Loni Edwards

Illustration and Paintings in Digital, Watercolors and Ink

Pinterest – Ask First!

I know a lot of people who enjoy Pinterest. I joined, but due to lack of time, I really haven’t gotten into it. One thing that did bug me about it was the copyright infringement. Today one of my friends on Facebook shared this article. The article is basically about Pinterest stating in their TOS that copyright infringement is the user’s responsibility. It’s pretty standard for web companies to do this anymore. BUT the most important thing that I took from this article, was the ability of website owners to block Pinterest users from “pinning” aka copying your images. The basics are, after your Header put in the following HTML code in your website:   <meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” />. I tried to pin a illo on my site, and it worked! I don’t mind sharing my images, but on my terms. Obviously, where there is a will, there is a way, but at least this is a deterrent. I hope this will help some of my fellow artist and photographer friends who are as concerned about copyright infringement as I am.


UPDATE 2/23/12:  It has been brought to my attention that some users on Pinterest do use link backs to the original website. I think that is really great and is how it was intended. However, when I went on my Pinterest account tonight, I found a number of links that were to just generic sites, like “etsy.com” or “tumblr.com” etc. I also want to note that there were also ones that had no linkage, as well as some artwork that was uploaded from the user that was not their own. This kind of thing makes me wary. I appreciate those that would be interested in my art enough to pin it, however I would rather keep control of it on my website. Plus, I don’t want Pinterest to have rights to my work by it being pinned on their site.


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  1. Heather 22/02/2012

    Loni! You are supremely awesome.

  2. Darla 22/02/2012

    Is blocking pinning on the entire page the only solution? Is there no way to share a specific image–say a thumbnail or an icon, but not all the images on a page?

    I use pinterest strictly as a visual bookmark. All I want is a reminder of what I bookmarked that page for. I don’t use it that much either, but I can see the potential there.

    • Loni 22/02/2012 — Post Author

      Darla, I am not sure. I bet if you knew someone who worked with html and meta, they could probably help with it. If it is possible that is. Interesting that you use the site as a visual bookmark!

  3. Beth Stilborn 22/02/2012

    Excellent! Thanks, Loni, For this post. Often people just don’t think. They need to.

    • Loni 22/02/2012 — Post Author

      Yes, more and more our privacy and rights are infringed on with these social networking sites. I see the advantages to them, but you really have to be on your toes!

  4. Julie Hedlund 22/02/2012

    Interesting. Pinterest is bringing up all kinds of issues. I just joined but I’m not sure how much I’ll use it yet.

    • Loni 22/02/2012 — Post Author

      You’re right Julie. I really didn’t see a use for it. Although I find the visual book mark idea Darla mentioned very interesting.

  5. Hannah Holt 22/02/2012

    You’re absolutely right. Most of the stuff I pin is my own, but I should be more careful with re-pinning.

  6. Nicky Johnston 23/02/2012

    Pinterest is a fantastic business tool. I always watermark my pictures, photos and artwork. That way there is a visual link back to the original website, not only by the html link. Make sure the quality of the pic is low res too. You can write ©yourname with a website, just as a reminder of copyright… And if you can’t beat them, join them….supply a “Pin It” button on the site, basically saying “Go ahead and pin my watermarked pictures” – this is just another way to look at it!!

    • Loni 24/02/2012 — Post Author

      Interesting thoughts, Nicky! However, according to Pinterest’s TOS per the above link:

      …unlike almost every other image site out there, Pinterest forces their users to grant Pinterest unprecedented rights to use their images however Pinterest wants!As it stands now, Pinterest has allowed hundreds if not thousands of people to violate Matthew (Oatmeal) Inman’s copyright by fraudulently grant Pinterest free reign to do whatever they want with his images. If Inman himself were to pin his comics, Pinterest could sell books, t-shirts, posters, greeting cards (all items Inman himself currently sells) and he wouldn’t be owed a dime.

      It’s stuff like this that makes me say, no way to Pinterest.

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