Passion for Pinterest and a Call for Input from Photogs



Those of you who have been following my original post about why I deleted my Pinterest inspiration boards (once again, I did NOT delete my entire account) and the surrounding controversy over whether I’ve raised legitimate concerns or am just making a mountain out of molehill can be clear about only one thing – that people are PASSIONATE about PINTEREST!


I have heard from thousands of people sharing their views on these issues and I have found that people are pretty evenly divided.    There are those who are undeniably pro-Pinterest and feel that liability for copyright infringement is either a silly concern or too remote to worry about.  There are those who just love the site so much that it’s worth it to them to choose to ignore the contradiction in the terms of use and ignore the copyright issues and say they will worry about it only when and if someone sues.  Then there are those who feel that copyright issues are very important and have said they will not use Pinterest until the terms of use change in a way that makes the site a clearer and safer sharing ground.   What is becoming quite apparent though is that  feelings on the topic are so strong that talking about Pinterest is quickly becoming one of those topics you don’t debate with people who you want to keep as friends – much like politics and religion.  This could be very good news for Pinterest!  After all, this passion just evidences that they have something on their hands that evokes emotion and any marketing pro out there will tell you emotion SELLS!


Of course, to turn all of this passion into profit (eventually), Pinterest is going  to have to be pretty creative to adequately calm the concerns while still keeping the site the beautiful, interactive place that evokes all of this emotion.  And that may not be an easy task.  All you have to do is peruse the comments to my blog posts and read the spin off blogs and articles to see that nobody can agree on what should be done or even how we should proceed  -  not the general users, not the photographers and, perhaps most troubling, not the lawyers (which only illustrates my original concerns).   But, isn’t finding a new, innovative and creative way to share the job of these Pinterest folks? 


As I previously blogged, Pinterest understands that it needs to modify its terms of use.  After all, Pinterest’s own terms currently prohibit you from using the site for its intended purpose.  The first rule of use is don’t pin anything that you don’t own or that you don’t have “all rights” or license to use.  This flies in the face of the purpose of the site, which is to pin from all over the web and contradicts its first rule of etiquette which is to not self promote.  Understandably, people are confused.   


I have been in communication with Ben Silberman and his staff over the past several weeks.  They continue to assure me that changes to the terms of use are coming.  The fact that it is taking so long is actually quite encouraging to me.    They obviously know that there isn’t a “quick fix” to the issues and they have been taking their time to talk to users, artists and lawyers to make sure that they are addressing the concerns appropriately.    I have been advised that they have been in touch with several professional photographer associations and have been listening to their concerns.    In addition to the dialogue with these associations, Ben and his group have asked me to communicate to them the concerns expressed to me by individual photographers.    And some of you have expressed some very legitimate concerns that Pinterest needs to consider.  So, if you are a photographer out there and you have concerns regarding Pinterest, its terms of use and/or copyright issues or if you have suggestions on how to  make the site a better place that can help you share your work if you want it shared but also respecting your copyrights, let me know.   I”ll compile the comments and send them on to Ben and his team.   


Please understand, I’m not working for Pinterest.  I’m not getting paid for this.  I’m not doing it to quiet those who have criticized my original post (I remain very comfortable with my position and decision to delete my inspiration boards).  As I’ve said in the past – I am a fan of Pinterest.   And, like most of you, a somewhat passionate one.  I like the site but I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and pretend the conflict in their terms of use doesn’t exist.  And I certainly don’t want to ignore other professionals’ copyrights.  I do, however, want to resume pinning activities.  So, let’s get them our ideas so that the site can make the changes it needs. 

You can either comment here or you can email your ideas to me directly at  Of course, you can also send your comments directly to Pinterest if you would rather.  Regardless, if you are a photographer who respects copyrights, I encourage you to use your voice to help make Pinterest a site that is responsible, safe and fun for everyone while respecting copyrights!


P.S. – In case most of you haven’t seen it yet, there is a group on Facebook offering to print all of your pins.  They call themselves “Printerest.”  They offer books, canvas prints, wall art, etc.  After all, Pinterest’s terms of use allow users to download and print their pins.   Other printing sites even offer to crop off or photoshop out the watermark.  If this concerns you, tell Pinterest about it.   While they can’t control or prevent everyone’s wrongdoings, they can certainly take steps to clarify what actions they permit and maybe even take steps to make it more difficulty to abuse the site.


P.S.S (yes, there I go again) – If you think you can’t print a really nice 8×10 print from a low res pin, think again.    A 650px  x 800px  72 dpi file can make a gorgeous 8×10. I tested it last week and the detail, color and quality was totally frame-worthy.


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    • by Mead Norton on April 23, 2012  10:15 pm

      I have been voicing my concerns to all my "friends" on facebook that post their pineterest boards or comment on pineterest not to use the site until they fix their terms.

      The fact that anyone can pin my photographs from any site and then the software will erase all the metadata from my file when they upload the image to the site is very concerning and also the fact that other people are potentially making money off of peoples boards by offering to print their inspiration without any return to the original artists is extremely upsetting to me.

      If I do find my images up on pineterest then be sure that I will be contacting my lawyer to go after everyone who has accessed my images through that site so that I get my fair share back from their unfair use of the images. I had similar concerns over facebook, but now when people upload images to facebook if you have the metadata fields filled out then your copyright will appear as text under the photograph I am not that concerned anymore with my images on facebook because now I get credit and exposure everytime some reposts my images there.

    • by Dillon on May 12, 2012  11:20 pm

      Pinterest could resize uploads to a max size that would produce a good print smaller than 5x7. This would greatly reduce the reproduction of images in print form. As far as copyright issues, you are correct by saying re-pinning should be the responsibility of Pinterest, not the user. As a user, you are assuming that the file is legally submitted to Pinterest and you have no reason to think otherwise, since Pinterests terms state that only copyright holders can upload. That's up to Pinterest to change their terms.

    • by Kiku on June 20, 2012  12:57 am

      What I don't get is that, it's quite legal for me to publish my list of photographs that I like, and to provide a link to that photograph. Pinterest is just that, a way to publish links to photos that interest us. Certainly, no one can restrict my right to say that I think an image is awesome, and to point to it.

      If we follow the analogy with text, why are we able to quote parts of text, but not parts of an image? It's ok to describe the image with words, and a link, but not a smaller version of the image?

      The catch seems to be that pinterest is making a copy of the photograph, taking control from the creator. And, if they are changing the metadata, it's taking the identification away as well. I can see why that would be wrong.
      What if they simply maintained a link, and if the photographer removed the image, the links don't work and should be removed, following the photographer's desire?

      Or, following the thumbnail idea, what if the pinned image maintained the source, so that the original artist always got credit, but it's a smaller version, so that someone wanting to see the best quality photo had to drill through?

      Finally, I would think that if a photographer is concerned about the issue of printing, they wouldn't put the large best images on the interent in the first place. Same with client privacy. I work with kids, we don't post a picture unless we have permission to put it on the web, and then people understand that we likely lose control of the image. So, if there's a client that doesn't want their image on the internet, it shouldn't be posted in the first place.

      It seems that there is an easy middle ground in which everyone can benefit: pinterest maintains the credit, and displays smaller images.

      For example, if I like Nike shoes, I cannot use the Nike logo to promote my own business, but I can say that I like Nike shoes. I have the right to say that I like "this" image. I guess the difference is the product. I can say I like the Nike shoe, but I have to buy a pair of shoes if I want to give it to someone. Here, the image is the product.

      Am I allowed to take a photo of the Nike shoes that I own, and show it to people that I like it? This would be the analogy of making a copy of the image that isn't as good as the original, maybe smaller.

      I'm sure there are legal issues here that I don't understand, but it seems to me that maintaining personal links to thinks I like should be legal.

    • by Eileen Langsley on July 16, 2012  1:57 pm

      As a professional sports photographer I am constantly frustrated by the lifting of images from my website and blog and their reposting on sites such as Pinterest. I spend a great deal of time requesting take downs. Everything I post on the web has my copyright on it; my blog posts start and end with messages requesting respect of my copyright. There are terms and conditions on my website. I should have hoped that all this was enough to protect my work but abuse of my copyright is one of the biggest and most frustrating problems I face. The people who feel free to help themselves to my images without my permission need to realise that they are putting my livelihood at risk. At every sports event I cover I am required to sign up to stringent conditions as to how I will release images for publication - if I don't sign up I don't get accreditation; if I break these rules I risk being banned from future events. The rules are there to protect the status of the competitors as well as ensuring that images are used editorially and not commercially. Once my images have been lifted and used elsewhere (sometimes with my copyright still visible, sometimes with it cropped off) I lose all control over usage. I can no longer issue licenses which control publication - repinning and reblogging just adds to the problem. My website and blog are my 'shopfront' where I display my goods for sale. It's how I make my living. I'm sure that most of the people who help themselves to my images are not the sort who would happily shoplift. It puzzles me that people see photography in a different light and feel they can just help themselves. I can only hope that educating people about the concerns of professional photographers will bring about some change in attitude.

  2. by Heather on March 19, 2012  6:21 pm

    I can't say I was never concerned about the conflicting message in the TOU/S. But that has been on the back burner now that all these sites are popping up that say they will print your boards. It makes me sad that folks would use these other sites with no thoughts towards the artist(s) let alone the legality.

  3. by tanya smith on March 19, 2012  7:46 pm

    The thought of someone printing out my work is very disturbing. I'm totally ok with people pinning online for inspiration but not with printing it out or using it for any other purpose. That being said, I cannot find this "printerest" I've been hearing about. Has anyone actually seen the site or facebook group? I can't find it.

    • by Darlene on April 2, 2012  7:43 pm

      Seems it's invitation only at this point so a bit hard to find.

  4. by Flora on March 20, 2012  6:41 am

    I don't pin portraits from other photographer's blogs or websites, I only pin my own stuff that links back to my blog. And I thought this was ok since it is my own work. So I was just about to add the "Pin this" button to my blog (as many other photographers have already done) but then I got to thinking, what if my client does not want her face plastered all over pinterest? And my model release forms do not say anything about pinning on pinterest, so I thought maybe I need to add it in there? I began looking a little bit more into the Pin, and found I really don't like what I was seeing. Copyright issues are one thing, but the client privacy side of it is not even touched. Let's say my client does not want her picture pinned by random people all over the pinterest community, if I pin it I'm essentially saying here you go pinterest users, pin away! Sadly, I think I'll also resort back to corkboarding my inspiration and leave the "pin it" button off my blog for now. One thing is certain, Pinterest is everywhere!

    • by kirsten on March 20, 2012  12:11 pm

      Flora, you are exactly right in thinking through that issue as well. See my blog post directly on this topic at (click on the blog).

  5. by Amanda on March 20, 2012  1:30 pm

    I'm not a professional photographer, or even have a professional camera, but I do have a blog where I post craft related items that I would be happy to have others pin. So here is one possible suggestion for Pinterest. Why not make it impossible for someone to pin anything from the web UNLESS there is a pin it button on the blog or posts? I have seen them on other blogs although I'm still trying to figure out how to add one to mine. Now I realize this does create a problem for photographers taking portraits of people, but for those who don't this seems like one possible solution.

    Note: I am not a lawyer, or photographer, just a little blogger stating my opinion for ONE possible thing to help the situation. As stated by this blog owner there is not one quick easy fix, but the ideas of many put together may result in the solution. In the mean time I believe I will remove my boards that have been pins from sites other than my own.

    • by Darlene on April 2, 2012  7:40 pm

      Hi Amanda - I like that idea of only being able to Pin from those sites which have a "Pin it" button!

      I'd also add that there has to be some sort of statement about being able to print the images, and that any companies doing so will be persecuted BY Pinterest, so that the user doesn't have to go after the offenders.

      Lastly that there should be a better way to link back to the original, especially after it's been Pinned a few times over. As a photographer I actually WANT my stuff being Pinned, but I'd want anything of mine that gets pinned to have a link back to it and a credit of where it came from. If they can implement that I'm all for it. Then it should drive traffic to my site of people that may want to see more similar images or order an actual print, which I offer.

    • by DesaraeV on May 16, 2012  2:25 am

      I can help you add a pin it button. Love that idea..

    • by Sacha on June 19, 2012  2:58 am

      Hi Amanda, It's very easy to pin something by saving it to one's desktop first, regardless of a pin button.

  6. by Joe Beasley on March 20, 2012  3:02 pm

    I am a photographer who does not shoot weddings and portraits, I sell my work on sites like as prints, cards, custom postage and other small items.

    A couple of months ago I found a site that had taken one of mt low resolution images and was selling it as a button. They claimed to have 1000 in stock.

    I am very concerned about the size of the images being displayed on Pinterest and their TOS which gives them the "right to sell" work of mine that I never pined or gave permission to pin.

  7. by Katherine Tyrrell on March 20, 2012  3:39 pm

    How come Ben Silbermann wants to listen to the photographers but forgets there are a number of visual artists who also produce their work in 2D and who are also very concerned with the current set-up and the way it works (ie completely contradictory with no evidence whatsoever that they are interested in whether or not people are pinning their own images or external bodies are profiting from the images so pinned)

    I know the photographers are very organised and care passionately about protecting their copyright - and their livelihoods. I'm sure they'll do a good job of presenting their case

    I'd expect that if Silbermann and the Pinterest lawyers listen to the photographers it's entirely possible that what happens to satisfy the concerns of the photographers will also satisfy the painters, printmakers and draughtsmen who are also very concerned about people selling their work behind their backs.

    However Pinterest owners and investors also need to recognise that it's also possible that other visual artists will not be satisfied.

    Above all Pinterest needs to wake up to the fact that it's only a matter of time before the invoices for unauthorised reproduction fees start being presented. After all why start with a cease and desist notice if it's possible to make money out of Mr Silbermann.......and we get to determine at what price!

    (PS The last comment may or may not be ironic - you'll have to wait and see!)

  8. by C. Schnackel on March 20, 2012  4:55 pm

    I'm not a photographer, but am an artist. I keep images of my artwork online as a portfolio and to sell prints on a Print on Demand site. Doing reverse image searches to locate thefts, finding out who really hosts the site, and then sending takedown notices, significantly eats into my productivity. I don't really have a choice to just ignore thefts, as an artist's work and 'brand' are very important and worth protecting, as are individual images. For that reason, I sent DMCA takedowns to Pinerest when I've found my work there, due to their methods and TOS.

    Most of the infringements around the web that I've found so far have been as avatars and blog illustrations, used without any credit or link back. But some have altered my work, such as flipping it horizontally and adding their own signature, (obscuring mine). Though I haven't come across it yet, I know eventually like others, I will find someone selling my work, too.

    Pinterest's display of larger images only facilitates this, but other points are more of a concern; that they lose the link and credit so easily, and their TOS which states they may even sell the images, because I am not a member at Pinerest and never gave them or anyone else permission to profit from my work or use it. The fact they intend to profit from work that they have no agreement with the owner is a blatant copyright infringement. Their members, per the TOS, would be liable as well.

    I would not join Pinterest and have done everything I can to make it clear I do not want my work pinned there. At least several print on demand art and photography sites have also had concerns and thankfully removed the Pin button.

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  12. by Joe Beasley on March 22, 2012  1:49 am

  13. by Dolores on March 22, 2012  3:13 pm

    I am off the website Pinterest permanently. I don't like their legal ramifications and I don't like the idea that anyone can take my stuff without my permission. This is getting to be a bit of a hairy situation and I hope that all the legal people involved keep the photographers and artists in mind here. We have all worked hard for what we do and to have someone come in and swipe your work and sell/promote it as their own...I would bring them to court in a heartbeat. Not usually a litigious person but I have many years of experience and education behind me to have accomplished what I have done. Do not steal - it's even in the Ten Commandments.

    THanks to you Kirsten, I have deleted my entire account with Pinterest. I hope they live happily ever after.

  14. by Cheryl on March 23, 2012  1:03 pm

    Thank you for writing about this. I hope this gets more clear. I want to be free to pin and post freely without concern.

  15. by Mark E Tisdale on March 23, 2012  11:36 pm

    Saw that Pinterest released new terms today - curious what your take on them is:

    It looks to me like the liability issue remains but I am NOT a lawyer.

  16. by thesachsgirl on March 24, 2012  12:57 am

    I'm not a photographer or artist and I don't play one on TV. ;o) I do use pinterest though. I have to admit, I read car manuals, I read tv manuals, I read computer manuals, I don't read TOS for websites though. BAD! At first, before I read your first article I was pinning all sorts of things around pinterest, Photos that I thought were pretty, things that are funny, cards (I'm a papercrafter), recipes, really anything that struck my fancy. After reading it I was convicted and concerned so I deleted my board that had my own crafts listed and slowly started deleting any photos that I had pinned from people that seemed professional in nature. It's often difficult to tell where a photo comes from originally and if I can't tell and it seems professional I delete the pin. I don't know if it's concern that I'll be sued, I suppose that should be a concern, but it's more out of respect for the photographers and artists. There are some things I have pinned that I'm on the fence about. For example, I have some Star Wars pins that are of a painting. The link is to a plain page with a url of "media-cache.pinterest" and nothing else. Should I delete this? Part of me says no, but part of me says yes. There are others that have a watermark of sorts and I'm able to trace it to the original site, see that they give permission, provide the link/information in the description and feel confident that it's ok. I guess my point is that I'm keeping my account, although I never wanted one to begin with for the most part it seems really narcissistic. I am considering getting rid of everything but recipes and craft ideas though. In the meantime while I decide and wait to see what Pinterest does with the TOS I'm doing as much investigation and deleting as I can out of respect for those of you who work hard at producing beautiful things for the rest of us to look at.

    By the way, I have encouraged my husband, who does some photography, to make sure all of his photos have visible watermarks over the image that cannot be deleted or gotten around without a LOT of photoshop and to not have a pinterest.

    Oh, and I've noticed that I cannot pin things from facebook, if that matters for anything.


  17. by Valerie Lawson on March 24, 2012  2:28 pm

    Congratulations! Looks like Ben & Co took your one-to-one convo to heart - I found an updated TOS policy in my inbox this morning - seemed to address some of your concerns...

    I found out about your blog posting via that piece in Business Insider a few days ago. I'm a pinner, and had some of the same concerns early on - which is why 98% of what I pin are my own original images, which I try to carefully curate to present a 'picture' of who I am and subtly promote my blog, and I think long and hard before re-pinning the pictures of others. That way, I figure if there is ever a need to take down re-pins, most of my images on Pinterest will remain intact.

    I see Pinterest as like a media entity, much like a nationally broadcast television or cable network. The difference is that the 'producers' that supply the content are everyday people - pinners - who are sometimes using others' content to create a 'program' (i.e., a board). I worked at PBS HQ in programming for many years, and remember the various agreements I saw between PBS and our program producers.The contracts normally include a boilerplate indicating that the broadcast entity has the right to use the material submitted during a particular term for regular broadcast, in printed material, online, and in whatever medium PBS needed to utilize to promote said program.

    I'm betting the more commercial outlets using Pinterest are savvy enough to have figured this out , altering the current agreements they have with creative staff and content providers to incorporate Pinterest into their print/promo/broadcast distribution efforts. Which is why it's probably pretty safe to upload an image from Lowes, or Martha Stewart.

    Pinterest will have to manage the dynamic between themselves, their pinners and the original creators of the images - whether from corporate entities or original photographers. Right now, the overall impression of the site is very slick, due to the presence of these professionally done photographs. If it comes down to a case where people are using their own personal photographs it may alter the quality of the site, or cause it to lose its distinctiveness, making it look like every other photo aggregation site.

    Definitely a fascinating discussion! I love Pinterest and hope they get it it right - sounds like they're on the right track.

  18. by Katherine Tyrrell on March 25, 2012  12:34 am

    Hi Kirsten - I see the revised terms of service have arrived. It's progress but not yet perfect

    I've done a detailed post setting out what I see as the changes and their implications in

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  20. by Marg Conklin on March 26, 2012  7:20 am

    I recieved an updated TOU from Pinterest on March 24 and it states that they have revised the terms. What is your take on this?

    • by kirsten on March 27, 2012  11:16 pm

      working on it Marg. Trying to find time to digest them first....

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  22. by Autumn on March 27, 2012  9:33 am

    If I may, I would like to ask a couple of things that still aren't clear to me..

    I deleted all my pins a couple of months ago and started fresh, by re-pinning all my content.. but still I'm not sure if I'm "doing the right thing". The new TOS of Pinterest states that "It is important that you understand that you are in the best position to know if the materials you post are legally allowed. We therefore ask that you please be careful when deciding whether to make User Content available on our Service, including whether you can pin or re-pin User Content on your boards." Now.. How can I be sure if I can RE-PIN a content? Can assume the original pinner has the right to pin an image in the first place, and / or do I need those rights too, in order to re-pin the content?

    Where the line goes? ( Ah, that IS the question.. )

    Pinterest also stated that Private Boards will possibly be available in the future. Now would it be "safer" to wait and make my content private? ( As I'm not (re)pinning things to make as many followers as possible. ) Will this change anything from the copyright point of view?

    ( I would also like to excuse for any mistakes I might have made in my writing, I'm not a native english speaker. )

  23. by Alisha Hettinger on April 4, 2012  2:00 pm

    I completely, 100% understand a photographer's concerns with Pinterest. And it's unfortunate that Pinterest has ballooned to the point that people are putting a great deal of the pressure to work this out right on them - the reality is, people have been putting up "inspiration boards" and others' photos since the beginning of the internet. This does not always mean it's right - especially if it takes the credit from the person who created the art. I believe there are several artists who would be happy to see their work Pinned on Pinterest - but I will say, it even frustrates me when I see a pin that links back to google or contains no link at all. One of the many great things about Pinterest is the referral traffic and therefore the potential sales that it can generate - it's pretty awesome to see revenue coming from somewhere (or even a visit, for that matter) that you did absolutely no work to generate. The reality is, Pinterest got big REALLY fast. I'm glad Ben and his team are working on the legalities and copyright stuff - to be fair, I'm certainly not an expert in this...I do have one small suggestion, however. If a photographer prefers NOT to put their photos on pinterest, is there perhaps a simple solution that can be added to the website to PREVENT pinning? I'm not at all in love with the idea - but it's apparent that people feel passionate about this and I would hope that a person who feels so strongly about not wanting their art on Pinterest would perhaps take the opportunity to embrace a product that would block Pinterest instead of going right for the legal approach.

  24. by Gina on April 9, 2012  5:00 am

    A class-action lawsuit against Pinterest needs to occur. I'm willing to be an exemplary case. How do I find a lawyer willing to take this on?

    The internet pirates need a smack down. Either they downsize all images to thumbnail only, or they face legal consequences.

    • by Anonymous on April 19, 2012  5:40 pm

      Some attorneys are investigating the actions of Pinterest on behalf of content providers, photographers, visual artists, etc. I believe they are attempting to put an end to any infringing activities. I am sure they would love to hear your story. If interested, send a quick email to

  25. by rich solomon on April 10, 2012  11:46 pm

    How many people read and really agree to the "terms of use" that are required to load every software product on earth?

    With the exception of creative commons licenses, the practical agreement that most people make when they install or use software is "I agree to say I agree with the terms, whatever meaningless lawyerese blah blah might be in there, because I know that I can't install or use the software otherwise."

    Maybe it's just me, but I think there will come a time when the legal and judicial professions comprehend this and start treating all shrinkwrap licenses with the disregard that everyone else does. Until then, we're stuck in a system that requires ordinary citizens to surrender of rights and assumption of guilt or liability to do just about anything. I'll need to see your ID please ma'am.

    I'm grateful you raised the question and got this discussion going. It'll be a while till we get anywhere, but I think the steps we take along the way are important.

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  27. by Mel on April 14, 2012  8:51 pm

    There are 2 other sites similar to Pinterest:

    1) CLIPIX
    2) ) BO.LT

    * Since CLIPIX offers a Private option, I've moved over there for now. They also have a Multiboard feature which I quite like. You can sign up w/o requesting an invite. You can use Facebook, Twitter or Email.

    * BO.LT requires an invite like Pinterest, and I haven't joined as of now. However, like CLIPIX they offer a Private option.

    Of course, if everyone uses Private, then that sorta defeats the whole sharing aspect, no?

    I do still visit Pinterest, I just don't Pin.

    Thank you for keeping us up-to-date.

    • by Mel on April 14, 2012  9:03 pm

      Oops. Forgot this part in my post:

      One more thing about CLIPIX, this is from their site:

      "We take copyright seriously"

      "Why is there a copyright watermark on my clips?

      We take copyright seriously. A watermark is placed on clips in order to protect the property of original content creators. We believe that those who create original work and own the rights should never have to worry about others unlawfully using their work. Clipix is about saving all the things you see online and want to come back to – come back to the original source."

      Just thought you might be interested.

      I've no clue if it resolves all the issues, so I'm still keeping my boards Private.

  28. by Kimberley on April 16, 2012  7:14 am

    After stumbling across your blog via another site, I began to say to myself "You should have known better". My sister invited me to Pinterest, but I expressed some doubts. I joined later because I'd read that Pinterest can send more traffic to your site than Facebook or Twitter. And I liked the idea of visually bookmarking things I like.
    I didn't realize — although as an illustrator I should have know better — that by doing so, I was giving others the right to reproduce the images, i.e. in print. For me, the images were just links to inspirational sites.

    With a heavy heart I've deleted my boards. I've saved the links to Mr. Wong or to a special folder on my desktop (webarchive links that I can open up with a click).

    If Pinterest would offer private boards, and change their liability policy, then I would love to start pinning again.

  29. by Dee on April 17, 2012  11:02 pm

    If all you are doing is pinning (or repinning) a website that is already out there on the web, what is the big deal. Is it any different than bookmarking it on your computer and then sharing that website with friends? It is not like we're trying to say we own the website or the picture. You actually have to go to that person's website to "get the recipe" or see what it is really all about. Is that wrong?

  30. by ash on April 25, 2012  3:22 pm

    I just don't see a need for pinterest in the first place. Can't you just bookmark what you like? Is it the desire for some form of social acceptance to tell the world "Hey I like this."?

    I hope they get a class action suit nailed to their door as well. If nothing else precedent needs to be set in matters such as this.

  31. by Daryl on May 2, 2012  11:13 am

    As a photographer I have no problem with people pinning my photography. I have been provided with a wealth of culture and information from the internet. It would help however if people provided credit for the creator of the work.

    • by Desaraev on May 16, 2012  2:37 am

      The general rule to building websites and managing ux (user experience) has been to build for the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately in this modern age, not everyone is tech savvy in fact the majority use a particular browser that is the furthest behind in technical application and web standards (meaning developers have to custom write code for websites just to make them look ok in ie where 5 other browsers just naturally work). Where am I going with that? Pinterest should think of the user.. People are smart but outside of their comfort zones or knowledge base we all generally follow the pack like sheep. It's part of cognitive thinking. So while I love inspiration boards and genuinely find them educational, I also wish pinterest shared the real laws a little more openly so that we all don't have to explain them to clients who justify reuse as the waterfall effect. Also kind of wish it was easier to give credit. Like if you add something from a site have a link auto added and permanently stuck with the pin. Make punning in general faster and more intuitive. I've found some really cool exercise videos from pinterest and the best part was getting to the link back to the original site. Many of the blogs I'm now hooked on come from there. MOral of the story? Always make it easy for a user to get from point a to point b to do what you want and if you don't know how.. Find a ux designer or architect.

  32. Pingback : Getting started on Pinterest | EmmaJne

  33. by Kimberley Nuenke on May 30, 2012  11:32 pm

    Has anyone address the problem of pornographic images viewable on Pinterest? As the mother of 3 daughters who periodically browse Pinterest, I was appalled when I came across (by mistake) pornographic photos being pinned by users. I am not referring to nude photographs or even ones that can be considered soft-porn. I am referring to hard-core (xxx) pornographic images that can be viewed without a filter or even so much as a warning. The definition of soft core porn is normally what you see in the R rated movies. Hard core shows explicit sexual intecourse and oral sex. The images I saw were of full genitals, sexual intercourse, and multiple people engaging in sexual acts. This is in no way considered “art”. It is and always will be hard-core porn. If this is what you choose to view, I have no problem as long as it is done on a separate website that is dedicated to this type of media. It should never be allowed on a website that cannot provide a warning to those about to view such images. Pinterest specifically states that “We do not allow nudity, hateful content, or content that actively promotes self-harm on Pinterest. Our no nudity policy applies to photographic images. It does not apply to illustrations, paintings, sculptures, etc. We do not allow nude photographic images that contain exposed nipples, genitalia, and/or fully exposed buttocks.” The only way to notify Pinterest of these violations is by viewing each image individually and reporting it as “adult content”. If Facebook is able to control, edit and filter out all pornographic images, Pinterest should be able to do the same for its users!

    • by kirsten on June 1, 2012  8:33 pm

      yikes, really??? this doesn't surprise me actually. It is just another example of Pinterest making rules to protect itself but basically turning a blind eye when the rules are broken. "What? Porn on our site? tsk tsk, that is against our rules...." same as "What? People may be violating copyright? tsk tsk, that is against our rules (even though we gave you the tool to do it -- wink wink)".

  34. Pingback : Pinterest Copyright Issues Could Spur Changes To Terms Of Use And ‘Pin Etiquette’ | TechCrunch

  35. by Christine on May 31, 2012  8:14 pm

    Couldn't some of this infringement be mitigated if Pinterest would just fulfill my dream and create private boards?

  36. by Larry on June 1, 2012  11:50 am

    To me Pinterest is blatantly flipping it's finger at the copyright law. It seems the only way this will be solved is for someone or some photographers organization to sue them. Image theft on the Internet is rampant and most photographers know it. It is similar to what happened a few years ago with the recording industry and Napster and will not be stopped until some massively huge and very public lawsuit is filed against Pinterest. There is a prevailing attitude on the Internet that if an image is posted there it is free to use whenever and wherever anyone wants to do so. We, as photographers, know this is very far from the truth but until the general public is educated to the contrary the theft will continue. If the theft isn't stopped I fear the profession of photography is doomed. I have already seen a dramatic drop in my photography income over the last several years. I blame the PP of A, ASMP, and other professional photography organizations for not taking up the banner as our representatives and leading the fight to stop this assault once and for all. Wake up! people or professional photographers will cease to exist as surely as blacksmiths have.

  37. by Emma Lee Dyer on June 3, 2012  4:28 am

    Hi I just read all of these blogs you wrote from the first one
    before you got to talk in person to one of the creators of
    Pinterest and have in the past been made aware of these
    concerns, though not to this extent. I have found your blogs
    insightful and educational, despite your proclimation that
    said blogs be seen as legal advice. I had almost deleted my
    Pinterest account before, and since then had done some
    skimming through a few of the latest updates in Pinterest
    policies; by that I mean my eyes glazed over and I went
    back to re-pinning. I did today delete all of my boards, save
    the ones that contain my original work, as well as the work
    of my fiancé. I have suggested he do the same. I am not
    sure what changes have been made to the policies lately
    and would make the effort to look into it, but I have actually
    been completely cut off from all updates by the people and
    boards I follow, and also have found that rather than showing
    more recent pins relevent to my keyword search, despite
    the fact that I use the same keywords everytime I search, have
    not been yeilding results that are any fresher than a week old.
    In my opinion that seems to be a clue that big things are
    happening in Pinterest Land, and so for now, I have decided
    to clean house (delete inspiration boards) and wait to see
    what happens. However, I was hoping you might soon post
    another blog about this or link me to an update I have failed
    to locate, as I am sure you have more information on the
    subject than most people, being that you are somewhat
    a part of all this. Whatever size part you think you play, for me,
    a reader, with practically no legal understanding and ADHD
    (i.e. an inability to wade through the tumultuous waters of
    legal jargon and whatnot--the glazed eyes thing), at least
    for me, you play an important part, I thank you for your having
    the motivation to inform your fellow artists (by the way I am a
    graphic designer, one of the typophiles whose sole love of
    Pinterest is the thrill of finding new hand lettered quotes and
    elegantly designed invitations, etc.) with any and all info you
    have been able to obtain on the subject. I know you must be
    somewhat overwhelmed by all these comments, but I will be
    book marking your blog and checking back regularly, and
    would be thrilled to be in touch with you via email.

  38. by Zo @ Two Spoons on June 3, 2012  7:01 am

    First of all, thank your Kirsten for posting about this issue, and continuing to post about it. I just started using Pinterest today really, and felt so uncomfortable about it that I googled this issue and found your posts.

    I think what discomforted me most (and I don't think this just applies to pros) is that when you're on the Pinterest homepage, and you click on an image, it doesn't take you to the original source. Indeed, the text at the top of the image tells you who pinned the image, not who created it. It was actually fairly hard to find any info on who created the image, or where it came from. Most importantly, once the image on the homepage is clicked on and enlarged, there is ZERO incentive for anyone to view the image on the original site. That, I think, is where the central damage lies for a photographer, and it's really why you can't legitimately say that Pinterest helps artists get their names out there.

    Why not just stick to "liking," and ditch pinning altogether? Linguistically I feel like "liking" is more accurate anyway...pinning sounds like you own something, which is confusing. When you're viewing someone's board, and click on a liked image, it simply takes you to the original. Far more rewarding for bloggers too, as people will more likely comment on the blog post (not that commenting should necessarily be disabled on Pinterest). Also simpler - what, really, is the difference between pinning/repinning and liking an image, in essence (not technically)?

    Contrast to Facebook, which has two photo sharing methods. You can download an image, re-upload it, then share it (but it's easier to just link to the original site). Or you can copy and paste the link to a site, and some little thumbnail will pop up, but it's so tiny that 99% of people would click to get to the original source. Either it's EASIER to link to the original site, or the people you share something with have to go to the original. That is far more rewarding for a photographer wanting free exposure. There are still issues on Facebook, sure, but it's less confusing for users/pinners/likers I think.

    • by Alan Gorney on June 6, 2012  3:41 pm

      In my experimentation with Pinterest I have found that many websites have a feature where there is NO PINABLE IMAGES when you try to pin an image to one of your boards. I'm guessing this is a security measure on their website. In my opinion the website owner should take some of the responsibility for securing images that they post on the web if they do not wish to have anyone download them in what ever form the original is posted.

      Also once an image is posted to the web it is already there for everyone to see. I realize that doesn't give anyone the right to copy it even if you are not making a profit off of it.

      I still believe the author should make a reasonable attempt to secure any of their art they post on the web.

      Just a thought.
      Maybe to repin an image you are automatically redirected to the original website/source to pin it from rather than duplicating from a duplicate image on the Pinterest site. This would make sure an image is still there and hasn't been removed and would assure that the pinner visits their website before pinning an image.

      • by Cory on July 10, 2012  9:48 pm

        I was just about to make that same comment. On many web sites, you can right click your mouse and save the picture however on others, you are not able to do anything when you right click. I'm just an "end user" not a computer ninja but there must be some security that the web site owner can use to prevent any capture of their material. And it should be their responsibiliy to do it if they don't want their property taken.

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