copyright vs Pinterest + Tumblr + Polyvore + ....

The Pinterest Project - Link With Love

Originally spotted on Chrysti Hydeck's boards. Her link went to the blog Link With Love & they posted more about the Pinterest Project here.

I don't often pet-peeve rant here...but I will get on my soapbox when it comes to crediting the creator whenever possible. I won't lie, I've excitedly pinned something that then links back to a vague tumblr-collage thread. I've also NOT pinned truly mind-blowing artwork when I can't find the original source. Is this the way to go? Probably not - I am still seeking a better alternative & open to suggestions

My favorite go-to origin seeker is GoogleImage. It can take a few more (okay, sometimes 20 more) minutes to find the source, but it is worth the time. Sometimes a piece has been shared without credit for so long that all I can find are blogs, tumblr accounts, etc regurgitating the lovely pieces with no origin in site. This happened recently with this image which I repinned from Lorraine Summers (Lorraine often posts lush evocative images to pinterest & facebook and is worth following if you like your eye candy with a side of ambiance).

I'd love to make a derivative painting but could not find who, where or when it was created. Any ideas?

How do you feel about sharing credit? Do you have a source that you use to fact check the images that inspire you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. 

On a similar note, I've been hanging out over at hitRECord.org lately. It is a collaborative copyright-free zone full of artistic types busy feeding off of each other's muses. Tho' a latecomer to the free-use ball, that won't stop me from sharing my thoughts later this week.


  1. I always share credit when I know the source although, I'm sure I've been guilty of sharing without the original source... I'll try and be more diligent from now on. :)

  2. The only items I've shared are fellow Etsy shop items (which links right back to the shop). If I've used a photo I've always gotten permission (for instance , my niece's dog is wearing one of my doggie coats. But before i put it up on FB I got her permission.) It is just ethical and common courtesy to get the artist's permission. The main reason i do not do pinterest

  3. It is... Amazing how often a topic comes up. Last month or so, this was the topic of the local fashion community I'm apart. Giving credit to the photographer, model, stylist and any of the designers being worn. Now, is a model is wearing base clothing, its not as important to post the 'who made this' for the clothes. However, it is vital to make sure everyone else is credited. Along with that goes the need to make sure you have a model release, and in my case a property release. Otherwise, the images can't be used for much of anything.

    Just last week, I wrote a paper about an Ad Campaign in Australia, where the advertising agency grabbed over 100 images/photos off Flickr, and used them in billboard ads. All of the images had 'creative commons' on them, allowing for use anyplace. And yet, plenty of people were shocked when they discovered their photos were used to raise money for Virgin mobile. Sadly, any images with no visible models [meaning, where you couldn't see their face] were open source.

    [Sorry for the tangent, wanted to get this out, but I'm also on pain meds.]

    I had a point, sorry for vering. Today's mind set is often, 'if its on the net, its free.' This is not only wrong, its in many cases illegal. And often one of those 'I can use something of yours, and you can't complain... BUT, you're not allowed to use mine.' times.

    Some things are free. Most all of the brushes for photoshop or the fonts I've down loaded, are commercial free and I can use them for anything I want, without giving credit. I read carefully the rules behind each pack/font I get, making sure I don't have to somehow track down the creator and let them see everything I make. Each time I download, I make sure that I understand it all, so that 5 years from now I'm not using something for a design on a tshirt, that I'm not allowed to make.

    POINT [again, sorry]. Copyright is beyond vital. I use Pinterest, have used Tumblr and Polyvore, but have no trouble making sure the original artist is respected and honored. If more people respected what wasn't there's, I think this world would be in a better place.

    ~wanders off in pain pill induced stupor~

  4. Yes agree...it's so scarey isn't it this whole intellectual property thing...like a run away train...I'm not a fan of pinterest, tumblr or polyvore but I know some of my stuff has been 'pinned'...think we all have to do our bit as well and put watermarks on anything published...

  5. Thanks for posting this Stacey. I shut down my boards but keep an account, for now. I love Pinterest but highly object to their encouragement for others to "go gather". Artist are a bit tuned into copyright protection but the majority of people snagging photos and material are not. What has been the most shocking to me is the lack of concern on etsy, in the forums......it is sure separating the irresponsible greed from the true artists over there, IMO. There have been several www. posts about Pinterest etiquette, including research to credit the artist. If that's the best we can hope for I applaud, clap clap clap. But, we should also obtain the artists' permission. I think when there is a "share" button I can feel a bit more comfortable, but when there are copyright notices all over a blog or site, I hope we are all respecting that.

  6. Agree, but I don't have a solution. No matter how much I love it, I don't repin anything that doesn't have the original source. My small contribution. It is shocking to me how many people think internet stealing is perfectly acceptable.

    I'm gratified that not long ago another Etsy seller actually contacted me, paid me and is giving me credit to use one of my images for a business. Wish everyone was so considerate.

  7. I'm on pinterest and virtually all the items that I pin are from etsy, so link straight back to the artists shop. The others are direct from source and a few from trusted blogs who give full credit and links to the artist. From my point of view pinterest has been great for finding out about other artists by following the links back to source and seeing more of their work. I believe a lot of pinners do the same. The problem is with big companies who scan the web looking for trends that they can adapt to their needs without giving credit or aknowledgement.

  8. I'm on Pinterest, but use it primarily to showcase my Etsy shop and also pin other Etsy shops and items, especially those of my teammates...so for me I know that the bulk of what I pin links right back to the shop so there is no question about who the original owner of the item is....I guess it's a matter of being responsible, but not everyone is....many artists are inspired by other artists, this has always been true, but there is a fine line between being inspired by something and using it without permission so this dialogue will continue I'm sure. I mean, I look at old chinoiserie pottery and do a version of some flower or leaf on a card---have I stolen that? I like to think it was the inspiration, especially when the style is very different..what do you think?

  9. Hi Stacey, Just checking in with you!

  10. Have you tried TinEye to find the image source? I suggested it to a friend who saw a photo on Facebook she wanted to use and she was able to locate the photographer with it.

  11. Brian, thanks for the suggestion. I have tried them but (at least for me) Tiny Eye often can't find the image yet GoogleImage can.

    The problem with GoogleImage now is that due to Pinterest you may have to scroll through pages of Pinterest (& Tumblr) lin before finding the original source or someone who has assigned proper credited

  12. Yeah, I'm adding attributions to my images now. I never wanted to do that but I see it as a must at this point.

    Sorry for my ghostly image. I'm trying to get Gravatar to work with my site blog but no luck yet. We'll see if my Blogger account will work.