On Friday I joined Pinterest and it promptly swallowed my weekend. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest it’s a somewhat controversial site which allows you to ‘pin’ images from the net to virtual pinboards. Gathering shiny things from the net like virtual magpies you can easily and quickly make collections of inspirational images. The controversy is around copyright violation. The site has a couple of rather flimsy figleaves it attempts to hide behind but the fact is that a fair amount of the ‘pinning’ on the site is not approved of by the image owners. This is a source of horror for professional photographers in particular and until last weekend I was avoiding the site for my own ethical reasons.
However I’ve started using it. Why? Because Pinterest has been the largest single source of referrals to my blog recently – even before I joined it. Yes, this means that some of my images were being pinned without my consent but honestly it’s not like I’m ever going to make money from my photos anyway so, whatever. And also – pretty things and the opportunity to arrange pretty things. Deep, huh?
In order to use Pinterest without my conscience eating me nibble by nibble I’ve come up with some rules which will help me to use it without violating people’s copyright.
I only pin in these scenarios:
1) The image is my own or I know that the original pinner is the owner of the image.
2) The link to the source works and the source encourages or allows pinning of their images and I am reasonably confident that the source is the owner of the image.
3) The source is a shop. This is based on the assumption that free advertising is usually appreciated.
This isn’t foolproof but it seems to be a reasonable compromise. I’ve only been on it a few days and the beautiful images I’ve not pinned because they were blatantly stolen would be enough to make you weep.
If, like me, you are a gardening blogger who is happy for others to use your images then it might be worth at least enabling the ‘share’ button for Pinterest.
So, dear readers, do you use Pinterest? Do you have your own set of rules for using it well? Do you have any thoughts on the issues regarding the site? I could rant about this for pages and pages but I’ll save you the horror and stop now and distract you with -