While I have a Pinterest account and a few boards, I’ve never felt completely comfortable using it. My biggest issues revolving around copyright – what did/do I owe to the person whose image I’m pinning?
A friend’s post last week brought that question back up to the forefront for me. Halinka’s post was prompted by the discovery that another woman had copied one of her designs and posted an instructional video claiming the pattern as her own. Totally not cool. Much of Halinka’s post revolved around the topic of attribution – how do we keep our names associated with our designs in cyberspace?
In the course of the post she focused on Pinterest, offering a series of suggestions for Pinterest etiquette, and I thought it a great topic for discussion. Pinterest has grown up so fast, that I don’t feel it’s ever really been truly addressed.
I know that most of the people who read my blog are artists and designers themselves. And it seems like a careful look at how we all use Pinterest is a great way to help support our fellow artists. We can all be Artist Heros! :)
Figuring this out would definitely make me feel more comfortable using Pinterest. Every time I pin an image, I find myself wondering what do I owe to the person whose image I’m pinning in terms of proper attribution? Does my use fall under the fair use of copyright?
So here are Halinka’s suggestions, with my commentary in itallics.
- Ask me first. I'm not sure how practical this is, as it would require a full round of emails and removes the immediacy that I think is part of Pinterest's appeal. On my blog at least, this is definitely not required. If someone did want people to ask them first, or did NOT want to allow pinning at all, how would they let people know? Create a 'No Pinning' badge?
- Leave a Comment. I love this suggestion for works pinned from blogs. That way the blogger can link to my board if they'd like, or they can even ask me to remove their image if they prefer. Either way, I feel more like I've acknowledged their claim to the design and my limited use of it on my board.
- Make sure that the link back goes directly back to the original designer’s page. If it doesn’t, include the full link in the comment section.
- When pinning from a blog, include the name of the designer if you can find it. Such a simple way to help keep the designer connected with their design! This is something I'm going back through my boards and adding.
- Think carefully about the titles of your boards and what you include on which board. Unless the design is offered as a pattern or tutorial, don’t include it on boards with titles like “Designs I’d Love to Make”. Instead maybe it could go on a board called "Jewelry Inspirations" or "Designs I Love" or "Cool Uses for Tila Beads" – again something to indicate that you know someone else’s creativity went into that design.