If you’re a Pinterest lover… you’ve probably noticed the tweets and blog posts about people deleting their accounts and the worry over getting sued for copyright issues. Since Pinterest is so new and grew so darn fast, it’s really unclear whether we’re dealing with copyright issues or not.
I think it’s important to pin responsibly! I want to share some tips and advice on how to pin responsibly and how to keep your content properly linked back to you… how to link with love….
1. Before you repin…. check the link. For every repin I do…. I click on the linked photo first, to make sure it’s properly linked. If it’s not: I try and find the original source. If I can’t find that link: I don’t repin it. Which SUCKS. There have been some lovely things I’ve wanted to pin so bad… but, I couldn’t find the original image home, so I just don’t pin it. Even though it’s sad… I don’t feel right pinning something that doesn’t have a link back to it’s owner.
2. Make sure each pin you create has a comment. A comment about the image you’re pinning… not just a heart symbol or happy face. Right now it’s unclear about the copyright use of an image you find/use online for Pinterest. I mean… it’s a whole new world. Certain use of copyrighted work may be in the “fair use” category, in this case you have limited rights to use any copyrighted work. “Fair use of a copyrighted work: for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” I have no idea if commenting on a pinned image covers the fair use or not… but, I just like to make sure I comment on each pin. Might as well cover my butt.
3. Keep your photos safe…. watermark: If you don’t want your photos to disappear into the big ‘ol internets… watermark them. It’s the easiest way to claim a photo as yours. And, yeah: people could/will take your watermark off…. but, those are the crazies. Kind of hard to avoid them. But, I like to believe that people are generally good and never mean to not give credit to the photo owner. But, if it does happen… if they love your image and want to share it: a watermark is great! That way if your photo source is ever lost there will always be “thepapermama.com” or whatever your link is on the image. You can do this in Photoshop… and, even in a few free photo sites as well. Plus: I always resize my photos before I upload them to the web. I keep them at 650 wide. Not only does it cut down on load time on my blog… it also means my image is smaller and harder to steal and use.
4. Link with love: If you find an image while surfing online and want to pin it… link with love! Make sure the image you’re pinning is linked to the proper URL. If the image you’re pinning is on a blog that doesn’t own it… just don’t pin it. OR, try and find the original source. Too many times I find that an image is linked to someones tumblr or weheartit site… with no actual link. I just don’t pin from those sites. Plus, when pinning an image I find… I like to post the source URL into the comments.
5. If you don’t want your stuff pinned… make sure it’s clearly stated on your site: You definitely can’t assume that each and every person that wanders onto your blog/site will know you prefer to not be pinned. I am one of those, “Why wouldn’t everyone want their photos pinned?” people. But, the fact is some people just really don’t like it. Especially if it’s a photo of their kid. And, you can also add this simple code onto your site… this code prevents any images on that site to be pinned. How about posting a note in your sidebar: You are Pinterest friendly… or not so Pinterest friendly.
It all comes down to giving credit where credit is due. Treat your pinterest boards as you would your blog. Any image you use on your blog, that you do not own: needs to link to it’s original source. Link with love. Pin with love. I am currently in the process of wandering through all 4,500 of my pins…. and, checking their links. If a photo is not linked properly: I’m deleting it. It’s going to take a while… but, I want to do it.
What are your thoughts on this whole new crazy Pinterest world?
P.S. I feel like I should say that any advice I give is purely my opinion. I am most definitely not providing legal advice. Just hoping to help you all pin with love. If you have any copyright/legal concerns…. seek advice from a lawyer and/or contact Pinterest. K? Hee.
P.S.S. You’re more than welcome to Pin this. My site is very pin friendly as long as credit is properly given.
P.S.S. Here are some buttons you are welcome to right-click and save if you’d like them for your website.