Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pinterest, Copyrights, Watermarks, Oh my!

I am not even sure how to start this post. I guess I will start with the positive! On the bottom of my right sidebar, I now have this button:

You can pin from H is for Homeschooling! I do have some guidelines, which I will get to below. Click on the "permission to pin" button to find a list of blogs granting pinning permission.

Okay, now on to the negative. That was fast, I know. Sorry!

The button is connected with my copyright and terms of use because the issues are related. If you go to this post at Corkboard Connections, you will get an overview of the problem, which is discussed much more in depth here at Technorati. Short version, Pinterest is awesome (how awesome do I think it is? I have over 1000 pins, and counting.) but they're kind of double talking as far as their terms of use. They say, pretty much in the same breath, to pin whatever you want and to only pin items that you solely own. Get 'Er Done Momma provides the actual quotes, if you are interested. When you sign up for Pinterest, the fine print also states that "you hereby grant [them] a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services." Basically, Pinterest can do whatever they want with whatever you post. I think the same is true of Facebook, Google and most social networking sites that I use, but it sounds scary in writing.

With that in mind:

Be careful what you post. If you own it, I suggest using a watermark with your site name placed on the photo somewhere that it cannot be removed. I followed directions provided here at Monkeys Love Donuts to start doing this for my pictures. It is very easy. I started doing this based on a problem that Discovery Days and Montessori Moments posted about here where someone was copying and pasting entire posts from her blog onto their own blog. The explanation was innocent but it is still distressing.

If you don't own something you are pinning, make sure the blogger has given permission to pin, has a pin it button in their post, or use a photo that is obviously prepared for Pinterest. Most bloggers who are sharing their work with Pinterest in mind provide photos with a caption and their blog name already on it. I am not doing this 100% of the time, but I am being more aware of it.

If something is handmade and for sale (ie- Etsy items), consider that pinning directions for how to do it might cost someone else money. Do I have Etsy items on my Pinterest boards? Yes. But after reading this post from Joy in the Jumble, I am not sure that I should. I do not want to pay someone if I can do it myself, but when people post "how to" type pins of simple Etsy items, the shopowners probably do lose business.

Pin from original sources only. This is a great post from Just Lovely Things about this issue. Make sure before you repin that there is an actual picture and link and that it is the original source. I have pinned some things that I found out later were just pictures from Google and I had to search for the original article. I completely agree with her that credit should always be given to the original creator and not a copy cat. That is why I try to be very specific about where I get ideas from if they are not my own. And I try not to just say "I got the idea here" without typing out where "here" is. Some people won't click the link but if they see the blog title, at least you have tried.

My personal copyright and pinning guidelines for H is for Homeschooling are there at the bottom of my right sidebar, but I am going to repeat them here for good measure. I love Pinterest. I love knowing that people are enjoying my ideas. But, I think that people should always link back if they use my ideas or printables and I do not want pictures of my children on Pinterest or other blogs, unless I have given specific permission (ie- a guest post). If you have already used a picture of my boys and can replace it with a picture without them, I appreciate that. If you see a picture you would like to use and can crop it so that Boogie is not visible, I appreciate that. Always ask me if you are unsure. I try to always provide pictures of activities without pictures of Boogie. I am now putting watermarks on all my pictures and titles on many of my pictures for pinning purposes as well. I have not started putting titles on my trays yet, but they are pinnable. In general, I include a "pin it" button in any post with pictures that are appropriate for pinning. My Tot School posts do not include a pin it button because the pictures include my son. My Fave Five Friday and What's on the Tray Wednesday posts do not include pin it buttons because the photographs are not mine.

I know this wasn't my usual kind of post, but I think this is important, so I wanted to take the time to do it. Thank you for reading my blog, pinning my photos, linking up to my parties, hosting wonderful link parties, and leaving encouragement in your comments! I really appreciate the inspiration provided by the homeschooling, parenting and crafting community that I have found online.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. Thanks for the link to Monkeys Love Donuts. I know a lot of people (photographers in particular) have gone into freak-out mode since the TOS issues with Pinterest have come up. On one hand it's wonderful if someone likes your stuff and wants to 'pin' your work. On the other hand, you want credit for your work and don't particularly want it out their for grabs. Oy! I really believe the answer is to watermark everything so there's no mistaking where it came from. I guess if you don't want to be pinned you can say so at the top of your site in neon flashing letters, but I certainly don't think I'd want to do that. I LIKE sharing.


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