Information for Bloggers and People Who Use Pinterest

Pinterest -  Important Information for Creative Bloggers and Artists

 NOTE: This Pinterest article was written soon after Pinterest started gaining popularity in early 2012. Most of this article is still very relevant.

This is WAY off of my normal topic of interest here on Living Locurto, but I have recently found out interesting things about Pinterest that I wanted fellow bloggers to know. I’m not judging anyone, but wanted to give you all some information about my findings.

1. When someone pins your photo, it goes onto the Pinterest’s servers.

You no longer have control of that image, Pinterest does.

If you don’t want your image on Google or Yahoo, you just delete it from your blog or server. You don’t have that option with Pinterest. It’s there for anyone to repin and take whether you want them to or not.

What if someone pinned a photo of your cute baby and it went viral on Pinterest…. then others are using your baby on their site to get pins and Pinterest followers? (see point #2)

What if you were being paid to be featured in a magazine, but they wanted exclusive rights to your photo. You take the photo off of your site, but it’s all over Pinterest? (see a a comment below from someone who says this happened to her and she has yet to hear from Pinterest when asked to remove it.)

Once someone pins your photo, it’s on Pinterest forever until you contact them to remove it.

I wonder if Pinterest would remove ALL of the photos if your photo went viral? I don’t have the answer to that. All I know is that I have no control of my photo once it’s pinned.

(UPDATE: I have contacted Pinterest to remove my images or direct links to the correct URL and they usually do eventually. This is very very time consuming to go through each image you want removed or a link changed. )


Here is an example of how you have no control over a photo once it gets pinned and why you should be concerned:

My friend and very talented baker Amanda, says this about her amazing Heart Cake that has become HUGELY popular on Pinterest:

Amanda wrote: “Out of 100 of my images on Pinterest, maybe 5 actually link to me.”

Sample #1:

Amanda's Heart Cake

Sample #2:


In the pinned image above, Amanda’s cake is sourced via Google found on another blog who has made Amanda’s cake.

She shows Amanda’s photo as the finished product, that photo then went to Google and got pinned! So she is in turn getting traffic to her blog because of Amanda’s photo. She is using Amanda’s recipe, photo and directions.

Amanda does get credit waaaaaaay at the bottom of the post as “Source”.

That small hidden link is the only place out of these two pins where Amanda gets any credit to her wonderful idea and photo.

(UPDATE: Since writing this article, the website that this pinned image was linked to has been taken down. Obviously they realized it was copyright infringement and took measures to correct it. Now, Amanda’s photo is still on Pinterest with no credit to any source.)


2. People are finding pins from the Pinterest “Popular” section, then re-creating that idea in a blog post.

It could be your idea.

Why are they doing this?

  1. Not ALL, but a good handful are doing it to ride on the “Popular Pinterest Train”. – What the average person probably doesn’t realize is the amount of traffic people are getting from Pinterest. It’s higher than any other social media platform as of now. If you’re lucky, you can get more hits to your website from ONE pin than an entire year of Google search traffic. I’m talking thousands of hits from just ONE pin. For those people who don’t have websites, they probably have no clue about this. When more companies and website owners find out, they will flock to Pinterest. This is just the beginning and why I wanted to write this post now.

Why is this different from using one of my ideas and making a craft and putting it on your blog?

  1. You are doing it because you like it and it’s fun. You are not trying to re-create a popular pinned item in hopes that yours will go viral therefore bringing you tons of traffic to your blog.
  2. You are not giving Pinterest or your Pinterest board credit (to get Pinterest followers), you are giving me credit. We all have fun sharing ideas and everyone is happy. It’s not about getting more Pinterest followers which in turn will get your blog more traffic.

I admit, I have found amazing ideas from Pinterest and featured them (the original source) on my blog occasionally with a link to my Pinterest board. I have also benefited from people pinning my ideas and getting traffic.

I’m sure many people feature items that they found on Pinterest just for fun and link to the original source. I don’t see a problem with that as long as they link to the source, not Pinterest.

What I didn’t realize until recently, is that people were actually creating “Inspired by Pinterest” blogs based on this.

Whole websites devoted to this.

Your ideas used for someone’s Pinterest gain. I should make a shirt with that saying! Ha.

If you are using Pinterest to get more traffic and hopefully make lots of money, great for you. I just hope you are using your own photos and ideas or asking the original creator to collaborate so it’s a win win for each side.


If you don’t believe me, read this Greekgeek article where the author sites this article and actually searched Google for Pinterest Inspired sites and found millions of results. Or just go search yourself.


To sum up, I just wanted to share my findings with you.

Owl Smores Recipe by Amy Locurto at

I really love what Pinterest has done. I enjoy pinning and finding inspiring ideas. I just hope you will do what you can to protect your ideas and images. I know I will be changing the way I use Pinterest from now on.

As you will see in the future, my photos will include my URL watermark or  “Photo Terms” as in my Owl Smores photo above. Then when you go to Pinterest, you’ll see my note or url on my photos in the mist of this.

I hope someday Pinterest will make it where the original source must be pinned. Or at least provide a reminder before someone pins a photo. We can do nothing about those who mis-use Pinterest… only try to do the best we can to use Pinterest the way it was meant to be used as an inspiration board. If we get traffic, that is just a very nice bonus!



Please pin the original sources. I feature a lot of people here, it takes 2 seconds to click over to their site to pin their post. I hope you will do that from now on. I will.

I apologize for not doing that in the past. I like you, didn’t even think about it until recently. Just pinning things I liked, never realizing that person’s photo could go viral and they don’t get credit.

REMINDER: When you submit a photo to another site, they will probably be pinning YOUR PHOTO TO THEIR WEBSITE and not yours. If you are okay with that, go for it. Hopefully the reader will eventually click a few more times to find your blog and original project. In my experience, I haven’t found that to be the case, even with magazine or news websites that claim to have multi-million page views.

Thanks so much for reading this long post!!


Here is a follow up to this post with more info and how Pinterest is Changing The Way I Blog.


Link With Love Campaign

Please pin the “Dear Pinterest” image found on Link With Love. It’s a kind campaign to raise awareness about the importance of LINKING to the original source.


Related articles:

Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations? –

Why I Tearfully Deleted My Pinterest Inspiration Boards – (attorney & photographer)

Is Pinterest Already Making Money, Quietly? –

How Pinterest Uses Your Content Without Violating Copyright Laws –

Our Neighborhood Blog Watch Starts Today, and Some Startling News About Pinterest –

Pinterest: Everything You Wanted to Know About 2012’s Hottest Startup –

The Electronic Frontier Foundation: Teaching Copyright


About Amy Locurto

Amy is a creative mom of two and graphic designer. When she's not working on Living Locurto, she's busy designing Printable Party Supplies and working on I Heart Faces, her photography blog. Find Amy on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.


  1. Thank you! I appreciate the reminder to give credit where credit is due…we should all do that on the web and beyond :) It doesn’t take but a moment and values the creative energy used in both creating and sharing the work. (By the way, funny that this should be the first comment I leave here considering how much I HEART your site. Thank you for all the great ideas and printables. I love waking up in the morning and seeing what awaits me in my inbox and online.)

  2. I agree, this is highly disrespectful and people should know better. Pinterest should have a way where the pinner adds the original source in a text box before the pin goes live as well.

  3. The wonderful thing about the internet and pinterest in particular is free sharing of ideas. It’s a great place to get inspiration. And while I do believe you should credit the source of ideas, this seems a little overboard. If your intention for sharing them in the first place to get credit for them (in terms of monetary compensation – either directly, or through ad traffic, etc.) maybe you shouldn’t be sharing via an open website in the first place.

    • @Julie Ann,

      So you’re suggesting that all websites never post photos… then there would be nothing to pin or any images on the internet? That would never happen of course. All I can do is try to educate people.

    • @Julie Ann,
      We all blog to share…that’s what blogging is about. and yes, you should not share things that you don’t want others to see – but to say because Pinterest and the internet is a free way to share, doesn’t mean it’s ok to be abused. Is it ok to download a song that someone puts on a music sharing site? generally no…you have to pay for that music.
      And if you think about it…..most of what is on Pinterest was not put there by the person who owns it. – so when someone pins my picture to that site, I lose control. If I pin my picture, then I have given my permission…….VERY different IMO

    • @Julie Ann, Julie Ann, I am a little confused by this comment. Are you saying that if someone profits from their blog then they do not have as much a right to expect proper accreditation as someone who does not monetize?

    • @Julie Ann,
      Credit is due in any arena……whether or not people follow suit is up to their character. I see it as publishing a recipe book……It would be wrong for someone to publish a recipe book using someone else’s recipes. Just as it would be wrong for me to post a recipe without giving full credit to where I got that recipe….unless I made it up. Many blogs are that person’s business…….Pinterest ultimately should not be benefiting from someone’s post if the original source is lost…….Simply stating that you shouldn’t share something if you don’t want it out there is ridiculous. Where would we be as a culture if that were the case?

  4. That was a great post and the things you mentioned hadn’t occured to me. I will take more time with my pinning from now on. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  5. I have had these same thoughts lately! Bugs me when someone doesn’t give credit to the originator…this is why it’s important to put your blog signature on your photos!

  6. Great post – another issue is when people put the whole recipe or tutorial in the description which makes it so a reader has no reason to click through to the original site. It is considered bad form to do so and you should simply describe the topic / recipe etc. If I am repinning something like that I make sure at least I delete all the info.

  7. Thanks for posting about this! Pinterest has asked all pinners to use this etiquette under “Pinners Etiquette”.

  8. Thank you for the information. I am not really a blogger have attempted but never seem to return. I was wondering about how and and who really owns these pictures. Not Pinterest fault has to be stored somewhere and just for FYI I think some of this stems from what is going on with internet privacy whether or not we will have it down the road. I will, in the future be more careful.. Paige

  9. interesting post, as a newbie trying to get my blog off the ground and increase traffic I was thrilled when over a 100 people repinned a pic of my halloween cupcakes. Now I’m not so thrilled to think someone might reproduce my projects in order to increase their own traffic without crediting me. I always try to pin directly from the source, mainly because I like to have a look at what else is on there. Good idea about the ‘photo terms’ .

  10. I wholeheartedly agree! I do a lot of Features on the weekends from bloggers who link to my weekend party. I always include a direct link to the post *and* the blog’s main URL. All a person would need to do is click one of those links to Pin the photo, but sooo many readers just Pin my page. I suppose an ambitious Pinterest enthusiast might take the time to click to my blog and then over to the source’s blog, but probably not.

  11. Thanks for posting about this! Pinterest tells you to pin photos in the same manner as well, just people do not read their advice, LOL. They have always said to pin directly from the source or make sure to give credit to it under “Pinning Etiquette”.

  12. Great post Amy. I’m glad for once I was doing it right. I felt like I was really back tracking and doing it all wrong because I never repin. If I see something, I click on the source, then pin. Sadly many people use Pinterest as a book mark and could care less about credit……they don’t get it.

  13. Thanks for the info, Amy! I’ve only recently heard about finding the original source before pinning, but there are times when you can’t pin from the original source because sometimes it isn’t available and you hit a dead end trying to track it down which is frustrating. You’d think there’d be a way for Pinterest to only allow original source pins with a “via” source listed, too…..some techie out there should be able to figure that out, eh? ;-)

    It is unfortunate, too, that people use many of the ideas and call them their own on their blogs :::sigh::::

    In the meantime, keep on being creative HERE :-)

    Tammy ~@~

  14. I always pin from the original source. I try very hard to make sure, even when it’s in very tiny script from the secondary blog;) I had no idea about the pictures.

  15. Thank you for this post. You are the first blogger I’ve seen to bring up this issue, and something that I think many of us never really thought of until now. I think a lot of us Pinterest users will be much more aware in the future. I definitely will be checking to see if the previous pinner credited the original source before I click “repin.”

  16. Thanks so much for posting this. I LOVE Pinterest but agree that not a lot of people realize when or how original sources are getting lost. I have to admit that while I am focused on finding the correct source for my pins … I don’t always immediately go to the “source” site when I pin. (I often pin a ton of stuff to go back to later.) It’s when I go to the source a while later when I actually see that the source was inaccurate. Sometimes my corrections are too late though … since it’s been repinned by other users with the INCORRECT source. Like you, I hope that Pinterest comes up with a solution to the sourcing etiquette. Again … thanks so much for posting this!

  17. I will also be more aware of this. Thanks for the heads up. What about putting watermarks on all of your blog images? Wouldnt that help to identify the original source?

  18. I am new to this pintrest site but my question is how to find that original source? Its seems the whole site is made up of things people have done by way of another idea. How am I suppose to find the first person that did/made/created/cooked/painted the idea? I re-pin something to my own board because I like it or am inspired by it. I dont want to copy it or steal it and if I do reproduce it I have no desire to show it off, sell it or flaunt it online – where do I fall into the mix of all of this? I dont want to spend hours with a guilty concience looking for an original poster who was actually inspired by this poster who got the idea from this book by way of her dead grandma who bought the book from some store in Germany. How frustrating, im sure for you all too!
    I also thought there was software a person could buy that would make it impossible for your pictures to be right click, saved? I also know there is a company online that will water mark your images so no matter how many times they are saved and reposted you can find them? Maybe Im wrong?

    • @Terri,
      the best way to TRY and find the source is to start by not just repinning – click thru that pin and see where it came from. Does it appear to be from that site, or are they featuring it from another site? if so, click on again, and find where they featured from and finally if that look like the original source, then be so kind and pin from there.

  19. Thanks for the info!! I’m not a blogger but I did discover some time ago that on many occasions that yummy cookie recipe or that fab craft idea that you THINK you pinned ends up only being a photo = frustration! Since then, I’ve always tried to go to the original source!!

    Good luck to you all!!!

  20. Thanks for sharing this! I spend a good amount of time finding original sources because this very same thing has been done with lots of things that we have made. I was forced to start watermarking our photos from people taking and claiming them as their own, but I think this also helps when they are posted to pinterest. At least people can see on the photo where it came from. That is a shame about Amanda’s cake…it is beautiful!

  21. As a fairly new blogger, I haven’t even begun to think about these kinds of things! Thanks so much for bringing it to our attention. I’ll certainly be paying more attention. Great post, Amy!

  22. Classic hotlinking, brought back to the forefront by Pinterest! I wasn’t really aware of this either, until my dear husband brought it to my attention a while back. People will link to just an image, or will save a picture (one of yours, from a blog), and then upload it as their own, with no credit to the original poster, or the context.
    It kind of makes me want to right-click protect my images, but then again, savvy people will find a way around this.
    I do try to check the Pinterest link when I find something awesome, and trace it back to the real original source before I repin. Not that I can do that for every single item out there, but the few I do, I hope to make the littlest difference for.

  23. Great post! Being a designer also, i agree with your concerns. I usually try to give a credit to the original too, but i know some images are hard to figure out. Hopefully this will bring light to the issue and encourage people to do the same.

  24. I’m not a blogger but I try to check each thing I pin to see if it goes back to the original source. If it doesn’t, I try and go back to that source and repin it myself. Hope this helps and now that I’m aware, I will make even more of an effort.

  25. Amelia Woodbridge says:

    I find that most people don’t put the link to the straight post on Pinterest – they just link to the blog homepage and then eventually it gets lost. I spend alot of time finding the source and getting the direct link page so I can correct the links when I repin them and I put the name or blog name or something in my note. It takes a little diligence out of people to be responsible with this tool – wish Pinterest would do a tutorial on HOW to repin. I’ve actually been going back through my pins to correct once I realized that alot of them were not right.

  26. i, like megan try to find the original post. sometimes i can’t find the original especially on the pins that say “uploaded by user” (or tumblr or google or even from the most poplar pins), not even sure what that means or how you do that. i have at times noted that i could not find the original post and sometimes i actually get a comment linking me to the original. trying my best to “give credit where credit is due”!

  27. rebecca keppel says:

    I recently discovered another downside to images being placed on the Pinterest Server. I made a scrapbook layout. It was pinned from the kit cub site where I blogged the layout. When the layout was requested for publication from a print magazine, I removed it from the blog and any other galleries I had posted it at (per the magazine’s request), but I could not remove it from where others had pinned it. I contacted Pinterest about this weeks ago and I have yet to receive a response.

  28. I LOVE this post Amy!! I think we all need to slow down and think about what this is doing to all of us! We are all enamored by the influx of traffic that Pinterest is bringing…….and souring etiquette has been lost along the way.

    I would like to see the original source get a lot more attention than Pinterest as the source. If you came to my blog and wanted to share my cupcake recipe would you write how you found the recipe on Word Press and then just simple say “source” or “here” with a little link back to me? Of course not. So why all the sudden all the hype about finding something on Pinterest. Make a BIG deal about the original source….and then a mention that you found them via Pinterest.

    Because the original source is the REAL star here aren’t they? I think we are forgetting that!

  29. I admit that I have re-pinned not even thinking to check whether or not the original pinner had credited the original blog or website. I find this a little disturbing actually.

    • @Adrienne in Ohio,

      All of us do it, I never realized the problem until things started getting out of hand lately with the Pinterest craze. People are getting a TON of traffic and taking advantage of it. I really hope Pinterest changes things to where the original sources get credit.

  30. This is a great post! I try to check sources BEFORE I repin – one, to make sure it’s pinned to the blog post and not the homepage, or else it’s worthless. Two, that way if it’s to a post about someone recreating something, I can find the original and pin THAT – because that’s what I want and that’s what’s fair.


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  3. […] and straight-up copyright violation. If you want to read more about the issues, these blog posts here and here are a fantastic place to start. Bottom line – the kinks have not all been worked […]

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  16. […] and this article will educate, understand, and empower you! For more good stuff on this topic, see (a much more visual […]

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  22. […] read these thought provoking posts here, here, and here, and let’s talk about this. We need to talk about this. This has to be easier to figure out […]

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