Pinterest, the hot new social sharing platform has a serious problem when it comes to the medium it’s designed to share. Despite careful wording on their about page that you agree not to post, upload, publish, submit, provide access to or transmit any content that infringes, misappropriates or violates a third party’s copyright… many (most) of the images on the site do just that. Several lawyers have weighed in on the controversy advising:

“…you should never pin an image on Pinterest for which you don’t own the copyright interest or for which you have not obtained a license from the copyright owner.”

— Jonathan Pink, a California-based intellectual property lawyer with Bryan Cave LLP via, WSJ.

Federal copyright laws give the author of any copyrighted work (which includes photographs and copyright attaches automatically as soon as the work is created) the sole and exclusive right to publish and reproduce such work.  So, basically, when you see a photograph that you love, you do not have any right to publish or reproduce that photograph unless you took the photo or got consent from the photographer to use the photo.

…in my humble opinion, the only “safe” conclusion here, for me, is to either get off of Pinterest or pin only your own work or work you have a license to use.

—  Kirsten Kowalski via,

If that’s not enough, Pinterest CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann has completely deleted his boards: even though he was named #2 in a list of 21 must follow Pinterest users on

On the flip side we have a very exciting way to share photography that some photographers like:

Photographers need to look beyond their own nose when it comes to social media web sites and copyright concerns. I’ve written about a fair number of photography rights grabs here on my blog and there have certainly been cases where there have been egregious violations of copyright that photographers should have been concerned about. By and large Pinterest has not proven to me they fit in that category. In addition social media web sites and the Internet as a whole are great tools to be exploited by photographers. Don’t be afraid of having your work seen. If you look beyond your own nose you’ll see these new tools and sites can be creatively applied to enhance your business versus kill it. Being creative isn’t just about taking photos its about creatively enabling your work to be found.

—  Jim M. Goldstein via, Pinterest – Seeing beyond your own nose

I even have it on good authority that top creative directors are actively pinning and competing to have the most creative boards. My source tells me that it’s not impossible to imagine a future where your pin board is part of your resume.

So, I agree that there’s potential here to make a great service for sharing, driving traffic to, and bookmarking photographers. But they just haven’t figured out how to do it without running afoul of copyright laws.

Then there’s the separate matter of their heinous terms:

We may, in our sole discretion, permit Members to post, upload, publish, submit or transmit Member Content. By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services. Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content and nothing in these Terms will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to use and exploit any such Member Content.

Facebook has similar terms:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

And so does Twitter:

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

My prediction is that before they get sued into oblivion they will figure out a reasonable way to get it to work. But for those who think whiny photographers or outdated copyright laws are to blame, I’ll leave you with one last set of quotes to chew on:

For the first 1,500 years of the last two millennia, man was generally poor. Though there were empires and kingdoms, the gross world product (GWP) was largely flat. For generations, people did not experience any major change in their living standards.

And then something changed: the Western world introduced stronger property rights, including intellectual property rights, which allowed people to pursue new ideas, firm in the knowledge that success could bring financial rewards.

Today, all of the contemporary advanced economies have strong property rights, and data shows a strong correlation between property rights, productivity, living standards and innovation.

via  Ndubuisi Ekekwe – Harvard Business Review.



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  1. a good and interesting article that is let down by the last quote. Chewing on that is like chewing on gristle.. with the hair and hide still attached.

    Oversimplifying the history of human development over the past 200years to that point is doing a big disfavour to your valid points above.

    Vastly different markets as well as evolving patterns of consumption and production make such a sweeping statement almost nonsensical.

  2. my bad, that should read : 2000years

  3. REALLY interesting article. I hadn’t even thought about all of that. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice balanced point of views.

    The big difference between Napster and Pinterest is who they may be stepping on – a small group of very powerful, very resource rich, and well organized of music labels who are scared of change and who have a controlled semi-private distribution channel; vs. a huge sea of content owners not organized in any particular manner and with very disparate interests, many of which may be conflicted about Pinterest because it erodes their copyright, yet gives them exposure they can benefit from.

    Much of it will hinge on how Pinterest will monetize the site over time. If they followed more of a Google model where they keep the site as an audience investment and truly on the social side, then it keeps more of its editorial character and will likely remain unchallenged. If they get greedy though and try to put too much of a commercial spin/gain on the content, then they will wake the immune system of the content owners and all bets are off. The fact that the founders have a Google background may bode well.

  5. I hereby grant licence to anyone who would like to share my photography work on Pinterest or any other social media site, as long as credit is given, and there’s a link back to the source. Are there really any photographers who don’t want people sharing their work?

    • If only credit and link were given…in my experience that rarely happens.

    • The problem with Pinterest is that when people pin your photo, the site erases all metadata information including copyright and licensing terms.

      • And they also scrape a copy, not a thumbnail, and keep it on their servers.

    • I would be nice if everyone gave a credit and a back link to my site for each photograph they have that is used without my permission, sadly this is not the case in today’s world and we need to protect out IP even more than ever.
      David – Would you be happy if Pinterest sold your photos and kept all the money for themselves? Well they can under their T&C’s!
      Three good reasons not to use Pinterest:

      • Darrin, I read the “3 Good Reasons” article and agree that Pintrest and the other social media sites TOS and overall attitudes towards intellectual property are very troubling. And I think we should all be working on getting them to change their policies. However, I still get a lot out of people using those sites. At least half of the people who come to my site to check out my work are coming from a post on a social media site that I had nothing to do with. For where I am in my career, that’s a really good thing.

    • If you search my name on Pinterest, only two photos come up. One is a portrait of the person who pinned it, with a link back to my blog, the other isn’t linked to anything. Fortunately, my name is on the pic, but it still bugs me.

  6. Just a thought that has been told to me before: “There is one surefire way to avoid someone stealing your images or misappropriating your copyright online… Don’t put your images online.”

    • you could also put all your possessions in a giant steel cage and keep it locked so nobody ever steals from you. that is a surefire way to prevent robbery.

      • Rob, don’t get me wrong. I have photos online, and a Flickr and Facebook page. My point is just that you always have *some* risk of theft when you post anything online. Even if it’s just someone copying a screenshot. Never posting anything online is one of my responses to the excitable people that put massive watermarks on their images and diatribes about “Don’t steal my photos”. Ignorance about copyright law is not a legal defense, so I figure everyone is liable for their actions. But if one of my customers or future customers share my images with other potential customers, I’m probably not going to be too upset.

  7. People just need to adjust to the new reality of the internet, and copyright laws are simply incapable of taking them into account. Photography is becoming a labor of love and a democratic means of self-expression, not a cloistered world separated into the two classic paradigms of the film age, the Kodak supermother who dutifully catalogues family events, and the seasoned moneymaking pros who are untouchable because of the formerly high overhead and technical proficiency required.

    I walk down the street on a Saturday and half the people I see have a DSLR on their hip. Tens of millions upload directly from their phone. There used to be two way of experiencing still images: print media or gallery walls, both of which implied a financial transaction. Now we live in a swirling sea of images. Some would call it a cesspool, but I call it a golden age of expression, where former definitions are breaking down, and the walls between “pro” and “amateur” become subtler by the day, until they eventually collapse into irrelevancy.

    The concepts of ownership, let alone profit, are slipping away. Remember, Napster dying was a symbolic victory for the music industrial complex. They won that battle, but lost the war. Very few people I know would ever think to pay for music, outside of the context of a live show.

    • Pretty sure you just pulled this out of your ass:”The concepts of ownership, let alone profit, are slipping away” since the copyright laws have not changed. Anyone who thinks this doesn’t actually make a living creating.

      As far as you wanting to live in a society where music is free (oh, but paid for by concerts like Lady GaGa who totally rakes it in) and pro photographers are not better than amateurs… enjoy your service job.

      • Sorry to say this, and I’m sure you don’t think this, or don’t want to, but you’re the old gaurd. These ideas are antiquated, and the coming generation will have no use for them. They have an entirely different understanding of ownership, one that you don’t comprehend, not because you’re not smart or not watching, but because of the way you were socialized is different from the way they were.

        It’s like the 70+ generation who are just uncomfortable with the idea of gay marriage, even progressives. Their intellect can comprehend it, but something about it just doesn’t feel right. It’s outside their conceptual reality and comfort zone. Relatively soon they will be dead, and we can move on to the new paradigm. The increasing frequency of change means these generational divides come in shorter and shorter increments.

        In 20 years kids will ask their parents, ‘what were photo editors and why did we need them?’ The parents will answer, ‘they were necessary for a time, but then distribution and creation technologies changed, rendering the entire system irrelevant. Everyone became their own curator and their own creator. People tried to hold on to the old model, but it was a idea whose time had passed.’

        I don’t think one person I’m friends with has bought music (besides maybe an LP if they are a DJ) in 10 years. Tell them they are just bad people or should feel guilty. They will stare at you blankly, like a visitor from another eon. Bemoan it all you want. It is what it is. Shifts happen.

        Now, finally, music companies are starting to come around to the fact that the old model is not working, and are making deals with ad supported streaming services. Photographers are not as hegemonic or monolithic as music labels, it’s a totally diffuse profession, with thousands of independent contractors. It will be interesting to see how they adapt to the new instant distribution/sharing reality. But make no mistake, adapt they must.

        • If you pull hard enough your head will pop out. Ad supported music streaming is called radio. Such geniuses we’ve raised in the next generation. Hope you make it out of the rental department.

          • Ha, really? Snark is one thing but attacking my livelihood at a personal level? Good guy.

            • “bullshit editorial/ad stuff” “you’re the old gaurd” “cloistered world”

              How’s that chip on your shoulder from handing out gear all day to working pros?

    • “Very few people I know would ever think to pay for music,”
      Really? You must hang around a lot of 14 year olds.
      Folks that I know ALWAYS pay for music.
      Of course they’re adults and work in some creative field.
      If the people you know have no respect for creative property, and consistently pirate music…you should consider reevaluating who you “know”.

      • I’m 28 and they are generally 20-30. You can insult them all you want. They will just stare at you blankly like you’re speaking another language. You are from a different era, and are spouting “kids these days” platitudes. Just so you know.

    • I always pay for my music. I guess I’m just an old 30 something fuddy duddy who just doesn’t get it. I guess respect for creatives and helping to keep some support structure for future creativity is just pointless then? I disagree and would hope you would come around to disagree as well. If you came to this site I would assume you, at least want to, do something for a career where it would be beneficial to have people come around to the idea of respecting you for it.

      • I think it’s exciting that money is leaving these professions. Who says artists have to make money? Maybe you should expect to have a day job and make art if you want to. Why would I do that? I don’t know, because it’s fun to express yourself? It’s not as if true art has intrinsic value, outside its spiritually elevating effects. This money drain is creating a renaissance in which truly creative people who want it, and everyone else just falls away. I see way more beauty today, in photography, film and music, than I did 10 years ago. It’s ever-present.

        But I’m talking about real art, not bullshit editorial/ad stuff that is just trying to steal your self esteem and sell it back to you as an idealized lifestyle image.

        But as a counterargument to what I’m saying (I’m really just playing devil’s advocate. I don’t think anyone’s ‘right’ about anything), we’re also seeing a trend where monetization is shifting to new models, which don’t conflict with this generation’s values (however abhorrent you find them). Online ad supported and subscription services like Hulu/Netflix, Pandora/Spotify are such services that could provide a new way for artists to make money. The idea of paying a dollar for ownership of a song is an abstract and absurd concept for the younger generation.

        • I’ll bet it’s “exciting” to wonder how to pay the rent as well. I call BS on your argument.

          • Exciting’s maybe not the best word for it :) You call BS on my argument how, and which part? Oh and I was trying to remember who made that “who says artists have to make money” statement. It was Francis Ford Coppola in a recent interview.

            • Wait… A multi-millionaire said that? I’ll think about it when I’m in his position, I guess… or I won’t.

              • Just what I was thinking Brooks. It’s always someone in that position or someone who at least has the security blanket of Mommy and Daddy footing the bills who says that money isn’t important. True, it’s not JUST a business (we aren’t selling widgets), but is A business. If you want to keep it an unadulterated extracurricular activity then more power to you, but that doesn’t mean that someone who has chosen it as a profession has diluted their product to widgets.

          • I second Craig on the BS call, especially on the “I don’t think anyone’s ‘right’ about anything” comment. I’m pretty sure you (Nathan) think you’re right about everything you’re saying. You are certainly willing to be the voice of the “younger generation” (of 20-30-somethings) and the spokesperson for “this generations values” whatever that means. I like some of the ideas you were getting at in your first comment, but then you descended into gleefully nihilistic pseudo intellectual coffee house speak reminiscent of some cliché of a flowerchild in a Partridge Family episode (which I’m sure is available for you to stream for free on some bit torrent site).

    • Nathan..I’ve read everything you’ve written in this subject and it’s making my head spin…then hurt……then spin some more. And short of just smacking you upside the head with the heaviest object I can find, I really don’t see any way to help you. It’s thinking like yours that is killing professional photography. “Who says artists have to make money?”. Big corporations LOVE taking advantage of creative people because they know there will always be disconnected little twits like you who will give it all away for nothing! Or maybe I’ve got you all wrong and you’re actually a genius who has figured out how to make a living by NOT collecting royalties or licensing your photographs. Is that it? Have you got a plan that we’ll all be telling our grandkids about some day?!! Until I see evidence of such a scheme, why don’t you just take Rob’s advice and happily toil away at your day job and leave the heavy lifting to us truly creative types?

      • None of you guys are relating to Nathan’s argument. You are all reacting like he is making some sort of moral judgement, which he is not – he is stating facts.

        The internet is fundamentally changing the value of all goods that can be copied digitally. This has affected software, film and music for years with big attention – but it is also doing it’s work with books, photography and other image making like comics and stock design.

        It’s several effects at once, the democratization of tools, and the sharing of knowledge and finally the zero-cost of copying material. These facts of life means all business involved in media and information have to re-calibrate their strategies to a new reality if they want to keep existing – there will be no money in that which can be copied – vhs necessitated coming up with added quality of the dvd, the burner and finally the internet also killed that – that is development of digital media and our internet. A photocopied books is a poor copy of the real item, but there is no loss in quality when copying a ebook – thus it has little to no real value economically. Music explains itself – artists – all make their money from advertising and concerts and merchandising. Music recorded and put on a physical format has niche value for some, but on a whole music, and digital it is, has no real value. But you ar dead if you are not online. As for being a photographer, you’re free to find your own way and god bless you all in trying to find your ways. Really. But don’t count on ever controlling online distribution if you set it free somewhere or you sell it to someone who does.. then it will be redistributed, and so it should be. Information, today, really does want to be free.

        I myself am a full time designer, so I know where the unwillingness to realize these things stem from – it is hard to realize that things are changing fundamentally. But they are.

  8. How is this a new thing? Tumblr? 4chan? Livejournal?

  9. I think pinterst is great, and hope it stays. It is such a great way of creating an archive of things we like, without having to go though a list of links or favorite bookmarks. I make a point of pinning and repinning images with credits!

    • Using Pinterest as an archive may be the wrong bet. Never archive with a 3rd party whose future is uncertain…. It’s convenient for sure, but don’t cry if it disappears overnight. And since it’s not a paid service, they have no obligation whatsoever to help you recover it…

      • good point ! I should get busy and work on an offline archive.

        • *Is* there is a service out there to archive your Pins and boards?

  10. I have no prob with people pinning my photos with a link back or some sort of credit given, seems like a good way to drive traffic. What I wonder about though is the language above about giving up rights to images that all these sites seem to use. What if I post an image I shot for an ad that already has a contract on it from another source then facebook uses it in one of those side bar ads seems like a law suit waiting to happen. Or what if I post a photo of my kids and there friends hanging out, then Facebook uses that image in a sidebar ad now you have several unreleased minors in an ad seems like another law suit. I don’t get why these companies feel they need all these rights. It’s not uncommon to see a Facebook sidebar ad with a friends name and image saying so and so likes X product.

    • Doug, if you have sold an image under an ‘exclusivity’ agreement and post it yourself anywhere, you are in breach of your own contract with that client, that is the point of having ‘Rights Managed Licencing’.

      I never post anything of commercial value to any website unless it is the clients…

      • correct but sometimes, I’ll have a job maybe a simple portrait for Pr where they have rights, but are ok with me posting it on my facebook page or blog or what ever just as long as I do so after they have printed there piece. Even with ad jobs there have been plenty of times where I or other people much more famous than me do a job and then after the ad runs post a how it was done or just some shots from the gig to facebook, heck chase Jarvis has made himself a big time dude through his mastery of social sites.

  11. Pinterest is not new, but it is bigger and more visible than the Tumblr’s of the world. What I’m struggling with is that ‘pinning’, while going against copyright laws, doesn’t ‘feel’ wrong. Technical details aside, ‘pining’ it’s akin to ‘fav’ing on Flickr – e.g. bookmark something for later use. The beauty of it (and the problem) is that you can ‘fav’ from all across the internet.

    On a related theme, if you take the copyright laws to an extreme, then browser makers are at fault as well, since browsers often cache images to local machines. I doubt that any content producers *intend* for their images to be stored on viewer’s computers for an indefinite amount of time, but that’s exactly what happens.

    • Nick, firstly, the cache on a computer is self destructing if the browser is set correctly and even it if is in a cache, 99.9% of PC/MAC users have no idea of even how to access it and may not even have the ‘rights’ to access it on their PC/MAC.

      The difference between FlickR and Pininterest is that you CHOOSE to be on FlickR and SHARE your work, whereas you do not have to be a member of Pininterest to find you work on several pages, none of which have a Link or Credit back to the creator and even fewer have bothered to check to see who owns it and if they are in Breach of Copyright

    • “Pinterest is not new, but it is bigger and more visible than the Tumblr’s of the world.

      I don’t know about the other “Tumblrs of the world,” but speaking just about Tumblr, no, Pinterest isn’t bigger than Tumblr. Not yet, at least.

      From wikipedia: “As of February 27, 2012, Tumblr had over 46.2 million blogs and more than 18 billion total posts.”

      That’s over 4 times what Pinterest claims.

  12. Unlike Napster, the content that is being freely reused on Pinterest comes from a broad range of sources. In the case of Napster, the bottom line of big media music companies was directly impacted by the give-away of their product. Plus they had some heavy legal muscle to take on Napster. Can you say the same for all of the copyright owners of material on Pinterest?

  13. If a website provides a link to share on Pinterest on their postings (be they photos, recipes, or any intellectual property) would this not be considered permission to share said work?

    How is this any different than sharing a link on Facebook?

    • It’s not a link. You upload the image and by doing so you grant Pinterest a license to sell and sub-license the image.

          • That has been one of my criticism of Pinterest. They could have designed their site to simply link to the original image file instead of creating a copy on their site. Sure it more cohesive and faster to build the site with the copies, but it puts them a lot more into the gray zone. Building it on purely referential design would have been cool and smart.

            • They’d have a nightmare of a time weeding out all the broken links if they did that. It’d also make it impossible to manage performance (page load), because the hosting of the images would be so distributed. They’d also be imposing the cost of supporting their traffic onto the source of the image if they referred to the source image.

              By taking a copy they can be sure the image is available and they can control the speed with which is it served to the end user.

              • It wouldn’t be easy by any means – but then doing the right thing rarely is. I totally get why they did what they did from a web design and operation perspective. But if there are serious questions about fair use, and if they could be appropriately addressed by doing something more complicated, then they should.

                It’s like saying if I have to pay the rent, I can either rob the bank or get a job. Robbing the bank is so much faster, so why not do it? Well, because it may not be the right thing to do. So you have to do the hard work instead.

          • Wrong button. Miscommunication is my fault (well maybe partially Pinterests too, haha), I didn’t realize they had two buttons with pretty much the same name.

            Scroll down to the”Pin It” button for Websites section. Vanity Fair isn’t using that on their site, but if you scroll to the bottom of the post, you’ll notice this site is

            I completely agree, in your example there, that’s a definite area of question. But if someone is using the share on Pinterest button on their site, I feel like this should warrant as legal permission to share. I guess the key difference is this option also provides a link back to the original content, thus accreditation.

            I’m all about protecting copyright, but It all seems like a gray area. In reality, You’ve been able to do, and people have been doing, the exact same thing on facebook and other sites for years, they aren’t being charged so I’m not sure why Pinterest is the villain here.

            In full disclosure, I’ve visited Pinterest several times, but I’m not a registered user.

          • What about “Fashion Gone Rogue/” almost everything on that site is a copyright violation.

            Here’s a Vogue Russia layout shot by Hedi Slimane

            And a YSL fragrance ad shot by Patrick Demarchelier

            What about Tumblr? Terry Richardson has a Tumblr blog And Suicide Blonde also has a Tumblr blog where she re-blogs many Terry Richardson photos.

            A product I’ve shot for XXX isn’t going to be stolen by TTT for their catalog (because YYY doesn’t sell their competitors products). So if someone post one of my product shots on Pinterest , it’s free advertising for both my client and me — what’s not to like ;-) YMMV.

            • the difference is that fashiongonerogue is the one uploading images.

              pinterest has created a tool that allows anyone to click a button and grab images off websites, upload them to a server where they are resized and the copyright message plus any identifying information is stripped out then posted on someones board. then they can copied to another persons board with the click of a button. also pinterest will probably be worth billions some day.

              what about when advertising is sold against your advertising images. there’s a reason why MTV blurs all the logos on reality shows.

              • If Pinterest is stripping all data from the file then that is a problem. Stripping info is the crime, not the posting of images. Some have brought up FaceBook, but in that case you opted-in. With Pinterest you didn’t opt-in. And it shouldn’t be that hard to shut them down if someone wanted to spend the money.

                At one time it was hard to keep track of someone using your photos, now with the “search Google with this image” command, you get quick results (in seconds).

                With Hollywood you have to pay for Product Placement. No money than the characters drink Fake-Lite Beer and Ersatz Cola. I was working for xxx Studios on their TV Series YYY (names changed to protect the guilty). The art dept had made a very close copy of a local plumbing franchise companies truck. I noticed one of their trucks drive by our location, and next day we did a re-shoot with a different truck :-).

              • FGR may be uploading the images, but it’s far from clear that license has been obtained in all cases. See the FAQ section. Some images are submissions, others are sourced from ‘blogs, forums’. Some of those forums, such as I believe Fashion Spot are popular sourcing spots, but not license clearing houses.

                Also, while we’re talking about Google, there is an interesting case about Google and images. Google crawls your site and does create their own copy of images it finds on your site with link back (not unlike Pinterest). As a website owner you can leave instructions (robot.txt) behind or code your site to block Google crawling, but you have to actively do so. I understand that there is also code that you can put on your site to prevent pinning – for example when you try to pin an image in Google Reader you will get an error message. So there too as a website owner you can actively object. However, it’s hard and unreasonable to keep up with all the sites you would have to block if you really wanted to go down that path.

                If you do an image search on Google, and then look at the page source for that image, you will find the following (somewhat shortened for purpose of discussion):

                Clearly Google is keeping a copy of the image. Their UI makes the back link very obvious, but from a purely legal perspective, it’s not all that different than Pinterest, except that the board is dynamically put together based on your search term from all of the images that Googlebot has found and indexed over time.

                • Forgot to escape the code. Here’s what Google source for the image search results looks like:

                  <a href=””>&ltimg src=””></a>

      • “You upload the image and by doing so you grant Pinterest a license to sell and sub-license the image.”

        Not really. Only to use “in connection with the Service.” That is, they need all the rights from you necessary to do their Pinning site. They aren’t in the business of selling images. Nor would they in their right mind as they do no check on whether you actually can transfer any rights in the images to them.

        • yes, of course. that’s why you will see the terms change in the next couple weeks. we’ve all forced the issue that they don’t need it to say that.

  14. Well, let me give you haters of copyright protection a quick lesson in ‘theft’.

    If I came into your home and stole the picture of whatever off your wall, you would of course be on the phone to the police demanding my arrest… stealing images or other content off someone’s website is no different and for those of you in the UK, please refer to the Design, Copyright & Patents Act, if you live in a U.N. Country, please refer to the UN Convention on Human Rights and of course, for E.U. Countries the additional Human Rights Act. All of these set out very clearly the Laws on Copyright and Intellectual Property and most of the modern world is also covered by the Berne Convention.

    Suppling a ‘link’ or a ‘credit’ back to the originator does NOT cover you under any law covering Intellectual Property Rights, I have yet to see a website where is it not clearly stated that the content is COPYRIGHT and may not be copied in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner, especially on websites of :egal Commercial Entities, Photographers, Artists, Designers, Architects and every other creative out there… we make our living by being ‘creative’ and we share that creativity by charging a FEE to people so we can pay the mortgage and create even more!

    Without us ‘creatives’, you would not have Mobile Phones, Plasma TV’s, Software to run your Computers or on your Computers, Playstation, X-Boxes, the games that run on them, the Art hanging in National Galleries around the world, the Exhibitions of Artists and Photographers, most of the paintings you have hanging on your walls at home… god, what a boring place our planet would be without us creatives..

    So, if people do not start to learn to respect Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights, people will stop creating, they will not be able to survive financially in a modern world… so next time you think of downloading that Pirate Film or Music, or taking a photograph or content from a website etc, you are putting another nail in the coffin of someone that GAVE you item in the first place.

    How would you feel if you lost your paypacket because your employer did not make enough money to pay you because people stole all their stock, or services or copyrighted material.. it impacts you all.

    • Counterpoint: If you don’t let people share your work with friends and colleagues, how do you expect them to ever find you.

      Yes, people should give proper credit while sharing, but let’s be honest. Sharing on Pinterest, Facebook, Etc. is FREE advertising for you (assuming accreditation is present.) If these sites don’t exist, many creatives don’t have nearly the opportunity to gain notoriety and through such, work and income. That is unless they want to start paying to advertise their services the traditional way.

      If we are really being honest with ourselves, copyright law is long and confusing, creative commons does it’s best to simplify the terms, but to the layman, it’s still a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. A case can be made that the majority of people understand downloading a pirated song/movie is illegal, but sharing an image online that they like is more of a gray area.

      Good luck educating people on something they don’t care about or view as a problem.

      What you can do as an artist who doesn’t like it, is place a watermark and/or tag your work with your credentials so when they do share it without linking back, your name and accreditation are attached and you get your due credit for making the world more beautiful.

    • 1) Why should artist make a living if their product has no value in the reality of the world? The world will pay for that which holds perceived value, and that just doesn’t go for anything that can be copied free of cost.

      2) Copying is stealing like diaper change is pedophilia. As in not at all.

  15. I guess I see something like Tumblr as being far worse than Pinterest. With Pinterest, I’ve never uploaded anything. I’ve “pinned” things I like that were alread up on the content creator’s site. Those pins are then directly linked back to the content creator. It would basically be the same as linking to a blog from within a blog.

    However, Tumblr is full of images that people are uploading as if they were their image to upload with liittle to no linking or even attribution.

    • I think the case with both Pinterest and Tumblr (and probably others like them) it is entirely possible, and easy, to link back directly to creator or add in a credit, even on an image that is uploaded. But it is also just as easy to remove all image info. What I think these services should do is make it mandatory to give credit, or a prompt asking about copyright or origin. At least this might start informing users that this is an important thing. I think the problem is that most users just don’t see this as a problem.

  16. Demon has said it in the above post, but I’ll try another thought for you.
    If you were drinking or eating in a Cafe or Bar, and someone came over a took a sip of your drink, or swallowed that last piece of your favourite food you were saving, would you be happy? I doubt it.
    You pay for you food and drink with your time and effort, which gives you money.
    Some of us have spent years creating art in whatever form it exists. That took time, and probably more time to pay for the equipment to create it.
    So now it’s free for everyone else for no time or effort! How does that work?

    • It’s a cute but wrong metaphor that keeps popping up from artists who are obviously not the logical types.

      If you were sitting on a hill and you had a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, but the bread kept on being whole no matter how many slices you cut and the wine bottle never emptied no matter how many glasses you poured – would you share? Would you charge money for it?

      And would you find it odd that after a while when the people who came to share got wind that you had an endless supply – didn’t find it fair that they should pay very much if anything at all?

      Now this is the real analogy. Also once you answered for yourself, please tell me what would Jesus do?

  17. Unlike music and Napster, brands that pay for photo campaigns often WANT the campaign to go viral. They usually have to pay for media exposure, so if the exposure’s free, all the better. And if that cool photo of Prada handbag goes really viral, well, you can’t even buy that type of exposure. Even music companies were forced to secretly send tracks out virally, and then claim it was just unauthorized rogue marketing shops who did it.

    Sure, most photos aren’t brand campaigns, and most that are might not include “viral usage” rights, but it’s going to take corporate influence and money to put a stop to unauthorized pinning, copying, and general distribution. But when the people with money actually don’t want it to stop, then it’s going to be tough.

  18. I’m an editorial / architectural photographer, with gallery representation for fine-art work. I’m not sure which photographers are having a problem with Pinterest… what is actually being stolen from them? How are they losing money (what I think it comes down to)?

    Editorial photographers will continue to get hired – their clients are magazines. Photojournalist aren’t losing money because people don’t go to Pinterest for news. Wedding, architecture, product photographers, etc. all have specific clients which Pinterest doesn’t come between or hinder. The only ones that I can imagine having a problem are stock photographers, but their images are usually watermarked to oblivion.

    Who is losing money? All I see is a potential benefit (not one I’d base my marketing plan on).

    I wrote about this on Knock Twice in detail in my post “Pinterested in Copyright?” and addressed the potential concerns people might have, aside from the technicalities of copyright. Check it out here:

    Eugen S.

    • It may not be money you could make but it’s money a magazine would make charging people to look at pictures of architecture. If pinterest can get the images for free, get people to organize them for free, then they can charge the advertisers less to reach the same audience. Why take out ads in magazines?

      • Really? Because pinterest is the same as an architecture magazine? And are we crying for publishing houses now, I thought this was about photographers…

        • Pinterest is a publisher. Publishing a lot of content that they do not have the right to publish, and they will, or are, profiting from it. There are communities, such as MetaFilter, that do the same thing, “hey look at this”, but they are links back to the content.

  19. i’m not anti-copyright, but have a little different point of view. copyright seems to favor the corporations and other big players in an economy, or a segment of an economy, like photography. these corporations become, and have been accused of being, cartels that use copyright to actually inhibit innovation and creativity (think napster). napster, basically, was the modern version of friends sharing mixed tapes. difference being analog tapes couldn’t be tracked, nor could the loss of sales. who wanted napter shutdown? major music labels and superstar bands.

    effectively, copyright means little to nothing for the ‘mom and pop’ photographers that are the vast majority of us. even if a photog could afford to launch a copyright lawsuit, the value of the image(s) (again for most photographers) would be miniscule, and so such a lawsuit would be futile. without money, we have no way to protect ourselves.

    pinterest, facebook, etc are portals which actively undermine our copyright (not to mention privacy), essentially stealing ownership from us by being able to do with images as they please and use for commercial profit, and we agree in exchange for a few extra hits on our websites, which in reality, most likely will not lead to paid work or resell of images. all of this sharing doesn’t seem to lead to much or any actual income, but i guess it’s fun and good for the ego. if you have direct examples of income, please tell. my concern is not so much about the copyright as not gaining financially from my own work when a third-party who offers a ‘service,’ by accumulative effect, does gain financially from my work.

  20. It isn’t correct to equate Pinterest with Napster. Napster affected the bottom line of labels, retailers, musicians because it was a direct substitute for purchasing music for enjoyment – a common practice among the general public.

    While Pinterest’s users may fall afoul of copyright law technically at the moment, Pins are not doing the same substitution act. If anything, they increase the market demand.

    I’m no lawyer, so perhaps it’s already in the works, but I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime in the near future copyright law is interpreted or amended in a way that clarifies reasonable usage like pinning as fair use. It’s no different than if I tear a page out of a magazine and stick it in a folder because I like it.

    • “It’s no different than if I tear a page out of a magazine and stick it in a folder because I like it.”

      It is different.

      Keeping an image that you took out of a magazine (that you own) is legal. You paid for that magazine and own the physical reproduction of the image. It IS yours, but comes with limited rights, you cannot reproduce it, you cannot publish it. You could physically sell the page to someone, but not the right to copy it.

  21. I hate to break it to all the photographers who are freaking out about Pinterest, but the fact is, it’s been going on since way before Pinterest came on the scene, in a much more insidious and illegal way – Pinterest is after all just a digital equivalent of a physical thing – a Pinboard (a.k.a. mood board or “swipes” in advertising parlance).

    Ad agencies regularly call in books to have some intern scan them, scan magazines, or scour the web for images, and keep them on their server for the explicit purpose of use as “swipes” which end up in presentations to clients.

    In ideal circumstances, this benefits the photographer immensely because often the one who shot the swipe becomes the one to shoot the campaign – but not always, and there’s where the problem is: often times an agency will present work, only to have a client demand a “big name” photographer – or, more often, a junior creative will present work, only to have their ECD say “that’s great. Let’s see if ______ [big name with whom they have a relationship] can do it!”.

    The agencies are complicit in this, because it A) justifies their high production fees, B) is a feather in their cap to work with big names rather than unestablished talent, and C) is generally something which is only known within the agency staff.

    In many ways, Pinterest could benefit photographers’ copyright cases (ie: if images pinned to a creative director’s board end up as derivative works within a campaign) because it’s much more public than the swipe archives stored on the office server.

    Besides, as has been noted above, it generally doesn’t diminish the photographer’s ability to license their work, but in fact increases the visibility of it, especially if the images contain a watermark or other credit as part of the image itself.

    It’s food for thought…

  22. Pintrest could be a great resource for advertising and marketing for photographers, however it seems with the TOS rights grabbing is a huge problem. I could careless if someone pinned a photograph that I have exposed on the web, however when someone says they can use it for free, big problem. stripping metadata from the files, that is a problem too.

    Fix the TOS verbiage, uploads and pinning requires meta data identifying the owner and a link should be activated directing any view to the owners website/block, or what have ya so the owner gets some more business. I am sure there is some code writing person out there that could make it happen fairly easily.

    The bottom line is there is some d*@k that wants to monetize what he doesn’t own. If there is enough noise made on the web the problem will be resolve one way or another. I wonder if the TOS could be considered discriminatory?

    • I like Ed’s point. Share and share away. Just don’t claim any licensing rights if you are not the copyright owner. It’s the rights grab and loss of attribution that seem to be the biggest problems. I’ve had several images appropriated and monetized by others—it’s not a good feeling. And trying to get any sort of justice/compensation/removal from the infringers website—-that process is for the birds…

      • Aaron I am not sure if what I said indicates share away, I don’t view the use of photograph files on the web like those who endorse or have views similar to Trey Ratcliff.

        I am of the mindset that if someone wants to sue one of my images contact me and ask, depending on the image and what it is going to be used for depends on the rights I provide. I don’t like it when I find an image I’ve placed on the web shows up somewhere unintended.

        I think an issue is the public view photographers as tight asses when it comes photography, true or not ( my personal opinion) if asked photographers can be reasonable when it comes to getting paid. I think those who want the services of a photographer don’t understand the costs involved. For many the experience required to achieve what they desire in a photograph is such an intangible that they can’t quantify it in terms of dollars.

        I like the methods employed by those on Google Plus where if some shares your work you know it. I am sure through some effort they guys writing the code for Pintrest could employ some kind system to track….JMHO

  23. Respect ROB!!! Thanks for backing pro photographers! It’s much appreciated!

  24. I agree with “dude.” Even photographers like Nick Onken have a page where they “pin” inspirational photos, and I think its a very healthy and inspirational tool, check it out:

    I also must admit, I love the classy issue:

    Does no one else in our profession do this in one form or another? I think it helps us all grow. I leafed through endless art books, saving inspirational images, when I was in school, which helped me grow tremendously as a DP. I’m not saying they shouldn’t credit, or that they can sell your image, but pinning, in my opinion, is not threatening. Looking and remembering those things that inspire you….well, isn’t inspiring others a good thing? Just my opinion, of course, I know how heated this one gets for some reason:-)

  25. Speaking with my photo editor hat on , I wish that more people would credit the source, it would make my job a lot easier. Sometimes I’ll see a great shot that someone has posted on Facebook or whatever and then have a long trawl through all the agencies to find it…usually with no luck..and no luck searching through google etc to track down the owner.
    Sharing is great, the key is attribution.

    • That’s one thing that really frustrates me about finding my photos on other sites (blogs, Pinterest, Tumblr, whatever). Once one person posts a photo without attribution, everyone that sees that pic has no way of knowing who shot it, so when they swipe it they couldn’t credit it even if they want to. I’ve had photos posted on other sites, and then another site credit the photo to the (unauthorized) site where they got it–and no credit to me.

      I get that it’s a new world we live in, and it’s incredibly easy to repost photos, but I’m a bit surprised that it doesn’t even occur to most people that they should at a minimum add a credit, not to mention a link, not to mention asking permission.

  26. Isn’t this sharing just fair use? Assuming they don’t go make an add out of your pics..

    • But I thePinterest TOS asks for more than just fair use rights, from the horse’s mouth:
      “By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.”

      I don’t think fair use includes giving someone royalty-free license to sell content to other parties.

      Regarding fair use and copyright in general, here’s a recent webinar (ugh I hate that term) on those topics from a law firm:

    • “Isn’t this sharing just fair use? ”

      “We’re just sharing” not win a “fair use” defense.

      At least pretend (as I believe Pininterest is starting to force on users by requiring a comment) that you are posting for purposes of commentary. That at least gets you into fair use territory.T he problem, among others, is they are taking the entire original photo as I understand it.

    • Being that they are a startup, they are getting the audience before bringing on the ads, much like Youtube and Facebook did. This is why their TOS is written the way it is. Technically, the image sharing is fair use up until the point they become a commercial site. It is still damaging to those photographers who would like to use it as a tool to gain more exposure due to the fact that most don’t credit and there is no mandatory link-back nor metadata.

      I am a photo editor on a large news media site, and while I don’t use Pinterest, I use Tumblr as something of a “mood board”. I do find it to be a great tool, however I do know that I risk infringing on copyright laws. I often run across work that intrigues me, but due to the lack of credit or metadata, can’t trace back the original owner. For images that are posted via a hot link, a mandatory link-back would be helpful, but there are plenty of folks who save images to their computers, and then upload themselves. At this point, I just shrug.

      • “Technically, the image sharing is fair use up until the point they become a commercial site.”

        That is incorrect. The fact that the site is commercial or not is not determinative of “fair use.” It will be weighed.

        • Okay, okay. If you’re going to get nit-picky: I was speaking in this specific naive and innocent circumstance, but if you want to take it into a court of law, I doubt a hockey mom who is “pinning” her fave kitchen decor nor some art director who is using this service to bookmark photo inspiration is going to get charged with copyright infringement as long as they aren’t making money off of it. Once Pinterest itself begins selling commercial space, things may get hairier. Generally, when someone accuses someone of copyright infringement, the main issue that is addressed is whether the owner of the copyright is losing possible money–and how much (i.e. If someone scanned and posted never-before-seen photos of Whitney Houston from her recently published biography. This could alter sales of the book.)

          • “Generally, when someone accuses someone of copyright infringement, the main issue that is addressed is whether the owner of the copyright is losing possible money–and how much”

            You’re assuming being past the liability phase. That is, that infringement has been proven. Then, yes, the issue is damages. But your lost profit idea is off the mark.

            If the photo has not been registered prior to infringement it is highly unlikely that one will be sued. So if you are being sued you we can assume the photo has been registered prior to infringement. In which case, the copyright owner will likely seek “statutory damages” not actual damages which are hard to prove and may be minimal. The Jury will be asked to consider a host of factors — including deterrence.

            As a practical matter, you probably aren’t going to be at the Jury phase. Once you get hit with a summons and complaint in a case where photographers has registered the images, you are under a lot of pressure to settle. Because in addition to statutory damages you will potentially be liable to pay their attorney fees.

            So your idea that where you end up in the event some copyright owner does target you is a Jury analyzing lost profit is highly unlikely.

            Most likely copyright owner will deal with Pinterest and seek a take-down and be on their way. But eventually some copyright owner will tire of the take-down game. Pinterest may be harder to go after because they have the DMCA “safe-harbor” to use as a defense. So that leaves the Pinner who has no such defense. The Pinner could try for fair use. Could try to argue innocent infringement and convince copyright owner there will be no money at the end of the rainbow. But if the copyright owner really wants to pursue it then it can get mighty expensive.

            Odds are low (most photos not registered, chances any one person is caught, cost of pursuing the claim etc…) but tell it to the few people socked by the RIAA.

  27. […] of the Pinterest vs. Photographer’s Rights Debate (is that what it is?), there’s a selection of thoughts to ponder at […]

  28. here is a rule that could be used in regards to ‘pinning/reblogging/etc’…
    perhaps at the very least regardless of where it is posted it could ALWAYS be mandatory to provide photo credit? following this rule would mean if you don’t know who the creator is then you cannot use it. i personally don’t mind if someone puts a photo of mine in their blog but i get very annoyed if it not credited to me. also, just a side question, how does tumblr make money? they have no ads so i’m just wondering…

    • Yes, that would be great, but how would you enforce that? I often find my work posted on other sites without attribution, and I’m kind of surprised how rare it is to see a credit (not that I would expect it to be common, but it seems like it virtually never occurs to people to add credit).

      I think many photographers wouldn’t always mind if their photos were used on non-commercial sites without payment, as long as the images were properly credited and linked back to the photog’s site. But I can’t think of any way to make that happen. You can watermark, but there’s situations where we’d rather not distract from the image, like on our portfolio sites.

    • “it could ALWAYS be mandatory to provide photo credit?”

      Great. But it’s not a defense, OBVIOUSLY, to copyright infringement.

      Pinterest is protecting itself with its TOS not the user. It can’t protect the user. The user can protect herself by pinning her own work or getting permission to pin other work. Absent that, pinner is open to potential copyright infringement liability.

      Here is the good news for infringers. The vast majority of people making photos do not register their work. For reasons I won’t go into here that makes it very impractical to actually sue someone. Most often they would be satisfied with simply having the work taken down.

      Me ? Oh, I register all my work. So I might sue you. :-)

  29. I love the IDEA of Pinterest. As other posters have noted though, I don’t understand or agree with their TOS. The TOS are in conflict with the intent and purpose of Pinterest itself.
    If only the legal rights holders pinned their own works, Pinterest would die a quick death. To make the site interesting they have to allow non-rights holders to share yet they cannot legally grant rights to my image. Quite a conundrum!

  30. Thanks for posting Rob.

    I took quite a few images down last week after writing you about Pinterest last week.

    I just did a search for Getty and I’d be interested to see what they have to say.

  31. “I don’t understand or agree with their TOS”

    I understand it and I understand why it has to read like that. They need to do what they must to comply with the “safe-harbor” provisions of the Copyright Law. If they do they may (they will argue do) have protection if their users upload infringing material. They are protected. Not the user. They can not receive this protection if they knowingly allow infringing material to be uploaded. So they make you represent that you are either the owner or have permission to use the photos that you Pin. And if you don’t and they are sued (rather than you) that you will indemnify them.

    Do they know people are uploading work w/o permission. Of course they do. But they will, they hope, grow first and deal with legalities later. Kind of like youTube did early stage (though the business models are different in my view). Eventually youTube put in place enough measure to satisfy a Judge that the safe-harbor applies to youTube. Millions in legal fees later I might add.

  32. I completely agree that it sucks when an artist’s work is used without permission, especially when the work is used for commercial purposes without the creator having a say or being paid for the work. I have had my photos used several times without my permission or knowledge.

    However the internet is a wonderful place that allows information to be freely shared. Photography is just part of that information flow, the same way blogs, essays, articles, wikipedia, etc… are part of that free information that most everyone now has access to. The internet provides access to information that many would otherwise never have access to. As a whole, free access to information creates a more informed, enlightened and critical thinking public.

    The last quote in this article seems to suggest that it was intellectual property rights that increased the living standards of the western word. The quote ignores that living standards may have improved for some people but at the cost of lowering the living standards for many. I would suggest that it was science and inovation that lead us to higher living standards. Good science is about the sharing of ideas which are vital to building collaborations and stimulating cross-fertilization of ideas and methods.

    Social media with regards to intellectual property rights should be discussed not muzzled by lawyers and corporations.

  33. This Pinterest debate causes me to think of the sentiment “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”. Ultimately, the user is the tool or worker bee in this equation. And those having their copyrights unwillingly infringed are the fuel. Yes, there are occasions when people or companies willingly encourage ample sharing/viral spreading of their works. But it’s naive to assume that’s true in every case.

    Regardless of various philosophic positions on the topic, it’s not looking good for Pinterest’s so-called claims of fair use when their TOS state what they do and the fact that they make copies of everything.

    It’ll be interesting when it’s revealed how they plan to monetize.

    • Spot on – how they are planning on making money on this is the story here. I honestly think that they will change their TOS especially when seeing the uproar and dismay cropping up all over the web. Visual, creative individuals are their users and it makes sense that they would listen up to the audience.

  34. Pinterest has a business model that is fairly interesting and makes the “pinning” of the images far different than a tumblr blog or someone grabbing an image for a blog post.

    In the case of the bloggers, Tumblr’s, and the occasional mention on a website, the image is used to show and or review. Using it in any pure commercial way is still going to risk a lot of problems. And, well, I don’t think a couple of AdSense links is going to be considered THAT commercial. Maybe, but I wouldn’t go there personally.

    Buddy Photog has a post where he says he loves Patrick’s new Vogue shoot with an image glommed from Vogue may actually be Copyright Infringement, but probably not gonna get anyone all excited since Buddy is 14.

    A link to Patrick’s Vogue image from a boutique that sells the same rags is a far different use, one we all agree is not gonna fly.

    Pinterest (as it was explained to me) has a very sophisticated model that tracks any and ALL affiliate programs. If there is a product and it has an affiliate program, Pinterest is an affiliate.

    So Mary Shutter puts up a lot of pictures of Patrick’s Vogue images in her “Favorite Shoes” page, and someone clicks on a shot that Mary put up from “Sexy Heels for Moms” and buys a pair of shoes, Pinterest gets some affliate cash from that sale. Not from Mary, and not from the mom who wants to look hottt, but from the seller of the shoes.

    Does this sound complicated as far as the use of Patrick’s images? Sure as hell does to me. Are they used to induce, or garner more eyeballs on the “Hottt Mommy” shoe site? Even though Mary doesn’t receive any money, is it more than simple fair use or ‘sharing’?

    I don’t know why Ben Silberman killed his Pinterest boards, but without any explanation, the swirling waters just get more gloomy.

    I went from uninterested in Pinterest to being quite intrigued to being bored to deleting my boards in about 30 days. I only posted my own images (the thought of posting someone else’s photographs kinda seems icky to me).

  35. I think this is a prime example of how Pinterest can go awry of the rights of copyright holders: “NY Post Scolded by Photographer”

  36. I’m wondering how they are planning to monetize the site. It seems like they would have a revenue stream off the content, based on their TOS. Perhaps they are taking one out of the Kim Dotcom playbook and instead try having premium subscriptions.

    The idea doesn’t seem bad until I see the TOS. If someone else is making money off my images without asking my permission, I don’t think that is right, nor fair.

    My other thought is that Pinterest, and other sites that strip out meta-data, are creating huge volumes of “orphan works”. That’s allot of free content for deep pocket companies to make use of as image libraries.

  37. I think the biggest problem with all this “sharing” is that often image makers get no attribution whatsoever. That is the value we need to promote. Every image. Every time. No matter. What. And every photographer needs to actively place images with loads of metadata and clear copyright. On the photo.

    IF Pinterest could change it’s interface to encourage the value of using attribution then it would be an improvement.

    I started a board on historic women photographers for just that reason. I noticed that images were appearing on boards with no attribution.

  38. I think sharing images is a good way for a photographer to promote himself. But we just need to fine-tune the rules, so the web can go from the lawlessness of the wild west to the age of prosperity.

    These three problems need to be fixed on all Social Media sites:

    1. No stripping of metadata (what sense does this make anyway?)

    2. Even if re-pinned or (in case of Tumblr) reposted, the link to the author/photographer needs to stay intact (not pointing to a blog that used the image. )

    3. Uploading cannot transfer ownership. (If I owned a parking lot and put a small sign somewhere “You park here, and your car is mine” it wouldn’t be legal, either).

  39. While I really like the principle of Pinterest (I regularly email links to websites to my friends), but I’m not really sold on how it’s managing to accomplish this.

    Interesting how other websites that share copyrighted material without the creator’s consent usually end up with dawn raids and arrests. Perhaps it needs someone in Hollywood to be upset . . .

  40. To anyone arguing that having your images pinned and repinned hundreds of times on Pinterest is great promotion – I have received only 3 visitors from Pinterest out of thousands of copyright infringements on my work.

    Will they be sued? Yes, at least by me, and soon.

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