Friday, March 02, 2012

UPDATE To Pin or Not to (Show) Pin(terest)


Green Light Update: Posts such as the one below, the one mentioned in this post, and many other alarmed responses from wary creatives has caused Pinterest to review and update their Terms of Use

The Business Insider created a Pinterest scare with Alyson Shontell's article about pinning images on the Internet and copyright laws. 

A Lawyer Who Is Also A Photographer Just Deleted All Her Pinterest Boards Out of Fear.
'Kirsten turned to federal copyright laws and found a section on fair use. Copyrighted work can only be used without permission when someone is criticizing it, commenting on it, reporting on it, teaching about it, or conducting research. Repinning doesn't fall under any of those categories.'
This is what I think: The quoted section could be turned to a pinner's advantage IF s/he adds a comment. Ironically some of us have worried about the danger of losing OUR comments, read "content" when others re-pin our imagery with the connected text, and wondered how to copyright our text as ours. Some decided NOT to add comments at all, because they didn't want to give away or rather, lose their thoughts without attribution.

If the text lifted from Shontell's article is to be taken seriously, all pinners need to do, is criticize, plainly comment, let the world know about the others' images, i.e. report on them, use the material to teach others, or prove by showing context that they are conducting research.  

None of that should be a problem, unless you are, again, afraid to lose something of your own. 
Perhaps it's all a matter of Win Some, Lose Some. When pinning an image that's found on someone's site, you're already helping the other to spread the love. The proper thing would be to have the image link to that site, rather than to a Google image bank. 

Since Google protects viewers from stumbling upon a site they may not have wanted to enter, you have to change the policy in the upper right hand corner when you go from the image bank (a page with many images provided by Google) to the linked website. No biggy, but you do have to remember to do that, or the link is lost. 

I'm feeling better about Pinning now that I've voiced this. 

After reading the above mentioned article, and other posts on the subject, I did delete a board with panels I had styled and photographed myself, because I don't want Pinterest to sell the image (oh, yes, that's something I read they can do). Selfish? Perhaps, but an artist has to balance sharing, and giving away, with protecting her assets. 

Now that the dust has settled I wonder about the creativity of the woman named Kirsten. Any lawyer worth your money, should be able to be a bit more creative, or?

This work by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
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