thought I’d ask your POV.