« Free desktop wallpaper - February | Main | Free desktop wallpaper - March »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

As a digital artist, I understand intellectual property. But I'm not sure what Pinterest can do about pins without an original source. So far, the site is free for all users, and I'm not sure where they would get the capital to hire people to check each and every pin. And it would take a living, breathing person to determine if the pin is legitimate. So, I guess my question is, what is your idea on how Pinterest would accomplish this?

The idea is that they would educate and pinners would learn to do better.

Honestly. If bloggers want their stuff to be protected they should either watermark it or DONT pin it.

Pinterest made a forum possible for sharing. If the photo doesnt have the proper info on it. Then...oh well.

I sure am not going back to correct any repins. Its time consuming.

People should be glad their stuff gets pinned at all!

This is a valiant effort, but the problem with this campaign is that it attacks the wrong foe. Pinterest's mission (copied directly from their site) reads: "Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."

So it's meant as a place where regular Joes and Joannes from around the world can go to swap neat images with like-minded folk. Find a new way to cook spinach, get inspired to paint your kitchen. That sort of thing. Nowhere in there does it say that Pinterest is a site where artists, musicians, writers, etc. can flog their merchandise. In fact, anyone who repeatedly pins their own work is actually in violation of Pinterest's third term of pinning etiquette - to not use the site for blatant self-promotion.

The problems you are trying to address are far beyond the scope of Pinterest. If some goon is going to swipe an image from a website and proceed to make money from said image by copying it or illegally licensing it in some way, he or she will do so whether the image is linked to an original source or has been copied a million times over.

It's the same in "real life" - if a criminal tries to steal a painting from an art gallery, for instance, do you think that he or she cares who painted it, or who owns it? Nope. It's all about the money. As much as it sucks, human behaviour is the same both online and off.

And that is not the fault of Pinterest.

IMHO this isn't just a responsibility for Pinterest, but all those who pin on Pinterest.

If you see something you like and want to pin it be sure that it is pinned from an original source or at least a reference to the original source.

It is interesting to see the number of people who pin from a Google image search! Bad form.

I have to admit when I first used Pinterest I just trusted those I was repinning. You really need to check where the item you have pinned links to.

I have to admit I have spent hours looking for the original source on some pins I have seen so I could repin them.

I also try to make a conscious effort not repin anything that links to the blog and not the actual post OR I will make a comment on the pin linking to the actual post.

It is frustrating to see something you like and not be able to find it when following the link on the pin.

Just my two cents. Also Pinterest has a report feature! Use it! Those who pin can take the responsibility to report pins that do not link to an original source (or one that at least links to the original source).

With the volume that Pinterest has we cannot expect them to police it without support from its community of users. We all need to take responsibility. 

Just my two cents ... and a little more... :D

No one is blaming pinterest. We are in fact hoping they will help educate their pinners - not just by a hidden mission statement. They have the platform to do that.

Agreed on all points. We are not blaming pinterest but asking them to use their platform for good. Not to police. To educate. They can do that.

"the importance of LINKING to the original source + respecting intellectual property online"

Linking or giving credit does not mitigate the fact that "pinning" intellectual property you do not have the rights to, both is against the TOS of Pinterest, but also infringes upon the copyright of the artist, for various reasons. While the intent is laudable, it does not solve the problem of Pinterest's and its users' infringements.

Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.
All of this has been brought to our attention and you are so right.
So right. Would love to discuss further with you.

If no one is blaming Pinterest, then why is this called the Pinterest project? It isn't Pinterest's job to educate people on internet etiquette.

And their mission statement isn't "hidden"- it's displayed plain as day in 14 pt. type on their "What is Pinterest?" About page.

And they DO educate their pinners - "Be Nice" and "Credit Your Sources" are numbers one and two on their pinning etiquette page.

And number five on that same list openly invites people to "Tell us How to Make Pinterest Better," with contact information.

What more, realistically, can they be expected to do?


I think this is just a few people crying for self promotion. Pinterest is NOT the place to push your product or your design.

I think someone above stated that "Self-Promotion" violates the rules of Pinterest. So honestly what is it you are attempting here? Censorship? Regulation?

These acts come with costs that Im sure Pinterest the fastest growing social utility does not want part of.

So again is it that a few are whining because they didnt get credit for a mac and chesse recipe that has been around for quite sometime?

Or is it that a few are upset because they are getting traffic to their blogs which they can use to lure advertisers for sponsorships?

Seem like someone is trying to turn a great idea into something bad so that they can make money or promote their baking soda and water concoction.

Better, as in, this?: http://pinterest.com/about/terms/

Or, this perhaps? http://pinterest.com/about/copyright/

It's the users that are screwing with the system, and not the other way around.

I think theres an opportunity for them to do more. Thats all Im saying. They are creating very grey areas that arent very cool for the people who create things. Im not blaming pinterest. We started with a pinterest awareness idea because I have met with Ben, adore him, and believe some big corporation that encourages people to share things should take the lead that a lot of other companies failed to take. This is not a pinterest hate campaign.

The image above does not ask that Pinterest educate users though. It asks Pinterest to DELETE pins.

"please, hurry. before it becomes a bigger mess. DELETE pins not linked to original source."

Pinterest already has a policy in place that allows them to delete infringed images when requested in accordance with the DMCA, so it seems like you are asking them to go beyond that and pro-actively delete pins.

Am I misinterpreting something here?

I think that this campaign was created on a whim that wasn't properly researched, and now you're backtracking to save face. You keep saying that Pinterest "should do more," and "be better," yet you give no concrete examples of how they should do that.

In one breath you say, "They are creating very grey areas that aren't very cool for the people who create things," and in the next "I'm not blaming Pinterest." Make up your mind. I see no grey areas here - Pinterest's policies are laid out in black and white right on their site. I "create things," and I'm entirely cool with Pinterest.

If you have "met with Ben and adore him" (no one is impressed with the name dropping, by the way), then why did you not simply continue your dialogue with him one on one, rather than trying to hijack his site with this project?

I think your reference to Pinterest as "some big corporation" says it all.


I think the last few comments and position really hit home.

Have you really thought his through?

Really thought it through?

I am SO grateful and impressed with what you are doing. I tried to suggest this idea, explaining the concept of intellectual property in a comment on a blog that was encouraging women to get to work making those things they found on Pinterest - but my comment was censored. Taken off. I've found my work pinned there - fortunately, by people who respected me as the artist. But I've tried to find the source on many things I've seen there and come up with nada - especially when Tumblr is involved. All artists borrow - and great artists, as one once noted, steal - but that's ideas. Ideas. Not wholesale designs. Not images shot by other people. Not credit for ideas. I've put the badge on my blog. I don't pin - because of this very thing - and also, I will admit, because I'd rather spend time creating with my hands rather than cruising the net.

Thank you. Thank you for this.

I won't share this because it says Dear Pinterest rather than Pinners. Even though you are preaching a message of personal responsibility which I totally agree with... because you use the site name.. the message is muddy and it looks like you are supporting SOPA and PIPA legislation that has been shelved for a time but will be repackaged as something else in the near future and is legislation that would be devastating to the art and cottage industry community.

Embracing this mantra! Adding Link w/ Love to my blog, and being more industrious about proper attribution on Pinterest!


Pinned and will go out today and check all my boards to make sure they are pointing to an original source. Thanks for bringing this up.

I think it is insanity to ask Pinterest to monitor the millions of graphics and videos that pass through their network. I have no issues with a process that allows the copy holder to monitor and report abuse, but to place this burden onto Pinterest is wrong. I personally hate the "it's mine" attitude, but do understand the importance of having and protecting intellectual property.

Do you
think it is insane for Pinterest to retain rights to the images
that you have pinned?

Kal several months ago:

Kal now: How DARE you, Pinterest. I totally ignored all of your terms and conditions because I couldn't be bothered to actually read them, so I abused your site to promote myself by plastering my walls with my own stuff, and now a bunch of big, bad meanies are repinning them without a link. Maybe they swiped stuff from my own website, but I rock and you suck, so I doubt it. So fix this NOW, or I might just take my crayons and go home. Harumph.

I'm wondering what do I do when I pin an image of my own, but I don't have a blog. It shows up as pinned by user and it really is - because I did it myself. What to do in this situation? Would really appreciate your answer!

Btw - loved this article and pinned it on my Pinterest board and also went back and deleted everything on my boards that was not properly sourced. Took forever, but so worth it. Now I will know to make sure BEFORE I pin anything.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Help us

  • LiNKwithlove

  • LiNKwithlove

Grab a button & show your support

  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove
  • LINKwithlove