20 September, 2012

Why I don't allow Pinning

Numerous artists and photographers object to their work being pinned on Pinterest, and they have legitimate concerns. Like many now, I do not allow pinning.  (Yes, I know that no one can completely prevent it.) Any pins of my work are there against my wishes.

I send DMCA takedowns to websites that infringe. It's not limited to Pinterest, but that accounts for a disproportionately large percentage of infringements.  Pins without credit are far too common.  It can't drive traffic back to me if there is no credit or link.

Pinterest not only loses links and credit, but far too frequently, uses other people's artwork to link to other businesses. In other words they use it to spam, advertise, etc, all infringing uses that are illegal and that confuse the issue of who owns the image, and that translates to possible financial harm to artists.

Our work is not free.  While on the topic of "free," to dispel a widespread myth, if you find things on search engines like Google, they are NOT in the "public domain."*  Never were.

My social media sharing policy at its very least requires credit and a link back.  Other concerns are the size of the image used, and HOW is it being used. "Sharing" is not using others work to advertise, illustrate, promote, endorse, as an avatar, or to sell, etc.
If you are a pinner, please urge the site to fix the copyright and attribution concerns that artists and photographers have been expressing concerns about for over a year now.  We would all love to let Pinterest fly under the radar or even welcome it, like some other social media, but sadly, the site has just presented too many reasons to be concerned.

(*That myth seems to stem from a highly inaccurate interpretation of a court case where Google's function itself was determined to be 'fair use.' The court did not extend any public domain or fair use privileges to people using google.)

Thanks for not pinning!