There has been a lot of attention this past week on copyright issues and Pinterest. I’ve seen a wide range of opinions and posts on the subject. I think one of the most informative articles was from a fellow female techie, Greek Geek.
We’ve seen copyright issues explode since the dawn of the internet. While I agree that copyrighted material does need to be protected, I don’t want to see laws and enforcements such as SOPA to be passed either. It’s a fine line.
I believe that most of the pinning and not linking to the original source on Pinterest is innocent. It is easy to make mistakes when pinning. Just yesterday, Katie and I discovered the the pinlet I installed on my iPhone (follwing the directions in the Pinterest app) does not link to the original source. As far as I can tell, it has been happening since the last Pinterest app update. I have been carefully pinning from my iPhone for months, not knowing that the source wasn't being linked. I'm unsure if this is just a problem with me and my phone or something others are having as well (and maybe not even know it).
I feel that most of the copyright issues found on Pinterest can be fixed with education. I decided to share some how-to tips for pinning that I’ve discovered during my time as a pinner. I believe, if each of us does our own part to watch our own pins, we can contribute to the overall health and vitality of the Pinterest ecosystem.
Not all site owners want their images pinned. How do you know if sites are okay with images being pinned? Pinterst now has some code in their help section that site owners can add if they don't want to be pinned. If a pinner tries to pin on a site with the code, they will see a message about the site owner not wanting images to be pinned. Until people start installing the code though, the only way to know for sure is to ask. I’m going to use my own rule of thumb that if a site has a “pin it” button to make it easy to pin, they they are okay with things being pinned. As for The Daily Digi, we are okay with things being pinned, especially when pinned correctly!
There is a “proper” way to pin. Navigating to the exact page URL or source that includes the image and pinning from there, is the right way. Let me share an example:
Let’s pretend that this past Friday, I wanted to pin the main image on the homepage, here at The Daily Digi. On Friday, if you came to TheDailyDigi.com, Here’s what you saw:
Notice the URL in the address bar:
If I were to pin the main image from that Retail Therapy post, with the URL as it is now, (thedailydigi.com) then anytime anyone clicks my pinned image, it will direct them to thedailydigi.com and whatever is on the homepage at that time is what they will see. They will not know how to find the original post the image was pinned from.
The proper thing to do, would be to click on the title of that post:
When you click that post title, it will put a direct URL to that specific post in the address bar:
Now, if you pin the image from there, when people click on the image you pinned, they will be directed back to the original post.
Feel free to practice with the image from today’s post
Before you repin, check to be sure the pin links to the original source. As much as possible, pin and repin directly from the owner. Sometimes, people will grab an image from Pinterest, put it on their site and link back to the source. Just go to the original source and pin from their. Try to give credit where credit is due.
If an image has a copyright symbol and/or “All Rights Reserved” it probably shouldn’t be pinned. This is often seen on Flickr. I know that many people upload to our Flickr group to share their layouts with others. I know that there are designers that require team members to upload layouts to our Flickr group with their product. I also know that most of those people would delighted if I pin their layouts.
If in doubt, ask. If you are in doubt about site, person, or images being Pinterest friendly, ask.
If you would like something to add to your own blog or site to let people know that you are a Pinterest friendly site and you are okay with pinning, I made this image to share:
The numbers in this post and the alpha in the feature image can be found in Vicki Stegall’s store.