Monday, 12 March 2012

To pin or not to pin?

I've been reading on a growing number of blogs about the issue of Pinterest and copyright. It seems there are a growing number of artists who are finding their work on peoples boards without their permission (read down to the bottom of that link). Whilst some say they find it flattering that someone else pins their work, it is still using the full sized image, sometimes without any reference to the artist.

This has made me stop and think about how I pin - when I pin through from another person's pin I rarely click on it to find it's source. If I'm aware of the artist I will put reference to them - but I've never asked for permission from the artist themselves. As this article suggests, the 'pinner' is liable for their own pin; effectively, if the artist sues it's you who would lose out, not pinterest.

Now, I've not had many of my own 'original' pieces re-pinned, but when I did it felt wonderful - but then again, I'm not making a living off art I create. I can't help but think I would mind an awful lot more if that were the case. It's funny, I was having a similar conversation with Stu (boyf) the other day about how the artist hardly ever sees the big bucks their work eventually makes after I saw some original Shepard Fairey pieces on ebay. I guess artists have made peace with that fact, but this pinterest thing seems to have opened up a whole box of worms.

Perhaps if pinterest would only allow low resolution thumbnails so you had to click through to the artists website to see it properly there wouldn't be such an issue. Or if the rules of pinterest were more clear (I wasn't aware of it until I'd read these articles).

The more I think about it, the more confused I get. A picture of an image isnt the actual image. Why do these images uploaded by artists have to be high resolution to begin with? I don't think you can get a great idea what the original is like merely by a picture on a website anyway - they just serve as a 'taster' of the work. If someone is interested in the work could they just ask for a better picture via email? There is a way of stopping people copying an image from another website isn't there? I'm sure I've seen that. What about artists images found on websites/blogs other than the artists? - Are they fair game?

But really, even asking those questions I'm still avoiding the big issue - it's not my work to be copying, I don't have artists permission. Should it be up to the individual artist to say whether they allow pins or not or should there be one blanket rule? I think it would be a real shame if the idea of Pinterest gets damaged because of these issues.

As a foot note, can I say for the record that I love pinterest, I love the idea of everyone sharing inspiration with each other in an inspirational and friendly community. As is clear by the link on the top left of this blog, I have no problems with you clicking through on my own pictures.

Interesting links:
pinterest and copyright
how to prevent your blogger images from being pinned - there are a lot of links on this blog
another link from DDK portraits in response to deleting her inspiration board
Huston Grey - to pin or not to pin

EDIT: I've answered one of my own questions -  if you pin this code into your website

<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin”/>

This will block the image from being pinned and the pinner will see this message;

“This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”

Thanks for the blog, Jax

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