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 LivingLocurto.com

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!

 

FINAL & IMPORTANT NOTE:

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!!

****UPDATE****

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? - Greekgeek.hubpages.com

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

Is Pinterest Already Making Money, Quietly? – NYTimes.com

How Pinterest Uses Your Content Without Violating Copyright Laws - ReadWriteWeb.com

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

Pinterest: Everything You Wanted to Know About 2012′s Hottest Startup - Mashable.com

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.

Comments

  1. AWESOME post with tons of great info ~ I will be adding this to a recent post I wrote….before I knew about all of this pinning craziness.

  2. Pinterest offers a short line of code on their website where you can block people from pinning stuff from your site if you really want that.

  3. I think we all need a wakeup call about posting, pinning, Share on Tumblr, & all the other ways it has become technically possible to use someone else’s original content. Especially if Pinterest is going to become a virtual storefront for business.
    First I quote my Mom,”it’s just rude” and second we need to remember copyright infringement is still illegal.
    It only works when we all play nice together. I have been emailing companies and requesting permission to post from their websites. Many say yes, but some say no. It’s their right.

    I still love Pinterest and have to set a time limit or nothing else gets done.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. WOWOW…it is almost overwhelming.
    Amy I really like how you add the photo term to your pictures. Would you mind explaining how you do that. I think I know but mine are not centered with the photo as yours. I usually add the black frame around my pictures on the advanced posting. That may be why mine are not looking the way yours do. Thank you so much for all the great information.

  5. I often want to get permission to use the images but can’t track the original source… this is a cool tracking device so we can find the original owner. http://www.tineye.com/about

    When I know the owner, I get a release or make a deal where the promo helps us both.

  6. You can try this for reverse image look-up. It isn’t always successful but it beats googling. http://www.tineye.com/

  7. I hadn’t really thought about this. Thank you so much for this information!

  8. Thanks for this. I just started using Pinterest and I am glad I read this. I will think before I use, and use wisely.

  9. Wow! I didn’t realize! I’ve been using pinterest (as a new user for about a month) and found it to be so easy and helpful and inspiring. This changes the way I look at it- and will help people be more responsible. I’m sharing this everywhere. Thank you!

  10. I’m brand new to Pinterest (3 days) but you know… I think that this is an opportunity… not a problem.

    I have had problems with people violating my copyrights for years… even had a teacher brag to me about getting such good results with so many students by using my book. I told her that we can offer her students discounts for the books and she said… get this… “Oh I don’t buy books, I just photocopy your book and give that to the students.”

    Mind boggling how NO ONE thinks it’s cheating to steal. But I turned it around. Now every single page has my URL and every image I ever put up anywhere has my URL… so if they steal, they are marketing for me.

    It’s tough to protect your stuff but with your URL on the piece, that should help get the word out. I hold back and don’t put everything up but I consider some of my images to be my business ambassadors… go out and spread the word about my home study art courses. If people re-pin, I’m delighted and with the URL watermarked on the image, I’m going to always get the credit.

  11. One thing that bugs me is that you CAN’T find the original source for photos. I want to email some of the photographers for rights to draw from those photos and I can’t figure out what the page is that the photo came from… I spent 30 minutes going back and back and back to the folks who reposted it. Never found the photographer.

  12. Another way to attempt to garner credit, though not as pretty, is to place your site name or link onto each image.

    • @Laura,

      I always watermark my art and photos so I WANT it to go viral. It’s a great way to get people promoting you for free.

      Also… everyone knows the internet is a dangerous place to post anything you don’t want stolen. Stealing is such a common practice that people don’t even think it’s wrong any more.

  13. Oh! I meant to tell you, it has started and right now it seems to be on small scale but in past two weeks have been reporting pins. What was once a lovely place to visit is starting to fill up with profanity, nudity and self-promotion–all things that are not supposed to be on there. I’m not a prude, but some people push the envelope or flat out send the envelope out the door and I fear this is only the beginning–like you said, it’s growing so fast and reaches so many people. The danger is they only have so-large a staff to take care of it all.

  14. I just found a useful tip to try and locate any pins from your website. For yours it would be:
    http://pinterest.com/source/livinglocurto.com/
    and you’ll see LOTS of images from Living Locurto.

    To try it with other websites, here is the generic link:
    http://pinterest.com/source/YOURDOMAIN.COM

  15. As more of an “online journal-er” than blog-for-business person, I totally get what you’re writing in this post. I joined Pinterest last year and saw the potentiality for issues like what your describing, especially as momentum about this site builds.

    In any case. I think it’s great for you to educate those who may not think anything of how things are handled on the interwebs. I was burned some years back when someone stole all my ideas and work after we started a diy company together and I did not think to get an intellectual property lawyer…lesson learned big time.

    Which is why I now support others who start their own diy business, be it by blogging, etsy, etc… and I always link to the original source. It’s cool to be inspired by someone else not just straight up steal ideas for personal gain.

    Anyhoo, keep on keeping on with what you do Amy. Great ideas. Good work. And wonderful words.
    Kind regards, jessa

  16. Ohmy! I have been doing it back wards. In the interest of time when I see something I do look at the source. I go back later to check it out as I have the time. So sorry I should go to the source first. Thanks for allerting me to this.
    My parents were professional photgraphers since the 1940′s. Sometimes when doing a wedding after Dad would pose everyone the snap sots would start. Then the bride would decide to just get the brownie Kodak pics from friends and not pay my dad a dime. This wasn’t fair to his professional training nor did it put food on our table. He had expences for the trip to the church and film he used. I think people don’t realize that it is stealing. Thanks for pointing this out.

    I have also found activies similar to what I have done. I make contact with those who post their pics and ask if I can repost their info.
    Malika

    • @Malika Bourne,
      I appreciate you all for taking the time to set me straight about how to properly pin. I did read the overwhelming rules
      I admit, I went crazy finding pics I wanted to pin. My concern was never finding them again, so I repinned, with the idea to vist the origional link later. I have vistied many of the links. I have found them wonderful. and I try to leave a comment or pass it on via Twiter or Facebook.
      But, I realize that I have been guilty of doing it backwards. I am overwhelmingly sorry. So much so that I am considering deleting my account because I am so upset about this. I take on course correction, that’s not it. My regret is that the origional artist lost out on reconition while someone else profitted. Not right. I have not been able to respond to notifications of people repinning from my (Ilegal?) boards.

  17. I never thought of it that way but I know it irks me when I go to see someones pin and I get just a picture or the Pinterest site. If I click on something I want to know where to see the original with directions on how to make it, where to get it and so on. So I will Google the item if I have to and find the original and pin the original if I can. otherwise it makes no sense! If I want to just see a bunch of pictures of things I can use Google pictures but I want to see the blog it originated from so I can see more from them that is how I find the blogs I like!

    • @Carla, I agree. . .the photos with no website are annoying and I only repin things that go to a website. I’ve noticed lately, though that some of the websites the pins come from reference other websites where the original photo is hosted in a different how-to or article.

      I haven’t been great about tracking down original articles before repinning, but after reading this, I’m going to do so.

  18. Great ideas, thoughtful essay.

    Would you mind if I “borrowed” your wording for photos, etc.?

  19. I recently wrote about pins that aren’t from the original source too. My pet peeve! Not because I’ve lost any images to pinterest, but because I see the potential for loss and most of all because, as a pinner, I really do enjoy seeing the original source of pins when I’ve been inspired.

    BTW, you should link to your owl snack pic to the original post. I want to pin it! ;)

  20. I make maternity hospital gowns that I sell on Etsy and someone happened to pinned one, which has tripled my sales for the month. I LOVE that part of Pinterest, but I know I’ll be watermarking my Etsy photos now to prevent them from being stolen. From an avid Pinner standpoint, there is nothing more annoying than pinning a great photo and then have the link go no where. What’s the point?!? I am making it a point to click through to be sure the link goes someplace or I comment that it doesn’t or I don’t repin. Tumblr is the worst…hate finding out a pin originated on there because finding the original source is next to impossible.

    Thank you so much for writing this-REPINNING!!

  21. I have to say, I do follow more blogs now than I used to, most of which have been found via pins on pinterest… blogs I would not have seen before without it.

  22. First you say this… “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.”
    Then you respond to a post like this, “I don’t think they really care about where they find the photos, it’s all about traffic and fame now”

    I’m very confused so perhaps you can clarify this for me. I am new to the Pinterest world.

    Do you love what you do? If so, then why does it matter if people are repinning you or others photos onto Pinterest? You have dedicated blog followers, correct? If the people on tumblr are looking for “traffic and fame” what are you looking for? I just feel a lot of what you’re saying is contradictory.

    • @Mimi,
      The Tumblr people are not crediting the source or linking to anyone, they take photos that are not theirs. The popularity of Pinterest has made Tumblr website owners gain so many followers and a lot of traffic, it’s more than I could probably ever imagine. Many are anonymous and only out to make money from ads with that big traffic… using other’s photos. So when our photos get put on a Tumbler site and then pinned to Pinterest. That’s 2 places that we have to try to get it removed. By the time we get it removed, there could be thousands of dollars made because of our photo, designs, etc. That’s what I meant by the traffic and fame.

      Really, the Tumblr sites are a separate issue. They have become huge because of Pinterest. I didn’t even know they existed until Pinterest… and maybe they didn’t until it came along? No idea.

  23. I have gone to websites trying to give credit the the originator of the photo only to find “google” or some other nondescript thing on my pin. So I’m feeling (a) uniformed and (b)pinned by Pinterest and its “Pin It” technology. I’m not pleased with quite a few things about Pinterest including the bugs and difficulty rearranging photos within boards, etc. Why can’t they make this obvious to new users, especially?

  24. Great post Amy.
    Thanks for writing it and trying to get word out about fair use and attribution (giving credit). As a photographer and social media strategist, I’ve seen copyright become a real grey area over the years as the popularity of online photo-sharing grows (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and now Pinterest). It’s always a hot-topic and creates much heated debate.

    Part of the key is education. People in business might understand the effects of not giving credit to the source, but the general public is simply ignorant (in the true sense of the word). Most people don’t understand the value of “link juice” gained from back-linking, until they realize that it’s good for SEO (search engine optimization) for their business (blog, website, Facebook Fan Page, etc).

    It would help if Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, etc made an effort to inform people, as you suggested, with a popup message when people pin or share… but rules and guidelines would probably not work because people simply don’t read them.

    Of course, there are also those who don’t care, and intentionally abuse copyright (like cropping out logos and watermarks). Totally not cool!

    It doesn’t help that images found in a Google search appear to be “free” to share. I know people who have used images in their blogs, presentations, etc because they thought Google Images were there to share.

    I suppose the bottom line is – use common sense. In this social world, everyone wants to feel appreciated, or their work is respected or liked, and worth sharing.

    Maybe as “social” grows and is taught in schools, attribution will be something everyone does automatically.

    Angelique Duffield
    http://www.facebook.com/BrightSparkSocialMedia

  25. I understand what you are saying, but if you want to blame it on someone, it’s the people who copy the photo and re upload it, not Pinterest. When I include pins on my blog, I always go out of my way to find the original source, and that’s what everyone should be doing.

    As photo-sharing platforms go, I find Tumbler to be way way worse than pinterest when it comes to preserving the link to the original user!

    • @Elisa,

      Yes, I agree. I could name a hundred people who mis-use Pinterest. But I figured that would be really rude:-) Many people really don’t even know that they mis-use it. Those Tumblr sites are benefiting the most from Pinterest. I can only try to reach them by writing a post about Pinterest and hopefully educate them on what is happening. I don’t think they really care about where they find the photos, it’s all about traffic and fame now.

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