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.

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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


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  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You’ve made me think about how I use Pinterest myself because I was using the site as inspiration for my own blog. I’ll be changing my habits! Do you mind if I link to your post in the future on my blog?

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You’ve made me think about how I use Pinterest myself because I was using the site as inspiration for my own blog. I’ll be amending my habits. Do you mind if I link to your post in the future on my blog?

  9. If you store your images on flickr using a creative commons license, and then include them on your blog, search engines like will automatically include the correct attribution and a link back to the original image if it gets pinned.

    Although not a link straight back to your blog, it does provide a path to it via flickr

  10. Hi!

    It is really hard to be able to track where your images go on Pinterest. You can use the bookmarklet Picnic we created to see who else is posting and where your image has been. Hope this helps!


  11. Great post. I’ve been surprised that pinterest doesn’t require the original source myself. I realized it from the other end as a user. Whenever I like something, I always want to go to the original source. I hate when I’m redirected to google or another site similar to pinterest. I want to see the originator of the fab idea 🙂

  12. I admit that I was addicted to Pinterest and invited others to join in. When I realized the copyright issues I deleted ALL of my boards in March. however, I am STILL getting Pinterest followres that like my pins. What the? I just don’t feel comfortable with all of this. thanks for the continued heads up.

  13. A little off topic, but I got an email notification that somebody repinned something for my Pinterest Board, I was confused because it was a strange image that I didn’t recognize, then I realized that the whole board was unreconizable with the exception of a blurry picture of me, one of my e-mail addresses and my name, not even sure of the advantage of somebody makeing a fake account. I reported it.

  14. I find the whole Pinterest debate interesting, but think that it is just a focus for an issue that has been going on a lot longer and is a lot more widespread. If Pinterest disappeared tomorrow, there would still be lots of people reproducing your photos, your recipes, your ideas on their own blogs without due credit and the Internet is just too big to stop that happening. (I love the description of it being a ‘wild baby out of control’) Pinterest is just a very convenient way for a lot more people to do it and with the quantum leap from little known pin board website to mainstream traffic builder, it has become the scapegoat for something that is already deeply entrenched.

    I’m not condoning copyright violation in any way, but sadly, I think the internet is not a safe place to post copyrighted material, full stop. Once it’s out there, it’s ‘in the wild’ and you cannot possibly control it.

    And no one has even mentioned the fake photoshopped images that people are pinning thinking they are real …

  15. Wow, I apologize and I have some reading to do and then talk to my daughters and friends…

  16. @Amy, Hi Amy. I’m in the middle of an ongoing discussion with Pinterest as to why they allow images to be pinned from Google Image Search…

    If you are the copyright holder, you are very unlikely to use Google Image Search to then pin those images on to Pinterest. You would upload them direct from your website for from your PC where you hold the files?

    Sadly this common sense logic hasn’t been taken too well by the staffer at Pinterest.

    I asked them to also consider some form of compensation to content providers who’s content does get Pinned on to the site. Especially if they are going to be making money from advertising. No response to that… what a surprise!

  17. Pinterest is an abomination for us content providers. I’ve had thousands of my graphics pinned and I get virtually no traffic from Pinterest. I cannot add a “no-pin” meta-tag and re-upload thousands of webpages, just beccause some site has decided to steal my content. I was able to provide graphics for free, because visitors meant revenue; but now with Pinterest leaching my audience, I’ll have to charge my visitors.

  18. I felt so bad that i deleted everything on my boards- and they were great boards too. the interesting thing is that after 4 to 6 weeks of nothing to see on my accountnew people are still following me. I also post on my blog that my copywirted pics may not be pnned. I have to learn to water mark.
    I enoyed Pinterest. so relaxings. But I don’t like the idea of an artists work being hijacked fro someonele to get the attention.
    thanks for updating usd all. Malika

  19. @Amy, I just received a update from Pinterest the other day. What I did not realize before and what I assume people were upset about is the initially claimed that anything pinned on their site gave them full rights to sell the work. Of course they had no intention of doing that (so they say). At least they changed that. I like your approach, if you don’t want people to use your work just put your name at the bottom. Like I said to the first blogger that I discussed this with (who had no clue to why she was upset other than other people were) at least if they pin a picture from your blog there is a link back to you. If they take a screen shot and then post it they can claim it theirs.

    Keep up the good work!

  20. @Bornagainscholar,

    Thank you. I’m glad my article helped you understand why some of us who do creative things and take “pinable” photos might be upset that others are using our images to get traffic. Not much we can do about it, but educate people about what is going on.

  21. @Michelle,
    I won’t put my creative ideas out there now that I don’t want pinned or shared. Actually, I didn’t make this post pin worthy until many people asked me to. You can scroll through the comments here to read what they said. So I made a graphic at the top of the page. It’s more to spread the word to help educate.

    Even since writing this article, people have been using my photos on their sites, claiming them as their own and pinning their own posts to get traffic. When I confront them about it, they say “if it’s on the internet, I can use it as my own”. They believe it’s their content just by putting it on their website. I just don’t understand why people think this way, but they do.

    Now, I make sure each photo has copyright info and my blog title in it. It won’t stop those people, but what can you do?

  22. I just now bothered to read all this about Pinterest and have since deleted all my boards! I hope that counts. I never knew….I just did what everyone else was doing. I know that’s no excuse, but I hope someone else like me will pin wisely in the future. Thanks for the post and all the links! Much appreciated.

  23. I just read your article (after deleting about 2000 pins on my Pinterest boards today, due to copyright concerns). I did a quick search of your owl smores on Pinterest, just now, and gave up looking for one that credited you after viewing at least 100 pins! That is sad. I had no idea how bad it is!

  24. Very helpful! Inadvertently mis-using someone’s created efforts happens so easily when it’s made so easy to do. Posting a link to this on my FB, passing the word.

  25. Like with anything in life, you take the good and you take the bad.
    I once had wording taken directly {word for word} off my blog, made for profit, and then ‘featured’ on a HUGE blog without any link back or credit to me. The person featured who stole the content was not a blogger, but the huge blogger should know better, especially when it was brought to their attention. I had readers sending email after email asking if I had seen it. It was beyond irritating, especially when the blogger didn’t do anything to correct it.

    It is the nature of the beast when you blog and you put your stuff out there for people to take as they will. Yes, it’s a copyright issue. Yes, it isn’t right and ideally people would do what they’re supposed to. But, the fact is that people don’t always do the right thing.

    Lost traffic is irritating. I get it. But Pinterest has also increased most bloggers’ traffic by sometimes 2 and 3 fold. If you really don’t want your things pinned, there is a line of code under the ‘help’ section in Pinterest that allows you to block pinning from your site. You can also watermark everything you post. And this is a good reminder that we probably should be doing that.

    I also think it’s a wee bit ironic that you made this post very pin worthy. 🙂

  26. I am so glad I followed links to get to this post. My search started on another blog where a person wrote a very angry sounding post about people “breaking copyright law” by pinning her images on that site. But she offered no argument as to why it is bad or what her concerns are. As I guessed and from what I read here is a problem with people not sourcing the original creator. I agree that is a problem and not acceptable. I appreciate you taking the time to express your concern clearly so people can learn what the issue is and how to correct it.

  27. Calm down, crazy person. You put two marshmallows and a piece of candy on a grahm cracker. You really want credit for that?? You are crazy. If you put your pictures on your blog, just expect things like this. If you have a really amazing, life changing idea…that is when it becomes an issue. But a cracker with a marshmallow?? That’s not even a good idea.

  28. Great post, thanks for supporting this big issue that is hitting a lot of people.
    One of your readers left me a link to this post on my own blog where I have raised similar issues after having content ‘stolen’ and placed on Pinterest. Read my own posts on the topic here:

    I will be following your blog with interest from now on. Keep up the excellent work.

  29. I would like to know if you would mind if I shared your link on my facebook page. A friend of mind posted this link
    about a lawyer removing all her pins. I tried to find a way to email you but couldn’t find it.

  30. I am so glad I found your post, it is so insightful. I may have pins that don’t go to the direct source, but that is mainly due to Pinterest not having a Pin It button for IPads, so I just repin! Hopefully Pinterest will create a Pin It Button for IPads really soon and solve this issue

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

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

  36. @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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. @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.

  41. @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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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!

  46. 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! 😉

  47. 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!!

  48. @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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. 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?

  52. 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

  53. @Amy,(for reference, my CAPS words are just emphasis, I’m not some crazy person SHOUTING in my posts 😉 lol) It won’t let me post a link or you could read a very good article about how 99% of people are NOT out to steal your photo or “profit from it” MOST people on pinterest are genuinely just PINNING THINGS THEY LIKE. Not trying to steal a photo and pass it off as their own, I don’t know anyone who has done that intentionally! It is just absurdity! It is a great platform for sharing, and a smart person would know-if you came up with an idea and want to protect it-you will, you won’t just stick it out on the internet for anyone to steal. You will patent it, copyright it legally(not just put a watermark on it as this does not give you any legal right) and make sure you are taking the proper steps. You decide to share what you want, dishonest people are always going to be out there, on every platform of the internet, not just Pinterest…that’s just a sad fact.

  54. @Barbara | Creative Culinary,

    Really, I don’t see any complaining? The only thing I have seen is people wanting others to pin the original source of the photo, not another blog who placed someone else’s photo into a post to gain traffic and profit. The same concern is for Facebook & Google. At least Google sources the actual website and the photos don’t go on their servers.

    I don’t know why it’s just Pinterest that is causing such a big stir. We are seeing so many “Pinterest Inspired” websites now, NOT “Google Image Inspired” sites. So it’s why I’m focusing on Pinterest here.

    I am not complaining in this post, just wondering what I as a professional designer and blogger with a large audience should do. I took it upon myself to try to let others know what is happening now and hopefully educate those new to Pinterest and the creative blogging world.

    I’ve been designing websites since the internet started. Yes, I’m old! ha. Idea sharing and idea re-cycling has been going on forever. What’s happening with Pinterest is… it’s becoming ONE OF THE MOST powerful social media sites along with Facebook, Twitter and even Google. It is focused on photos and the creative world. So as someone in the creative world, this makes my brain explode thinking of the future. It’s really hard to grasp the fact that soon there will be not only 5 million users, but 500 million. What happens then? It will be interesting when famous musicians, directors, actors, design firms, artists, and photographer’s original works and photos start getting re-cycled and put on “Pinterest Inpsired” blogs. They won’t be nice about it like us, they will go after them with their high powered attorneys.

    This is just the beginning. Pinterest’s eyes are on the money right now. And who can blame them? They struck gold with this. Heck even politicians are flocking to it because of the popularity. I don’t really think Pinterest is too concerned about removing pins that you report. As I have seen it takes weeks for them to ever reply to my own. Many they have never been replied to at all. Right now, could you get to someone at Google or Facebook to answer a question or reply to an email? I think not. Hopefully they will make changes soon before they become like Facebook & Google. Just hoping.

    I hope Pinterest can keep good customer service, but when they reach the 500 million mark… I don’t know how they could.

  55. @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.

  56. 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!

  57. @Cheryl Ann, I agree it’s not okay to do, I’m just saying-everyone is immediately jumping on this bandwagon saying “GET RID OF ALL PINS THAT DON’T LEAD BACK TO A SOURCE” but that’s not a solution either, because there are people out there who are legitimately doing it the right way-yet their pins will be reported, even though they are not in the wrong. I think bad people are just giving a good thing a bad name, and good people will in turn be punished.(Such is the world, right?)

  58. @Barbara | Creative Culinary, I agree 100%. Seriously. Traffic is jumping in incredible ways for a ton of bloggers from Pinterest but they want to throw a fit because they see one of their ideas online that’s not sourcing them? This has been happening for years. Instead of blaming Pinterest, learn what to do if your image is stolen and go that route. Watermark your photos and then it won’t be that big of a deal because your source will be right there on the photo. If I google my keywords a lot of times I find my images out there that aren’t sourced back to me. It’s the same exact thing and I just ask the website owner to source me or take it down. I’m really tired of hearing people gripe about Pinterest that are reaping huge benefits of traffic from Pinterest. Very few people have truly authentic ideas. They are ideas that have been around for years and are slowly changing. Plus how do you think all the people that design for Anthropologie or Pottery Barn feel when they see bloggers coming out with knock offs for their designs? Yes Pinterest has a few tweaks that it needs to address but stop hounding them for a free service that is benefitting people more than harming.

    Sorry I’m up in arms tonight, I’m just incredibly moody.

  59. I often try to find the orginal source before I pin, but I swear, I HATE pins that come from a Tumbler page. It’s often impossible to find the original pin, let alone a product I might be searching for because of the pin I saw.

  60. @Amber H., I understand exactly what you are saying Amber. It is true, you can upload a picture to Pinterest and it is perfectly fine to do that if it is a picture that YOU TOOK. If you just find it online or on somebody’s blog then you save it to your computer then you upload it as IF IT WAS YOURS then you may be infringing on someone’s copyright. That is apparent, right? But if you take someone’s idea and don’t link it to them then is that right? I have read several articles where pins have gone viral on Pinterest only not a single one of the pins link to the original source….and that doesn’t seem right at all! If I take a picture put it on my blog it belongs to me. All blogs state that you must credit the source if you use it…and all they usually want is a link. And that is what Pinterest is for…so we can see what others collect and admire and follow their pins back to the original source. This aspect of Pinterest is a quandary…how do you let people upload their own pictures but prevent this kind of behavior. And my question is, why would anybody do this anyway???

  61. Wow. I did not know this. I’m fairly new at the Pinterest thing, so now I’ll have to figure out if anything I pinned is wrong. Bummer this kind of thing has to happen.

  62. I has just joined pinterest for 2 months and never realize this. Thank you so much for telling us this important information. I used to only click on repin without opening the site just because I love the picture. I think I’m gonna change the way I pin.

  63. @Cheryl Ann, people just don’t get it! I can get on pinterest right now-pin MY OWN photo of my own creation, DIRECTLY to pinterest and it will not link to anything, therefore my pin does not deserve to be REPORTED like all these people are suggesting. If it is your own personal property/blog, then watermark with a blog link, if you are a photographer-watermark with a copyright/blog link, if you’re a blogger…well unless you are someone who is actually paid for writing a blog, then what does it matter! Most of these ideas on pinterest from women’s “blogs” that they are claiming they “invented themselves” I’ve seen in magazines for years! Women’s Day, Woman’s World, Better Homes and Garden’s…to me it all just sounds like selfishness. Copyright issues are one thing, that is a legal matter, but if someone is arguing they came up with an idea “first” then maybe they should get a patent or get over it.

  64. I just joined Pinterest about 2 days ago and I honestly didn’t think about what you said, but now that you have brought it to my attention I realize what you said is very true, I never would have thought about just repinning the picture I saw instead of going to the persons page who pinned it first. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  65. Thank you so much for taking a stand on this important issue. Everything you mentioned has been bothering me since I joined Pinterest. I hope people read this information and think twice about how they cite sources. Pinterest has become the new wild west and I am nominating you as the new Sheriff! 🙂

  66. @Kristi @ Creative Kristi, You are correct as well, what I mean is-sometimes people are uploading their own original content themselves, that’s why I see it as rude for someone to report it. For example-if I don’t have a blog with my crafts/recipes on it, but I have my own photos I’ve taken on my computer and I upload them directly to pinterest, I am creating an original pin, but it will not link to anywhere. That’s why it’s so hard to report anyone-I don’t know if it’s that person’s original post or not, it just sucks there are so many dishonest people out there who make things so complicated!

  67. @Amber H., you don’t need a blog to use the ‘pin it’ bookmarklet from your tool bar. Right clicking then saving the photo to your computer then uploading to pinterest and not writing the link in the comments or somewhere is copyright infringement & also a LOT of work when you can just click one button in your toolbar from your webrowser & pin it with correct source. Following the rules means you type out the url of where you got the photo from-even if you upload it to pinterest straight from your computer. I would never report someone who wrote the link in the comments but they have the free pin it button for your browsers toolbar for a reason.

  68. I agree and try to always find the original site to pin, I have even gone in and repinned when it doesn’t give the proper information or seems beyond giving credit to the person who originally posted an image.

    None of our online images have much safety, and we should be careful we allow people to see if we will be concerned in the future. I have had several things I have pinned that are no longer on the web and my pin is blank.

    Hope everyone really takes time to make this a fun, useful site in the future.

  69. Some pins do not lead anywhere because the original person who uploaded them does not have a blog, you are allowed to upload pins directly from your computer-and they will not “link to anywhere” that is rude to report them when they are following the rules, Pinterest is for sharing, it did not originate with advertising ourselves or our “blogs”…it was created as an online pinboard for sharing and inspiration.

  70. @Karen Moret Harrison, I didn’t know that! I will definitely put that to use…we should all help Pinterest try to keep this from happening. Like someone else said, many people are not fully aware of what is happening. I know I didn’t…I wondered, but I simply did not understand. Now I do and I will do my part.

  71. @Cheryl Ann, I didn’t know that! I will definitely put that to use…we should all help Pinterest try to keep this from happening. Like someone else said, many people are not fully aware of what is happening. I know I didn’t…I wondered, but I simply did not understand. Now I do and I will do my part.

  72. @Barbara | Creative Culinary, Despite the fact that Pinterest is free it is still NOT OKAY to pin something and act like it is yours by first saving the image to your computer and then uploading it. And tumblr is just a mess! Every time I find a pin that leads back to tumblr I almost NEVER find the original source. I know the internet cannot be controlled…but copyrights should be observed by all. And everyone knows that tumblr is out of control and should be avoided…but I don’t want Pinterest to have that same reputation. I love the traffic and I also LOVE the concept…based on pinning images that lead to valid links that contain the original and more information about it. And I really hope Pinterest takes reports seriously….if I should report my image being posted without ONE SINGLE link back to me then they should remove all said pins. And, by the way, you get absolutely NO TRAFFIC from such pins anyway!!

  73. I thought of this immediately when I began using Pinterest. Many of the photo links are broken or nonexistent because they were pinned using Bing, Google or sources that gave no attribution. Many times, I have tried to hunt down the original source with no success. I have blogged for over 4 years, so I see the dilemma. You are so right. Thanks for sharing.


  74. Nothing is perfect. No one complained about Pinterest when all they noticed was the massive traffic gain and now all I see are complaints for not getting credit. I see people now putting together a survey to send a list of complaints to the folks at Pinterest. I know I’ll be the lone wolf but I think we sometimes just have to take the good with the bad. And then take what action we can into our own hands and quit making a federal case out of it in our social media channels. Contact Pinterest; they actually do get back to you; maybe not immediately but then we are not paying for the traffic we get are we?

    I’m really not the Grinch that stole Christmas but I just feel that lately all I see are relentless tweets and posts about someone taking something from a website. I’ve been in the Internet business for 17 years. It started then when a browser that delivered info with images first came into being and it will most likely never stop. I think it’s an inevitable part of being online and for many, not just me, the complaining is becoming more burdensome than the actions that are being complained about.

  75. I report the pins that do not have a source. I hate clicking on a pin and it goes nowhere. If you want to put up pretty pictures, use tumblr. To report a pin with no source, click the Report Pin box on the right side of the picture (it shows up once you click on the pin.)

  76. Done! I love Pinterest, but I hate it when I click on a link and it doesn’t go to the source. I have pinned them, but I won’t anymore. Also I will leave a comment on that link as to that fact…hopefully Pinterest will figure out a way to deal with this problem. Thanks for the info and your investment in solving this! (I pinned this link to all 50 of my boards.)

  77. I actually just wrote about ‘The Ethics of Pinterest’ a few weeks ago. I think in a lot of places people just don’t realize what they are doing is wrong. It would be super helpful if Pinterest would make their Code of Ethics more visible.

    The only thing I don’t like about linking back to the original source is that it gives no credit then to the person that found the pin. And it just takes so dang long. Pinterest is new and we are all new at it. I think people will get better once they learn more about it.

    I learned the hard way that you lose creative control of a photo once it goes viral. Last summer I posted a really funny picture of my kid and included a funny caption. People began repining it with a different caption. It didn’t bother me because I realized it was my fault but it was a good lesson to learn.

  78. Thanks for this awareness article!!!!
    It occurs to me that, instead of posting the picture ‘as is’, add a watermark (that doesn’t benefit the photo 🙁 but is safer) Or, as I’ve seen in other websites, they take the pic of (for example) the cake + a little sign with the author’s name so there’s no way to repost the picture without the sign.

  79. I have only just started blogging, but I have been an avid Pinterest fan for a long time. I didn’t realize that when I hit “repin” it wasn’t necessarily pinning the original source but recently I have been making sure to check the links and if it is not the original source I search around until I find the original, or I don’t repin it. I am going through the pins on my boards now to make sure they are directly linked. Your post is great, it definitely makes you think about what your pinning and repinning!

  80. I am going to pin this blog post!!! I am so glad that I am not alone in thinking about this issue. If you look at – I have pinned/posted many things about correct Photo usage online. I am really frustrated with this issue. It has got out of hand, especially with sites like Tumblr, imgfave, weheartit etc. I have started slowly going through all my boards & checking my pins to make sure they all link to the original owners of the images. Google Image Search & my sleuthing brain have helped me to locate original sources. I have done about half of my boards so far. It is time consuming, but I don’t want any pins that are not correctly sourced. I now put all pins in my likes until I have time to check them & repin them. I wish more people would start doing the right thing.

  81. I noticed this issue early on, and have tried to always let my groups online know about proper pinning etiquette. Many dont seem to realize how much work goes into a blog post and didn’t realize howich they are stealing from a blogger when they helpfully (well meant) put the entire tutorial in the notes.

    I do a weekly roundup of Frugal ideas I found via Pinterest, but I always link back to the original blog post. I’m finding that to sometimes be hard, having to really google and search around to find the original when I can.

  82. I am in the process of checking my links to make sure they go to the original source, not just some picture on Google. What an eye-opener! Also, I plan on, well, PINNING this post.

  83. I love your post! I have a blog which is all about featuring great craft ideas, but you can find that all pictures are linked to their original sources. I get really desapointed at some blogs recreating ideas and not giving the proper credits. I’ve been reading this specific “big” blog for years and since pinterest became so popular i can tell now that many of this blogger’s creations are not as “genius” as I thought they were. Since making money through blog became one of the main income source for a lot of women, giving credit to someone means advertising for free and a lot of these bloggers are not willing to do that. They just post a tutorial and claim they have seen the idea “out there”.
    The reality is this copyright thing is getting out of control. I had published a free printable on my blog and stated on the post that it was to be used only for personal purposes. Later I found out a website was selling tshirts with my design printed on it. Now i would have to go through a big hassle to prove the design is my own.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing this.

  84. I try to ALWAYS make it a habit to re-pin the ORIGINAL source. I think every one should take the time to do that. If I have to go thru 5 blogs to find the original one (If I CAN find it). Than thats what I do. It’s only fair. So I do wind up pinning something that has already been pinned, but its to the original post. I just hope everyone start taking the time to so this, people should give credit where its due. Happy Pinning!

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  86. I get annoyed when an image I like and pinned didn’t contain the source; I wish Pinterest makes the source link compulsory. I’m going through my pins slowly to research the maker, hope I can at least do the right thing by adding the source and credit back!

  87. Great post. It does get you thinking. I have read your follow up as well. Again great post. I get a lot of inspiration these days from Pinterest and actually hate not finding the source with the pin. Luckily most of the people I follow are really good about sources. I can’t say the same for tumblr however. Nearly half of the people I follow don’t post sources. Sometimes I reblog and ask who the source is hoping someone will reply. Also sometimes I simply do not reblog the photographs from someone when they systematically do not add sources and most of the time I stop following them. Hopefully everybody will add their source in the future.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter 🙂

  88. When I repin, I check to make sure it is an original source. If it is not, I track down the original source and pin it. I really want to make sure that people are receiving their credit.

  89. I like your idea to add the “photo terms” as part of the photo… I’ve started adding my website in my watermark, but I like that you’ve gone a step farther and are helping to educate others with your photo!

  90. great post…I wanted to pin it and help spread the word on Pinterest….but the images don’t really explain the article. Think you could add an image/text photo maybe with this… “Your ideas used for someone’s Pinterest gain.” ?? That might get the right attention over on Pinterest.

  91. I had been recently contemplating the implications that you have presented here. I will certainly be spreading the work, sharing your article in the hopes to educate more people on copyrights and using/sharing photos appropriately!!! Thank you!

  92. I never even thought of the consequences you stated here. I will be sharing with my readers. And I will most definitely be linking to the original source, and not the Pin from now on. Thank you for opening my eyes Amy.

  93. I never re-pin other people’s pins for this very reason. I click on things I’m interested in, then go to the original post/site and pin from there. I do enjoy the traffic that Pinterest provides, but I worry about how the photos are not protected and/or will be used by others. I guess I just feel like if people are going to take and use my photos, they’re going to do it through my website and/or google image search. There isn’t a whole lot I can do about that really, but Pinterest just makes it easier to do so I guess. I love Pinterest… love keeping bulletin boards of my favorites, but I sure hope they are able to make some revisions to their rules so that photos must link to original sources.

  94. Not a blogger, but a pinner, and I can’t stand it when it doesn’t pin back to the original blog. Google images are so not helpful and I would like to see the blog of the person that created it because they often have other great ideas!

  95. Thanks so much for this article. I have been following Amanda’s blogs for a couple of years now, and I noticed the other day on Pinterest that there were a lot of images from her site that weren’t linked back to her. I just posted this on fb, hopefully helping to spread the word. It’s frustrating when you can’t find the source of a picture, but I never realized this aspect of it until reading your post. Love your blog, too!

  96. What a fabulous article and post! I’m going to pin it right now 🙂 You are so right about pinning original sources, I hate pins that are ‘Google’ or “uploaded by user”. I will try to go through and find the source and if not, I’m not pinning it. That’s always been my rule because I want to have 0 part in sharing work that can’t be vouched for. I apply it to all of my outlets, and Pinterest is no different. It’s so sad that it is already being used for ‘evil’ and it’s such a wonderful resource!

  97. Great post, never thought about the issues you point out. I am glad I stumbled upon u through pintrest! 🙂 I really just use pintrest as a virtual bulletin board for getting ideas of things I want to try but I will now be more aware of pinning from original sources.

  98. I have been trying to make sure my pins go to the original source, but it’s not alway so easy if you repin from a friend. I’ve been frustrated when a pin says something like “dollar store frames and scrapbooking paper” and then links to someone’s original artwork on etsy. No, that’s not dollar store junk! It’s someone’s beautiful art! Thanks for the info. I’ll try to be a better pinner!

  99. I’m not sure if it’s already been said, and not that it’s a solution, but there is the website Wanelo that does remind users who upload to put their sources in. I find it more accurate for where to find things.

  100. I haven’t had time to read all the comments here, but just want to add how important it is to watermark all your own images. The best program is Star Watermark. I use it on my Mac. You can “batch” watermark. It’s easy to use. FYI!

  101. @The Scrapbooking Housewife,

    The Internet is much smaller than people think. I would suggest contacting Amanda from I Am Baker. I’m sure this has happened a ton of times. You could always comment and leave a link to this post as well. It’s too bad people can’t come up with their own ideas. She should have linked back to Amanda’s original post for directions and not claimed it as her own. Like I said, it’s a very popular cake.

  102. Ok, so I just literally came across a local cake business today (which I didn’t know existed until today) and thought I’d check out her blog. Well, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came across the exact same tutorial as i am baker that you have talked about here on this post!! Exact same photos and almost word for word, I am sick to my stomach!! There is no credit or mention whatsoever anywhere on the blog post that it wasn’t her idea or original tutorial! I really want to comment on her post, but not sure what to say!!?? Any suggestions??

  103. Great post! Reading this will definitely make me more mindful in my pining. I have always gone back to pin from the original source just because I love knowing the original context that the ideas come from. Thanks so much for educating me on how important this issue is!

  104. I have to say that I love Pinterest because then I don’t have to remember where the original site was or the instructions, it keeps it for me. I guess I never thought about people not crediting or linking back to the original source. How vexing. Like I said, for me, it’s like a card catalog of all the cool things I want to try with a link back to where the instruction and resources were…a visual index system.

    Thanks for the information, I loved reading it.

  105. @Memine Noydb, It doesn’t require a Facebook account, that is just one option of “signing in” and with pinterest and every other networking tool you actually do have the option to “opt out” of being searched in the google engine, Pinterest has a direct “opt out” for that, and so does Facebook and any blog you use. Google is giving everyone the option to be searched publicly, but you don’t have to be.

  106. Great article! I just haven’t figured out how to upload my own images since I write a blog…that’s the part I am trying to figure out. Thanks for sharing…

  107. Thank you for writing this! As an avid pinner of food and crafts, it’s of the utmost importance to me to find the original source. This is partly because, if I do actually make the item, I will want to link back in a blog post and possibly later comment. But it’s also because I want the original instructions and commentary by the creator when I come back to the pin weeks or months later! I don’t just pin things because they’re pretty (usually), I pin them because I want to remember that particular URL for future reference. I am constantly checking things before I repin, and it drives me nuts when it’s uploaded by user, or links to google, or even a “round-up” blog post! Though thankfully, at least the last two can give me some clues to track down the source and pin it properly.

    Also, as a blogger of thinks that may get pinned, I watermark my photos. Not a huge, glaring watermark, but one in the corner that’s readable, and would be at least moderately irritating for someone familiar with Photoshop to remove. It doesn’t prevent all image theft, but at least with the lazy, non-Photoshoppy ones (which is most people, I believe), I still get some credit even if they don’t link back.

  108. Thanks for a great article. I am just starting a blog and I think I will watermark all of my photos with my web address.

    Pinterest should take it upon themselves to explain best practices for pinning.

    Many thanks,

  109. @kami @ NoBiggie, I am guilty of this on some occasions, but my reasoning is genuine, I have “bookmarked” blogs with a recipe I am in love with before(before pinterest existed) and then when I go back to view it later-the content has been removed-the person doesn’t blog anymore, etc.
    And SINCE Pinterest, it’s happened to me 2 times, I’ve re-pinned a recipe someone else pinned properly, only to go back to use it and the person I re-pinned it from has deleted their pin-in turn removing my re-pin’s link, Pinterest really needs to fix that glitch! I re-pin the recipe, but I also leave a link to the person’s page and usually recommend people go view that recipe and others!

  110. I’m glad I can’t even use Pinterest because I refuse to have a Facebook page, which is a requirement. Google’s way of doing things is just as bad. I tried to start a blog not too long ago. Then I took it all down and closed it all. One day I noticed photos on my Android phone that I had not put there. It seems Google had opened a Picasa account for me, without my knowledge or permission, and stored those photos in it! I finally found it, and deleted the photos, but I cannot close the account. It is tied to me forever, like an albatross around my neck. Now Google is tying every single thing we do on the web together and making it available as “news” when you do a search. There is no opt-out. They have gone too far – all of them. See that name and address I put in above? Fake. Totally phony. Because I don’t like these policies.

  111. Thanks for the post…I am all new to this…and don’t often think of the repercussions of my pins. I will definitely be more vigilant in the future. The technology is moving so fast I think we have a hard time keeping up with it.

  112. I have a love hate relationship with pinterest. Would there really be a successful pinterest if it weren’t for all us creative bloggers? I would say that more then half of what people are pinning originated from a blog. where someone worked real hard creating something original and then blogging about it for a 2 second pin. Idk. another idea i may do is water mark my photos with my blog name directly through the center of each photo. It may not be that pretty but u r getting more credit that way. Thanks for the great post. Jen

  113. I had a post go bananas on Pinterest—so much so, I even took a screen shot of my Statcounter page and posted it on my site, b/c—whoa—I got more traffic in 2 days than I got in a full year! Thankfully, the original poster linked to me though I have seen the photo with no source listed. But, as the photo I took is nothing special, and the idea isn’t even all that inspired, I’m ok with it. But, if I had made something as amazing as that cake and didn’t get the credit, I would be upset.I wonder if adding a watermark to photos would help to at least bring people back to the original source if the Pinner doesn’t include it?

    Thanks for this info, btw. I don’t even have a Pinterest account so it’s hard for me to totally understand how it works.

  114. It is important for someone uploading their own pin to edit their personal info. web links in… & those who are pinning others must make sure they credit others. I have found so many pins without credits to source, recognized them & gone back editing in via comment or re-pin with info. But how many times like you say, has it been around without credit. Sad that it has come to this when a slot could of been added for credit links possibly? Maybe a suggestion to Pinterest. Since they are so new it maybe something they would consider adding. Sorry for those that haven’t received credit. It hurts all creative folks when stuff like this happens. I know I have watched out for others I recognized, but sad when you can’t find the person to credit! & things like this happen. As an artist / crafter…you want things out there, but then things like this detour you from putting out your best work ” to keep creative control”

  115. @kendall, I am glad Amy & Amanda each replied back. I have to say that telling someone to stop being stupid just seems so harsh and I do hope that if you blog or create in any way that you take this article seriously. Protecting your brand & creations is an important act and unfortunately its becoming harder & harder.

    I actually just had this stream of thoughts last week about how its crazy how much people “pin” all over the place & I couldnt stop thinking about how little control the actual creator has over any of it. While I realize once things are online there is nominal control over it…I hope to see this change. I think its time that there is some change in this department. The internet is only getting busier & Pinterest is absolutely EXPLODING. I am SO glad you wrote about this!

    @Amanda, I read about your heart cake long ago & its BEAUTIFUL! & I truly hope you start getting more credit for it. Its too exhausting trying to keep up with who is pinning what & hunting down each blog…BEST OF LUCK 🙂

    @Amy – great article & advice! SO glad to read it & will be conscious of my pinning & creating from here on out as well! 🙂

  116. Such a great post, Amy! Everyone needs to read this and understand how to use Pinterest the right way as it was meant to be used.

    One of my biggest issues with Pinterest is when I have shared a recipe and someone will copy and paste the entire recipe into the description of the pin. Giving no reason to visit my site at all. That is wrong! People need to realize the time it takes to create content, photograph it and blog it.

  117. I’ve been using Pinterest for a couple of years and frankly, I’m scared of what it has become in terms of giving credit to the image’s owner. Because of this issue was born. Please visit and share it in order to increase awareness.

  118. Great information. I just started using Pinterest a couple of weeks ago, but I refuse to “pin” or “re-pin” anything that does not link back to what I believe to be the original source (nor would I blog or post any project I made based on a Pin that did not have the original source to credit) – – just seems like commons sense and common courtesy – – both of which seem to be in short supply in these tech-savvy times!

  119. @Amber H., In this case, I’m guessing that someone else saw this picture, saved the picture to their own desktop, and then uploaded it to pinterest. The original photographer/baker did not do this, someone else did.

    While posting pictures to a blog and them pinning them can help, the source can still be lost. People can edit the source link. I’ve seen people pin things straight from their reader. I see so many things on pinterest that I don’t even know what they link to, but it isn’t the original source! I see things I like and click through to the source, but the only thing I find there is someone saying how cool this picture is, and I have to dig around quite a bit to find the original site with the directions or recipe. It’s like a game of telephone, the more things get cycled around pinterest, the more likely the original message (or in this case source) tends to get lost. Pinterest is such a good, good thing, but too many people just don’t seem to know how to use it.

  120. As a ordinary user (not artist, not blogger, etc.) I use and enjoy Pinterest – frankly it’s easier than saving random images to me hard drive with absolutely no source. I’m not stealing them, or using them to profit in anyway – they are simply images that catch my eye and inspire me. I love it when they are watermarked – it let’s me get back to the artist at another time. Pinterest let’s me control that process further. I make every effort to get back to the source – even if it means searching the image on google to get back there (that’s really a pain). BTW – everything is being archived somewhere, just have to know how to get there:

  121. This is a very informative post! I have seen one of my ideas (photos) linked back to another creative web site. I have to say I didn’t like it very much as it had taken me some time to create and photograph the project. When you work so hard on something you want people to know the correct source. However, I do realize that once it is on the Internet it is out of our control. I am guessing there is no way to correct an incorrect source pin?

  122. @Karie Johnson,

    I’m so glad you commented! It’s good to hear from someone who has one of these “Pinterest Inspired” blogs so we can hear the other side of it. I really don’t think you meant to use Pinterest to gain followers or traffic, I am guessing you didn’t think much about it at all… just wanting to do something fun with the ideas you found on Pinterest.

    I just don’t understand why it has to be all about Pinterest? Why not create your own brand? What if Pinterest shuts down or what happens when something new comes along and the popularity fades away? Then you have no brand or site? Why not promote your creative self and the fun things you are finding online whether it’s on Pinterest or not? Promote the people who’s ideas you are inspired by. I don’t see blogs that are “Inspired by Google”, etc.

    I think it would look much more legit if you cut back on the links to Pinterest and always link to the source for directions, recipes, etc. Never put those items on your own site unless it was your original idea. Make sure you look at a person’s terms of use or copyright info before featuring their photos. I wish you the best and again, thanks so much for commenting. I hope I didn’t sound too harsh:-) I really think your site would be great without using the Pinterest brand:-)

  123. @Amy, No worries, I did see the examples, I’m wondering- the example says it was “uploaded by source” which is a direct upload rather than a link from a blog. Did she directly upload it instead of pinning it from her blog? Just wanted people to know-to avoid the problem altogether you should upload your photos to a blog instead and then “pin” from the blog.
    And the second example citing Google-I have had happen to me once before, it is what happens when you “Google” i.e. “valentine’s cake” and Google shows results-and just so happens to show the pinner who re-pinned your photo(or even your upload to pinterest directly) but is directly through Google images, therefore cites “Google” when pinned instead of the direct link.
    I think Pinterest could work as great assistance to the blogger world as long as the pin comes directly from their blog.
    Sadly, someone else said it-people are very dishonest and I think things like this are always going to be a problem on the internet. :\

  124. Thank you so much for the pinterest etticuite advice. I have a pinterest blog which I started not to long agao. I did it becuase I was pinning all of these wonderful ideas, but never did anything with them. I felt that if I started a blog about it, I would be held accountable in some sort of way. I do always source where the ideas came from, as well as show the pin on my board, but I will definitely make sure they link back to the original source. Any other tips would be much appreciated. I do want to give credit where credit is due, and I am definitely not doing this to have my blog go viral. I simply want to learn a few things about blogging, crafting, cooking, etc. Thanks again.

  125. @Julia Grace,

    Thanks for your input. Actually in this case of people finding the actual source for a tutorial, a logo/watermark on a photo is not going to help. Having the link to your website will though. Copyright issues is a whole different post that deals with all websites. This post was about what is going on with the Pinterest Craze. The traffic people are getting is extremely high…. way more than any other social media site… even Google. This boom in traffic is causing people to mis-use Pinterest. I don’t think people understand the amount of traffic others are getting. It could be up to 20,000 hits per day and more. No joke. I think the average of some of my friends is around 50,000 hits a month. That’s way more than most people get in a year total from an ad they paid for on Google or just normal search engine traffic. There is good and bad to it, so I am hoping to make people aware of what I am hearing about as an artist and blogger. Thanks:-)

  126. Your article contains some valid concerns, but I think you should mention that these concerns are not limited to Pinterest and about how people can protect their images, namely watermarks that are not easily cropped out.

    Once you post an image online you have nominal control over it. Anybody can take it and do anything they want with it when it comes right down to it. It’s not legal for them to do that, but they can and will just the same. You can and should try to deter people from doing this, but once an image is online, there’s very little you can do to control where it goes and you absolutely cannot prevent people from Pinning an image. Nor should you want to, not really.

    Pinterest is a huge step up from Tumblr and Ffffound and other sites like Polyvorr (which actually makes money off of things posted to their site I think). Pinterest at least tries to credit the original sources. It’s not their fault when people pin things that aren’t on the original source. Pinterest can be a great tool to drive traffic to your site and your products. Brides are planning weddings using pinterest among so many other things. Everyone should view Pinterest as a tool.

    However, you are correct in pointing out that images can get stripped of their link credit. People don’t always bother going back to the source. I do, I even search for the original sources on Google and TinEye, but I do this because I’m an artist and I know how important it is. Most people won’t do this. Which is why every single image you post online that you would care about someone taking and using should have a watermark on it that is not easily cropped out. Anybody who wants to steal your image will crop out a url along one edge, but most people will not go through the trouble of putting an image in Photoshop and healing things out of places that can’t be cropped without destroying an image. No one deserves to have their image stolen, but you aren’t being smart if you think that people will always link to the source. Don’t rely on links, don’t even count on them. Watermark your image! Make the credit part of the image. That way people will see your name even when they aren’t actively looking for the source and they might just remember it or investigate into it. It will also make it so that people can’t post it on their blogs and take credit for it because the credit is in the image.

    I agree that trying to copy someone else’s idea and making things like “Insipred by Pinterest” blogs with it is rather underhanded. However, someone recreating your idea, everything done is inspired and influenced and recreated to some degree in one way or another. Plus, not everything can be copyrighted or trademarked. Many images are actually not copyrightable, though this is little understood. You also can’t copyright recipes (though this is a slightly complicated field of copyright) and you can’t prevent people from selling things they make from a pattern or recipe, not legally (also a complicated part of copyright), but I digress. Unless someone exactly copies your copyrightable image/painting/product enough that it would be considered a derivative work or a knockoff or whatever, you’ve really got no claim on it. If you take a picture of someone jogging on a beach and put an exercise quote on it, you really can’t do anything about someone doing the same thing. If you make jellyfish out of paper plates and blog a tutorial about doing it, you can’t prevent someone from doing the same thing and blogging about it. If however, they just lifted your whole article and pictures that is illegal. It gets a bit more complicated if you sell or blog about a unique piece of jewelry you made (that you can trademark or copyright) and do NOT give a tutorial in the article and then someone else makes an exact copy of it and sells it, but more often than not an idea that someone recreates is not something you can do anything about. After all, how many images and paintings out there of pine trees or people sitting next to windows are there? Plenty. As for crafts and such, once you put a pattern or tutorial out there, even in a copyrighted book, you cannot legally prevent people from selling the product they create from your instructions, though most people think you can. Once again though, you do have a claim if they lift your entire article about it or if someone is duplicating your copyrightable product.

    A really good resource for learning about copyright and trademark is: incase anyone is interested.

    Anyhow, I appreciate your article and the fact you are making people aware of the issue of link credit and credits being stripped, but I think you should add something about watermarking your images because that is the most secure way of protecting your stuff and getting credit for it.

  127. @donna m,
    Donna I agree with you on the copyright is copyright idea. If your image is copyrighted then you are protected at least to the extent that you can catch the thieves. However, call me crazy, but I think using watermarks is overblown. If someone really wants to use your image they can still remove your watermark. Is someone really going to make a profit off of our stuff that we wouldn’t have made ourselves? We make our money by direct relationships with our clients – fine art pieces for their homes, prints, canvases, albums – not by selling our images around the web or in other cities. I don’t have the time to worry about chasing down thieves around the Internet. As for giving proper credit on Pinterest if you use the “Pin It” button installed in your browser the proper link will always be behind the image as far as I’ve been able to tell, and I always include a comment.

  128. @Mary @ Redo 101,

    That’s another great point I should have made. Be sure to say where you got the pin in your description. I try to say things like “Owl Smores via Amy at Living Locurto” Sometimes I don’t know the name of the person though, so that’s when I will make sure to find the original source. You can also tag a person by putting the @ symbol in front of their names. That’s if you follow that person.

  129. @oh amanda,

    I know, there are so many old posts and pins that I want to fix! Wish I had more time or thought of this before. I didn’t intend for this post to be pinned. I’m still on the fence about how I feel about my stuff being pinned. I have a love/hate with it:-)

  130. @kellie,

    Thanks! Yes, it’s up to us to write in the pin comments as well to help educate people. It will take some time, but I think eventually people will get it. Too bad Pinterest doesn’t educate people.

  131. @Amber H.,

    Did you see the 2 samples from above? They were Amanda’s photo, but not going to her blog. What you are saying is the ideal way to use Pinterest, but what I am letting people know is about people using it in other ways. Either by accident or on purpose. Just want to make sure people who read this article are understanding what I’m trying to show here. Thanks:-)

  132. One good aspect of pinterest in relation to craft sharing/inspiration, and something one might want to take into consideration before uploading a photo of their own…IF you have a blog and the pic is pinned from your blog, the credit always comes back to your blog. No matter how many times it is repinned, when clicked on-it will always lead back to your blog, I think that’s great!
    My advice would be-if you are someone who is concerned with getting credit for your idea, create a basic blog and upload all of your stuff there, THEN pin it, it will guarantee you get the original credit. I would just discourage any personal uploads directly to pinterest…I’ve done this with a few things as well! :\

  133. @kendall, Kendall, sounds like you are having a really bad day! Calling people stupid and idiots and “rights” violators. Hope your day turns around and you can offer the next person you encounter a littler compassion and kindness.

  134. Thanks Amy and others for all the good “Food for Thought”. I guess I take for granted that others would know that not everything that someone pins is his/her own work. I always try to pin from original sources. I follow a lot of wonderful bloggers and want them to get credit/traffic. I can’t tell you how many times people comment on something I pinned, on certain aspects of the pin, ex: how to hang, where I got a product. I always say, please click on the photo to see the creator of the project, as I am sure he/she can answer your questions. People just pin, pin, pin and don’t take the extra few seconds to follow through. I have pinned this discussion on my “Pinterest” board so hopefully some of my followers will take the time to read this and learn a few tips from all you wonderful creative folks 🙂

  135. And I’m sure her idea has been re-made on Pinterest inspired blogs as well. 3,000 hits a day is just a tiny taste of the amount of traffic people are getting. Pinterest is making people go a little nutso with the lust for traffic/money. Since you and your family are very talented, you will probably be taken advantage of and why I wanted to write this to make people aware of what’s going on:-)

  136. GREAT article! Gives me so many things to think about—like going thru my old posts that have been pinned and fixing all the photos to be pinnable and not stolen!

    Also. I’d loooove if you had a pinnable pic for this post so I could pin it a few dozen times! 😉

  137. I dislike having watermarks on all my images but they are so important to have. Thank you for the post I will now reinforce the watermark even more!

  138. Interesting- When i pin it is usually for my own personal use like inspiration for a future project or just for inspiration and ideas…..I don’t use my blog for any income- just fun….so sometimes I forget others do.
    But I can see where is would be frustrating to have your materials and art misused…..I know my Daughter came up with an idea a gift to her husband “12 pre-payed date ideas in a basket” and it has gone crazy on pinterest over 3,000 hits a day on her site just for that….but I do see it all over pinterest under others names. She also uses her blog just for fun.
    I’m also slow on the uptake when it comes to all this stuff….slowly learning….one thing I do hate about pinterest is when you find something great and you want to know how to make it or buy it you can’t find the original source, or you have to jump through a hundred hoops to get to it.
    When I find something I like I try to pin the original page…but sometimes that is hard to find. Thanks for your help…..hoping to do better… I’m a Grammer who likes to pin sometimes =)

  139. Thank you for this very important information. How did you put the information on your owl photo? I know that others have used picnik to put their website on the photo, but that site is ending soon.

  140. Wow. What I’m getting from this is that it’s crucial for us to put our blog name on every single photo that we post. So sorry for what’s happened with your sister’s gorgeous cake. I’ve started, with every pin, to state in comments on Pinterest whose blog the pic came from. “from livinglocurto blog” Hopefully that comment will help stop some of the piracy. This is a real wake up call.

  141. Christie is true, to protect our pictures, if we really want it, we have to put our website/blog or logo on it.
    On Pinterest, when I pin, I always try to find the orginal source because I need it generally (where are the instructions for example) and it’simportant to me to know where it come from, and because I’m french, I repin with french words… it’s important too for me 😉

  142. @Elizabeth,

    Yes, it’s true that putting a photo anywhere of your kids is risky. I was just letting people know that Pinterest loads the pins/photos to their server. Sites like Google grab it from your blog. So if you removed the photo from your blog or shop… it would be gone from Google in a few days. Unless someone has taken your kid’s photo and uploaded it to their site. So in any case, it’s good to put your name or logo in the photo.

  143. @Jessica,

    Thanks, but I’m not sitting around being upset or hostile about people are enjoying my content or spreading it around. I’m happy that they like it. I’m just educating people on what I just discovered.

    I’m a business and I sell product… it’s not just personal crafts or artwork that I put online. All we can do is try to educate people about what is going on with this new Pinterest craze. It will change the way we blog, which stinks because I really do like to create fun content for myself and my readers. But when people are using it to profit, that’s no fun.

  144. i dont use pinterest so am not sure what it does when you upload photos but i do know from experience that not only do FB’s terms of service state they own your photos and can use them in any way, including cropping, adding, changing and using for adverts and sponsored stories, but they also can do so ‘in perpetuity’. (forever). AND if you embed your meta data into your photos, FB strips it out. I would hazard a guess pinterest does the same.

    I dont cotton to the idea that ‘once its out there you have no control’. Copyright is copyright and photos are no different than music files, movies or any other content. If social sites have rules that you cant duplicate their copyright material they should respect yours and so should their users. Having said that, common sense is anyone’s going to use it either just out of interest or for trying to pass it off as theirs and make a profit off your stuff.. and thats wrong. Watermark it across the middle. forget about trying to make it look pretty and conserve the integrity of the picture.. put it where they wont want to use the photo for any adverts and MUST contact you if they want to use the photo. Esp if its a business who is going to use it as their original content. protect your work.

  145. This really is no different than the internet in general where people are sharing photos. A lot of people are unethical and take credit for things that are not their or put a very small reference to the original blog. Whenever I post a picture on my blog, I display a watermark prominently. I try very hard to have it in a place where it doesn’t cover things up, but, if the try to crop it out, the will lose the integrity of the project.

    In general, as we all have told ever since the internet came about, once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. You can’t take it back.

  146. This is a good point you brought up. I do not have a Blog as of yet but I do own an online boutique. I have aboard for my boutique items & did notice that sometimes when things were re-pinned I lost credit somehow because people are able to wipe out your original comment. I also realized that if I pin through my iPhone that I could not add my web address so now if I pin from my phone I will go back later & add it so that if someone clicks the picture it takes them to my website. I thought about solutions & one that I have decided on is stamping my image with my website in a why were it would be difficult to photo shop it to remove it. I buy from wholesalers who do that in order to keep people from using their images. Hopefully that works until Pinterest can resolve this issue. In reference to photos of yourself or your child anywhere on the net not just Pinterest you run the risk of it being shared all over the Internet. Because anything on the net is basically there forever. This why I am still not comfortable with posting pictures of my children.

  147. While I see the validity of your point, I suppose I have a different take on this. When I post content to the internet, I do so with the intent of sharing it. I do so knowing that putting it on the internet means submitting it into the endless sharing vacuum of the internet. And I do so not for personal acclaim, but to put it out there to hopefully inspire others. So if it gets passed along, then I am happy! The purpose for me is not to make sure my name is everywhere. If you are so concerned with tightly and strictly retaining rights to your content, then the answer is simple: don’t put it on the internet. If you do, accept, and I say hope for, the fact that it will be spread around.
    I say stop sitting around being upset and hostile about all this and instead feel joy at how your content has inspired others. If you create for yourself then why should you care what happens past that point? Continue creating!

  148. @kendall,

    I don’t think you read the entire article. Even if Amanda shut down her blog, the cake photos would still be on Pinterest’s servers and people could use them however they want. She is not stupid, she posted her cake tutorial way before there ever was a Pinterest. She is happy that people are making her cakes, it’s when they use her photos the wrong way that is upsetting as any photographer would feel if their photo from their photography website portfolio was used. Most people probably don’t realize they are not linking to the source. They are not doing it on purpose… but there are some that do because it’s in the “popular” section of Pinterest… they want to profit from it and that’s not right.

    Facebook is private and has privacy settings. People aren’t using Facebook the way they are using Pinterest. Totally different deal. Are there people making money from Facebook? Yes, but in a different way than what I wrote about here. People are making websites and businesses all about the popular ideas and photos found via Pinterest to gain Pinterest followers and get mega traffic. You would be amazed at the traffic people are getting from this new Pinterest craze. I felt it was my duty to explain what I have learned to help educate people.

  149. @Naomi,

    Yes, people don’t realize the photo is linked to anything. It’s obvious by their comments under the pin. So true! There is a lot to learn for every level of Pinterest user. That’s why I wanted to write about it. Thanks for commenting!

  150. I think a lot of what you are complaining about originates from Pinterest users’ ignorance. Even some of the “uploaded by user” pins. I think many people want to be in on this “pinning craze” but don’t understand what it is or how to use it. I don’t think all of them are posted by people trying to claim ownership to the images. It’s just as easy to click “save image as” as it is to click “copy image url” and some people truly don’t know the difference (trust me, I just tried walking my mom through “pinning” and she looked at me like I was insane). Just reading the comments here makes me realize how many people are confused about how to use Pinterest. It’s obvious that even seasoned bloggers didn’t consider some of the “repercussions” of this fad. It’s not fair to assume that all careless pinning is malicious. Just look at all of the comments under pins (that do lead to correct sources) that ask where they can “buy that” or “find the recipe” or “get instructions to make this”…I want to scream through my computer to click through the image sometimes! It’s amazing how many people are on there yet don’t know how to use it.

    If you ask me, Tumblr accounts are some of the biggest offenders. I dare you to find an original source to a non-original photo on there. It’s almost impossible. That being said, sometimes I will repin one anyway because I want to be able to see it again because it’s inspiring or beautiful. If someone could point me to the original post, I’d be thrilled. Although I’ve seen so many people falsely “claiming” ownership to images on Pinterest that I’d be wary of that, too.

  151. this could be said for just about any social media platform, not just Pinterest. anyone could go/find that blog on their own and do the same thing.. they don’t need Pinterest to rip off ideas. parents that put kids pictures on Facebook are idiots. not only are they violating their childrens right to privacy without permission, they open them up to the entire world. when they get older and find out mom and dad plastered them everywhere there’s going to be some angry kids. you should be flattered that someone ripped off your cake, because if your any good at blogging it won’t matter, your customer base will keep coming back – if not than it doesn’t matter because you’re not good enough to maintain your site anyway. don’t be so small minded, if you are putting a cake recipe out on the web, isn’t the intent that you hope someone goes and makes one themselves? if not then don’t blog. stop being stupid.

  152. I’ve seen a few articles talk about adding your watermark web address etc to your photo so that after it gets pinned and repinned someone could still find their way to your site even if it was pinned from a site different than your own. I almost always click through the link just to see if I’m pinning what another pinner says the pin is. Boy that sounds confusing. example: I will pin a lot of tutorials but always click through to see if the pin is actually a link to a tutorial. Today I clicked on a link that said “tutorial” with a cute picture of a tote bag and it was actually a link to the bag pattern for sale. Just a bit annoying. I absolutely will not upload a pin that’s uploaded by user. The whole point is to be able to get more info about the photo/pin. If it’s a dead end i don’t really want to pass it along.

  153. So true. This is why I try to put my logo on everything I do. Even pictures of my kids. That way, everything leads back to me. I’m fortunate enough to know photoshop so I created an action in Photoshop and it only takes a couple of seconds to put my log on a picture.

  154. I’m not a blogger so I never looked at it from the side of your property rights. I do love Pinterest & I always try to go back to find the original source because I usually use my pins like visual bookmarks to the tutorial, etc so I can find it later when I want to recreate it or to a recipe that I really liked.

  155. I agree wholeheartedly with this post.

    Just wanted to let you know, so you’re not blaming Pinterest, is that this happens all the time. Everywhere. Visit Tumblr, search “food” and you’ll find millions of images taken from food blogs posted without being sourced, it’s wrong. Just wanted to mention, so people don’t think that Pinterest is the first place this is happening.

    Also, most of the time, not always – but most of the time – people aren’t doing it purposely to try and get hits on their blogs instead of the creator. They’re doing it because they don’t know any better, or more often they got the picture from somewhere else that didn’t source it correctly.

  156. Thank you. I’m going through my pins and I’m going to re-pin through the original source if I have any that don’t list them. I’m also going to change how I display my photos.

  157. I think there are many folks out there that do not know how to add links to pins…. For awhile there I had to mention where I got the pic in my comments because I did not know how to pin correctly. I know now how to do it…maybe people should blog about how to pin correctly…. and bloggers should imprint all of their photos.

    Just my thoughts….


  158. Great Article. I love Pinterest and hope that things don’t get
    worse, I will be more aware when i am re pinning. You have some very good suggestions adding info to the photo is smart because the details can always be changed by the next pinner.

  159. @Amy, Yes, I think it’s great that you put a watermark on your photos. Not only does it help prove who the rightful owner is, but it helps those of use who want to find the original blog/post that it was on in the case where someone did not give proper credit. I do not know how to do watermarks yet so none of my blog photos are protected I guess. But, my photography skills aren’t very good, so I doubt anyone would want to steal my photos! 🙂 Yours on the other hand are gorgeous and you have every right to protect them!

  160. This is why that every photo I put online I now watermark with my website address. Once you put something online, it is no longer just yours, unfortunately.

  161. Points well made. I try to follow new pins to the source and pin from there, but that is easier said than done on the iPad. Wish Pinterest would make an app for that!

  162. @Lisa Hall,

    I am lucky and worked hard at protecting my owl s’mores. It’s still a little disturbing to see all of those photos uploaded to Pinterest’s servers without my copyright info on them like I wish they had. I just never thought about until now. I think my watermark has helped.

  163. @Yolanda,

    Thanks! That is a great tip. I like it. My point was to educate pinners who are using my photos on their blogs to gain Pinterest followers, but I like your idea better.

  164. Thanks Donna! I’ll check that out. This Pinterest craze will definitely change the way I handle my blogs. Starting now, things are a changing! Hopefully I can set an example.

  165. Thank you so much for this post. I love Pinterest, and am so sad when I see images without any credit or (uploaded by user). Sometimes those “pins” have 100’s of “re-pins”. So sad.
    I have been trying to pin from the original source. I hope that others will do the same.

  166. That is why when I pin something from someone’s blog directly, I source the blog and I also say something like Cute Owl Cracker via Living Locurto just to double up on where it came from if it doesn’t source correctly for some reason.

  167. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    #2 infuriates me to no end. I have a very well known blogger who magically does many of my tutorials a short time after I do…and her images look nearly identical. I have no way to prove anything but it happens over and over. She is more established and pointing fingers would only look bad for me but it DOES happen and it does hurt.

    Remember the people on the other end, everyone!

  168. Thanks for the info. I was just invited to join Pinterest and will make sure I follow your guidelines.

  169. @Krissy @ B.Inspired Mama, when you click on a pin that links to the original website, then you’re a-o-k! But many users are actually downloading pictures to their own computer, then uploading them to pinterest as if they are their own photos…and then in other cases, users have uploaded other people’s photos to flickr or tumblr or those other photo sites, and then they don’t link back to the original source either. (Pics/Files that are uploaded by the user say “uploaded by user” instead of linking to any original source, which is great if it actually IS their property, but not so great if its someone else’s), so its fine when you actually get linked to the original source of the pin! I know that I will be checking to make sure, every time from now on! 🙂

  170. All this is making my head spin. It just reinforces my decision to not start a blog, but if I did I would not put photos of my kids on it. And the only people who know (and care) about blog etiquette are bloggers and those who read them (sometimes) so to educate the rest of the pinterest world would be just about impossible. I do like to pin the original source and usually do spend the extra time to do so, but as Krissy said above, 99% of the time clicking on a photo takes you to the original source. Is all the worry over this because of money?

  171. I appreciate this article very much. I had been noticing the incorrect sources being linked a few times, and the implications might be. You’ve outlined them pretty well here.

    You mention: “my photos will include “Photo Terms” ” – Does that just mean watermarking, or what other method(s) are you using to include these terms? Someone else mentioned having more details listed, and I’m not sure where to include all of that.

    Thanks again for this post!

  172. Wow. I had not even considered any of this. What a disappointing, frustrating conclusion to come to! I know that when I pin, I try to pin from the original source. I always did that so I could reference the original post instructions versus just a pic on google. I hadnt considered how doing otherwise impacted bloggers, including myself! Thanks for sharing!

  173. I am not a blogger, but I do spend my fair share of time on pinterest. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and I will make sure I pin from the original source from now on. It never occurred to me that the proper person wouldn’t get credit for all of the amazing ideas out there.

  174. Wow, Amy, I am horrified! I never considered much beyond being excited I was pinned. I’m a new blogger and have assume that if I don’t have that much traffic, there’s really no reason to watermark photos . . . boy was I wrong! And adding a photo terms blurb is really something to consider, too. I am disappointed on behalf of your owl smores and your friend’s gorgeous heart cake. Thank you so much for the informative post.

  175. Just to clarify above, you don’t LOSE rights to your photo once it’s pinned. It’s just that other people are using it without permission. For bloggers this is typically okay if it goes back to the original source. But that’s for bloggers. My boyfriend is a professional photographer, not a blogger . . . so if his photos from his site get posted, it doesn’t really help him. He doesn’t have ads to make money from. And he’s VERY protective of his photo rights. I’ve heard of a few professional photogs asking for their photos to be removed, and that Pinterest took them down. But I do wonder if they can remove ALL the pins with them. Hmm.

    Pinterest has been great for my blog, and yes, I have had my pictures repinned all over the place that are either attached to feature posts or not to my blog at all. I don’t worry about that because I feel like the benefits outweigh the negatives. But who knows – it could get out of control . . . and I’m seeing more and more criticism articles about Pinterest every day. I’m very curious to see what happens!

  176. I’m so glad you posted this!
    I have clicked several pins only to be linked to a blog that uses another blog’s picture. when I come across this I pin the ORIGINAL source rather than repinning. I also hate when I see blog posts that are just several photos from Pinterest. It’s not cool to use someone else’s picture on your blog without permission, but it’s even worse to have their photo linked to Pinterest rather than the blog it belongs to.
    Another pet peeve of mine is people who copy an entire post/recipe/idea in the comments making it unnecessary for anyone to visit the original source. I know it’s not intended to be malicious, but it’s theft! When I encounter this on something I want to repin I erase the comments so the blog or site actually gets the clicks they deserve.
    I hope there is some way for Pinterest to monitor some of these things or create a better system, but in the meantime I hope that everyone will pin responsibly.

  177. I have been suspicious of the our rights from day one. People lift my images and the are altered and all over Pinterest and tumblr. I am following the #linkwithlove movement. Kal has spoken with the Pinterest creator about it. Look it up Amy. Kal barteski. You will like her and what she is trying to do. If I see an image that is not credited I write, who took this photo? #linkwithlove
    I adore Pinterest but it could be the biggest copyright infringer of them all.

  178. Thanks Amy for the info. I had read a similar post so was aware of the issue but have always “clicked” on the original picture in order to give credit to the amazingly talented people out there who deserve it!

  179. I like this idea. I think most people are too lazy to crop a photo they are pinning, so if there is text beneath that is a part of the photo, the credit goes along with it.

  180. Hi Amy,
    I totally agree with your post about giving credit where credit is due and people should not save a photo on their computer and then try to pass-it-off as their own. I am a little confused though, because that link that you posted that shows all the photos of the owl smores, all of the one’s I clicked on did lead to your blog. (Granted, I did not click on every single one, as there were tons…but I clicked on at least 15 of them and they all lead to the living locurto blog. I think what is happening is people aren’t aware that when you click on a “pin” that someone has posted it won’t immediately take you to the original source, it takes you to that person’s pin board where they pinned it, but when you click on the photo from there, it should take you to where they found it, unless like you said, someone has saved the photo to their hard drive and uploaded it themselves, which of course is wrong. Anyway…I can honestly say that I have come across very few photos that are uploaded by user and I have pinned alot of stuff! I think the problem is that a whole lot of people just don’t understand how Pinterest works. I know there will be people out there who will abuse it though, and that is sad, because it could one day really ruin it for those of us who just like to use it for inspiration. Thank-you for the informative post and links to that article. I will certainly pay close attention and make sure that I do not pin anything that does not give credit to the original source. Alot of times, I will put the source in the comment field if I know it. Thanks again, I love your blog!

  181. Wow! Such great info! I had no idea about any of these issues! So glad you brought it to all of our attentions! I will definitely be more careful in the future!

    I am “sharing” your post on FB

  182. for anyone wanting some guidelines for”best pinning practices”, this article is a great resource: However, it’s important realize that, as you’ve stated, once your content is online and is being bookmarked, pinned, reblogged, shared on facebook, etc., you no longer have much control.

    Craft & food bloggers and photographers now have to consider the life of the image beyond sharing the work. Watermarking will not keep someone from stealing your images (the great concern of 2010?), but watermarking now better insures that you get credit for your ideas and original images.

    Even better? Creating images with explanatory text in addition to the photo. For your owl smores, for instance, I would put something more value-added than the usage guidelines text (I’ll explain why in a minute).

    Example: OWL SMORES by Amy Lucurto. Uses graham crackers, marshmallows, and candy corn to create fun Halloween treat. Detailed instructions at

    While this is certainly more work, it leaves zero doubt who the creator of the idea is, even if the image is linked to through google image search, or pinned from another blog. It takes responsibility off of other people to give you the credit you deserve, because you can’t rely on them to give credit in the first place. And it gives inspiration-hungry pinners enough information about the project to make it work saving and spreading socially.

  183. Thanks for the info. I had no idea that we were losing rights to our photos once they were pinned!

    But I am confused. I do re-pin all of the time. But when I do, all you have to do is click on the photo and it takes you right to the original source. So, I’m not sure I understand why it is bad to re-pin…?

  184. I think putting a watermark of your website on your photos would help with “tracking down” the original source. Technology keeps evolving and it seems like we have to just roll with the punches lol

  185. I think that is a great idea to put that disclaimer on your photo like that! I have a post that has gone viral over the past 4 days on Pinterest. It has more than 40K pins and has brought me lots of traffic. Yay. But people are “featuring” it and then it gets pinned from their blogs.

    Something I sure wish Pinterest would do is institute a character limit for the pin comment section. It drives me crazy to have a ton of pins floating out there and discover that people have copied and pasted my entire post into the comments and have eliminated the need for anyone to click over to my blog. Here is an insane example of just How MUCH you can fit in a Pinterest comment.

  186. so very interesting all of this, i love using pinterest but not sure what i think about the legality/ethics of it. for xample, i have a lot of images on my blog used with permission from the people who created the crafts, and i hate when i see pins from *my* blog not the blog where it was first created. and i worry that will make bloggers be less generous with their images – and really, who can blame them?

  187. Thank you for sharing this! It’s a great reminder to try to find the original source. I love what Pinterest is for me (a great way to bookmark the things I want to remember), but I want to be sure the original person gets the credit. I will say that the posts all about things people find on Pinterest is really annoying. If they follow your blog, they probably follow your pinterest, so why post about it. It just seems dumb.

  188. I totally agree that it is shameful for people to intentionally steal images for personal gain. However, bloggers—especially craft and food bloggers—share ideas. We make things and photograph them and share them for people to enjoy and recreate. When you post an image to the internet publicly, it’s too easy for people to steal/share. I expect them to do it. That’s why I don’t post ANYTHING I’m not willing to lose. I never post images of my children’s faces in public online spaces. NEVER. Too many crazies. I do not want my children’s faces all over Pinterest or anywhere else, thank you.

    If someone wants to take credit for my chocolate peanut butter pretzel balls that are all over Pinterest, shame on them. Hopefully karma will take care of it. But I posted those pictures and the recipe (along with hundreds of others) so people could recreate the recipe, because I thought people would enjoy them. In doing so, I don’t expect to be the only person in the world making them. That’s unrealistic.

    Giving credit where credit is due is honorable, but not everyone in the world is honorable. The internet is full of dishonorable people.

  189. @Jeannie, I just replied to Kitty’s post and shared the way to have your own “pin it” button…when you’re on pinterest, up on the top right corner of the page, click on the (Add+) button…then click on the yellow strip that says “Pin to any website with your own pin it button”…then in the first paragraph or so on the page that pops up, it will have a “Pin it” button that you click on and drag to your browser/bookmark bar just below the URL address box. Then its always there for you to pin things as you surf the web 🙂

  190. @Deanne C., Yes that happens! I think I may spend my evening tonight going through my pins ( that I have pinned) and make sure they are pinned right. I know there must be some in there that have slipped through. Do unto others… right?

  191. @Kitty Bailey, Kitty, do you mean “how do you pin something that you find on a website or blog that isn’t on someone’s pinboard already??” if that’s the question, when you’re on pinterest, there’s a link on the top right that says (Add+) if you click on that, you will see a yellow strip that says: “Pin images from any website as you browse the web with the “Pin It” button” it will bring up a page that has a “pin it” button right at the top paragraph, and you just click and drag that “pin it” button onto your browser bar (just beneath the url box to type in website addy’s). The voila! its there and you can pin to your hearts desire when you are on a site that you want to link to.

  192. I had the same question as Kitty Bailey. I am also fairly new to Pinterest and have pretty much learned to use it by trial and error. Maybe you could do a post for us “dummies” on the correct way to pin and other important things to know about this fun way to share crafty ideas! Thanks.

  193. I think Pinterest could do a more effective job of creating a more extensive “how-to” or “what not to do”. The copyright policy that they have up right now is vague and obviously does nothing to deter the heinous and blatant content stealing that is going on.

  194. @Nichole, that’s not the case though, when people are actually downloading the photos to their own computer, and then re-uploading them to pinterest as their own personal photo. In that case it is nearly impossible to find the original source, as I have tried to do so on many occasions, just as Amanda previously mentioned. I am so proud that Amy has taken a public stance on this and I will do what I can to educate my friends, as well…

  195. @Saylor McLennan, that’s what I do most often as well…previously, I was doing it because I wanted to make sure it was a correct link to the appropriate information, but now I realize that it is the only way we can control giving credit to the source info…but then again, once I pin it, its up to the personal responsibility of the next pinner…that’s where the “rub” is, I guess :/

  196. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, too. I am having a similar experience with a craft my kids and I did together and shared on my blog last year —
    I didn’t mind all the pins so much at first, I actually thought it was great how much it was being shared. Then another blogger made the same craft and even mentioned in her post “I blatantly borrowed this idea from Maureen Cracknell.” Then, the craft started getting picked up on major sites without anyone asking my permission (with the exception of a few great sites) half the time the credit is given to no one or the other blogger. I just found out this month that it’s even in Disney’s Family Fun magazine! I am guilty of re-pining myself and have decided to start making sure the source reaches the person who deserves the credit, too! Great post!!

  197. @Allie, Allie, I too, ALWAYS link to the original source (if I can find one) as well as typing their name and blog or website address if I have access to it. To me, that is the least I can do for them sharing their artistry via blogs, etc. I believe that artists, authors, photographers, etc. should be getting credit for their work…its stealing otherwise…and I notice repeatedly, that my pins, though re-pinned by others, no longer have the artist info. as it has been removed. I also see that the pins show up as “uploaded by user” often, which tells me they are just downloading the photos then uploading them from their computers. It is so disappointing….

  198. I TOTALLY agree with you! Just YESTERDAY, I saw that someone had pinned a photo of one of my original designs, so I followed it to see where it went…and voila’…it was on some other site talking about the subject matter of my photo, but no longer linked back to me or my website, it was never credited to me, as my original artwork either. I was speechless & very upset, and I still am. I didn’t know what to do…so I am in the process of removing all of my photos of personal artwork and will now do as Amy E suggests, and begin watermarking my photos (by the way, how do I do that, with photoshop?). **Another disturbing thing I just learned yesterday about Pinterest from a concerned associate of mine, when someone pins an item that is connected to an e-commerce site that is associated with an “affiliate” program, Pinterest (covertly) attaches their affiliate code to it, so they are receiving compensation for the connection to that site without our knowledge or our consent. Though it doesn’t cost the “pinner” anything, it certainly DOES cost the e-commerce site that has been pinned, even though it may be a non-purchase “click”. This is not appropriate business practices, considering that the participants (such as myself) are completely unaware! Not sure what to do about all of this, since I really do enjoy the concept and inspiration that pinterest offers….uh buoy…uuugghhh 🙁

  199. Great post . Pinterest is the newest thing for so many of us and posts like this are a great reminder for users and bloggers who use pinterest not just to drive traffic but to build community. Like you I try to always pin the original source and if I have to go on a wild goose chase I will often simply not pin it. Many of my crafts have been sourced incorrectly and I will often leave a comment. Don’t even get me started about linking a source way down at the bottom of the re-done tutorial.

  200. I love this post!! I admit, some of my ideas come from things on pinterest, but I always use my own photo’s, and link back to the original post somewhere BEFORE the project/recipe. I hate when I see the ‘source’ in super small writing at the bottom of the post. I’ll start putting the original source onto my pins for sure!

  201. Thank you for making me aware of this. I actually was beginning to think that “Pineed by User” was Pinterest’s way of protectiing bloggers by allowing them to share a post without sharing their entire bog. Now I unerstand that it means the pin was possibly stolen from the original blogger/website. I very rarely “re-pin” posts in Pinterest. I prefer to click on the source and after researching and reading the post; I then copy and paste the original link to Pinterest. This is good info to know and I appreciate your posting this!

  202. I agree with Kristi, I started putting a watermark on my new photos because of this. I think others should do the same then there is no question who’s photo it really is. I actually had somone take my photo from my blog and post it to their Facebook as Birthday Cakes they have made, You just can’t trust some people.

  203. @Michelle,
    Yes, I agree, we have no control over our images. But we can’t just not post photos. Then there would be no photos on any website anywhere. People will steal photos no matter what and we realize that. It’s a problem when they go viral on sites like Pinterest and people take advantage of YOUR photo to make money. Like Amanda’s cake. That was just wrong. It would be way worse if it was a child.

  204. Thank you! It has bothered me from the beginning of my awareness of Pinterest, that folks use photos without crediting the original source. I’ve searched for sources time and again, only to reach tumblr after tumblr account, etc… If I repin that pin, I write as the description, “Original source??” or something of that nature. If I see photos belonging to people I know in the blogworld, I will link the original source on the pinned photo. Watermarking photos is another step we can all take, though people have been known to mess with that as well. Unfortunately, a lot of folks just don’t know anything about social media etiquette and plagiarism. My photos are constantly pinned, shared…shared by friends and used by friends as their facebook profile photos with no credit given as to the photographer/owner of the “work.” Ugh, great post! Happy responsible pinning! Julie M.

  205. @Nichole, As someone who has definitely tried to find the original source of a picture, I can tell you that this is not the case. I am proud of Amy for providing information and helping us to all do better. I know I feel better when I know I am pinning in a way that is beneficial to EVERYONE.

  206. This is such an informative post! I didn’t know any of these things and now I’ll be more conscious when repinning others photos. Just as I wouldn’t want someone to pin my photo without giving me credit, I wouldn’t want to do that to someone else. Treat others as you want to be treated, right? 🙂

  207. @Kitty Bailey,
    Yes, click the pin until you find the real source. Then pin that. It’s a pain that Pinterest makes us do that, but until they change to where we can pin privately, that is my best suggestion.

  208. I had no idea. I was typing in the source in my comments until I saw that it was automatically done for me. I will definitely be VERY careful from now on!

  209. I think a lot of people are just unaware rather than being spiteful about not giving or getting credit back to the originator. /shrug

    Isn’t the whole purpose of blogging about sharing? It only takes two seconds of searching to find the originator of an idea / pic / recipe / design so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. If someone wants to find you (“you” being the original blogger) they can and will. If not, I’d just look each Pin as another anonymous fan!

  210. @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.

  211. Because my site offers the chance for other creative minds to share their ideas, I try hard to leave watermarks on photos when they are provided and don’t crop them unless just necessary (vertical photos). That is my way of making sure credit is given where credit is due. Many sites require NO watermarks on photos that are featured, but I feel that it is one way to remind my readers who did it and to discourage the improper use of images (even though it compromises the “visual imagery” on my site). I know that by providing the proper links from my site to the contributor’s site is a path back to the original source – which hopefully provides traffic back to the owner. Thanks for helping everyone to realize the negatives and the positives and the way to make Pinterest an honest place to share.

  212. @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?

  213. I had no idea! I will make sure to go to the source and pin it. Everyone should get the credit they deserve. It takes time and effort to come up with ideas for our blogs. When I use an “idea” I have found on another blog I always link back to that blog. And I would hope others would do the same for me. It is very sad for your friend that she is not getting the credit she deserves for her cake! I love the blog world and love that you wonderful and talented people are sharing your ideas with us! Thank you!!

  214. Good points.. It never occurred to me that people would do that. Though I am not sure exactly how to pin back to the original source. I am fairly new at Pinterest….do we click on the link and then it leads us back to the source? Another question how do you imbed your link?

  215. @Michelle, I have watermarked and simply had people remove it. Even removed my watermark to post my image on their site! Is the only answer… if you dont want people stealing your content then dont provide content? That seems unfair.

  216. @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?

  217. I’m not a blogger but I would love to see more bloggers putting their information on their photos like your owls. So many times I click on a picture to get to the source and there’s nothing but ‘uploaded by user’ or some other message that takes me nowhere.

  218. Awesome post Amy!! It is sad that a lot of us don’t get credit for our crafty ideas. I will definitely be conscious to credit the ideas to the original creator 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  219. @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

  220. All of these are valid points except number – if you don’t want your photo of your cute baby or whatever to “go viral”, it’s easy – Don’t put it on the internet!
    Yes – we all need to be responsible pinners but ultimately, we (as bloggers) should actively protect our interests by watermarking, etc…

  221. Julie, of course the Internet & Pinterest is about sharing, but there has to be some ethics too! If you make a recipe or a craft, you should give the credit to the original source. Not make it look like it was your own idea. This post is great! It talks about giving credit to the original source, and that also there are lots of bloggers out there pinching ideas & presenting them for their own so they can get traffic, which is unfair & unethical! It also warns people that put time & effort into creating original content to be careful that their work might be taken advantage of. The internet is a great place for sharing, but we need to be aware as well!

  222. Thanks for the great information. I love, love, love Pinterest for all the great inspiration. I will be much more careful in the future to be sure to give credit to the original source. I hope more people will have this brought to their attention.

  223. I am glad Pam linked to this on facebook Amy : )
    One thing I have discovered is that often some blogs won’t let you pin images. I always try to include the blog link in my description if I have to upload it myself but I know that can easily be erased when it is repinned.

  224. @TidyMom, I absolutely agree that it’s disheartening to think that people are profiting from other peoples’ ideas. I’m not sure why they feel it’s any different than physically stealing something. The web would be a sad, lonely place without creative and talented people sharing their knowledge and wisdom. It would be a shame if things like this discouraged the sharing of ideas.

  225. Thank you very much of sharing that information. I love Pinterest but I am not thrilled with not giving credit where it is due. I will definitely start pinning from the source.

  226. I so love pinterest for the inspiration… but wish people would link to the blog post itself.. I am not worried about tghe traffic to my blog but do want the directions or info if it is there… so would love to be taking to the original place… than ks so much form this.. I as a avid pinner will now pay much closer attention to these things…. great topic for discussion… thanks for that…

  227. @Mylien,

    But not everyone uses a watermark or knows that the photo is uploaded to Pinterest’s servers. So at least we can try to protect our images. We can’t control what people pin, but we can control what our photo says.

  228. @TidyMom,

    YES! That is the problem in my eyes, is people taking advantage of the Pinterest craze. It might not be apparent to everyone, but us bloggers. We see new sites popping up each day and it’s getting a little nutso! I just wanted other bloggers to know that people are using their ideas for content to get more Pinterest followers & traffic.

  229. Incidentally, I also have a account, which requires you to include the url of the actual webpage in your post. Plus you can tag images (in which I always include the name of the site). Pinterest could do these things, but I think it would be too little too late.

  230. Great post.. with info I had no idea about… my question is this… how do you add that proclaimer on the bottom of your picture? I add my signature on my photos already…

  231. This was a great post however, it probably won’t result to too much action. As one of the comments, Lisa said ” put your blog signature on your photo” That way you’re going to get credit when someone pins your photo whether it’s Google or Pinterest ,etc..

  232. @Naomi,

    I agree about taking the good with the bad….and we can’t control all sourcing, it’s just NOT going to happen. I think what saddens ME, is all the people taking advantage of the traffic Pinterest brings by all of the sudden sharing so much other people’s stuff just to benefit themselves from that traffic

  233. @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.

  234. I shared on my page & I am with you, I have been really conscious to ONLY pin IF I can find the source or else I live without it. Do I need to go back & probably check – yes, but just no time. I imagine it is scary to think all of our photos are just out there for anyone to see but what do you do?? We just have to pray that it’s all being legit & we don’t get burned. =)

  235. When I pin, I take the time to find the original source. It may take longer, but I do like being able to find the original source to give credit. I often post crafts and food related pins, and I want my followers to be able to find the tutorial or recipe. If I do a compilation post on my blog, I always have links back to the original blogs. I think sharing ideas is great, but I also believe in giving credit. ~Dee

  236. wow, good to know! I am a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due. Thanks for sharing and this is certainly something to look out for!

  237. I try to link to the original source when I can, even going so far as to trace something rather than “repin” when I can see that it’s leading to google or an inspiration board, etc. Admittedly, sometimes I’m in a hurry and don’t want to lose a pin and will “recklessly repin.” However, I’ve noticed that some sites host pictures differently and a pin leads strictly to the picture url and not the original post. I’d almost rather link to a blogs feature of this so someone can actually follow the link to the post. Anyway, I guess this all goes to show what the new-school public service announcements are telling the kids: once you post something on the internet, it’s out there for good. You never truly have “control” as images can be saved to hard drives, etc. You just have to take the good with the bad. I assume the increased traffic Pinterest brings is worth some of the negatives.

  238. This is a great informative post! I’ve tried to be VERY careful when I’ve pinned things, mainly because it’s ONLY fair if the original blogger gets complete credit for it. This has opened my eyes more and I will be even more careful, especially if I choose to blog about an idea from Pinterest. And yes, I hope all of you crafty people out there take the extra step to protect yourselves even more. You deserve it for inspiring the rest of us:)

  239. I love Pinterest but I’ve come across photos that don’t lead back to the originator. It’s frustrating for me but I never realized how it hurt the original “owner” too. Thanks for the information.

  240. I agree completely, and have actually found myself un-following some blogs because they repeatedly have done tutorials and at the bottom in the tiniest of print, will put “Source- via Pinterest” and then the name of their board on Pinterest! So not only are they not giving the original source the credit and traffic, but they’re also pushing their own boards in an attempt to get more Pinterest followers. They just as easily could write the post, giving full credit and praise to the original source, and the post would have a totally different tone, and it just baffles me why they don’t do that?? As if people will think less of them if they admit they didn’t come up with the original idea?? It’s actually the opposite for me.

    Also, another problem I see with Pinterest, is people are taking the entire recipe from my site and pinning the recipe as the caption when they pin it. Nobody has any reason now to click over to my site. The picture and recipe are right there! I’ve seen it done with some crafts I’ve posted as well. They put the entire description with directions as the comment and there is absolutely no reason for anybody to click through. I really wish Pinterest would institute a limit on the number of characters in a caption, so that entire paragraphs couldn’t be posted.

  241. 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.)

  242. 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.

  243. 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.

  244. 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.

  245. 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!

  246. 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.

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

  248. 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

  249. 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’ .

  250. 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.

  251. 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”.

  252. 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.

  253. 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 ~@~

  254. 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.

  255. 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.”

  256. 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!

  257. 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?

  258. 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?

  259. 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!!!

  260. 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!

  261. 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!

  262. 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.

  263. 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.

  264. 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.

  265. 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.

  266. 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”!

  267. @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.

  268. 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.

  269. 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!

  270. 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.

  271. 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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