Pinterest - sharing or stealing? copyright talk pt. 2

Curiouser and curiouser! 

I often joke that I am in my own little world, but a few google searches today make me realize that I really am.  Type any spin on "pinterest copyright", "pinterest stealing" or even just Pinterest into your favorite search engine and you'll see what I'm talking about. Or more precisely what everybody is talking about.

Sunday I shared my thoughts on crediting the creator of any image that you are pinning, linking to their site or blog whenever possible. I also suggested using GoogleImage to find the person behind a piece if its "pin" links to something other than the original source.

I was curious to see what others thought about this new social sharing site and several folks have responded here, via email and in other venues. (Thank you for contributing your opinions on what I  originally thought was a simple topic.)

One of the emails was from Andrea Jankelow of Newsy.com - she shared this video The Question of Pinterest's Legality. Sometimes my margin cuts the edge off embedded videos, so click here if you'd rather watch it at Newsy (opens in new window).

So, what is all the fuss about? Where to begin...

What is Pinterest? (Waitwas that you sharing my cave?) 

Pinterest describes itself as "a virtual Pinboard" which "lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web..... Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interest."

Why Do I Care?

Not wanting to join yet another time-sucking social site, I stayed away for months. While stuck in bed with nasty cold I scrolled through my gazillion bookmarked sites and realized that I could use Pinterest to help declutter my computers.... 

.... Then I started browsing. I do love eye-candy & DIY & recipes & ... this seemed like perhaps the perfect organizing tool plus it was fun to play with! Once I'd decided who (& what) I wanted to "follow", glancing at their pins was like flipping though a constantly changing magazine designed especially for me. 

A few days into the honeymoon I noticed that far too many pieces did not link back to their original sources. Many took me to places where people had posted uncredited collages of other peoples work (mostly on Tumblr).  I use Google Image regularly to search for my artwork, so I decided to started chasing down original sources and editing my "repins" to give credit where it was due. 

I continued to share tutorials, odds and ends (including antique postcards & photos from my collection for free-use by anyone.) I also started pinning artwork I admire (with credit and links to the artists), as well as interviews from this blog. I figured with Pinterest the 5th largest referral site perhaps some of my favorite creative people could get some exposure & maybe new fans or sales.

Why Do 'They' Care?

Reading comments today - including some on Pinterest's own blog  - it looks like spreading the word about cool creators & their awesome stuff  is not helping everyone. In fact, some people do not want their art pinned at all, properly credited or not.

Some of these people are angry or worried about pinners not properly acknowledging their work. 

While Pinterest's #2 etiquette tip is to "Credit Your Sources", I keep reading online that some people (1)  think that once art is on the web it is in the Public Domain, (2) that the site they got the image from is  automatically the original source, or (3) they just don't care.   

Others are concerned about handing over their own copyrights after reading Pinterest's Terms of Use which states:

"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."  

Still others are nervous that should anyone pursue copyright infringement, it is the pinner and not Pinterest that will be held responsible. 

When joining Pinterest you agree that you will not "Post, upload, publish, submit, provide access to or transmit any Content that: (i) infringes, misappropriates or violates a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy..."  


Plus "You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Cold Brew Labs, its officers, directors, employees and agents, harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Site, Application, Services or Site Content, (ii) your Member Content, or (iii) your violation of these Terms."

Find more about what these disclaimers mean to you, the pinner, in this article by Rebecca Greenfield in The Atlantic Wire: Pinterests Copyright Strategy Puts The Burden On The Userwhere I spotted the above terms (that I had skimmed over when lazily perusing the TOU the first time).

And others are worried that if Pinterest folds they will lose all of their saved info on their pinboards & will have to search all over again for those favorite recipes, tutorials, etc.

The Upside

Want to keep people from pinning what you've posted online? 

Pinterest has added a code which you can find here. Then "... you can add to the head of any page on your site... When a user tries to pin from your site, they will see this message:"This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting.""
(I have read around the web that a pinner can still take a screen shot & then pin that.) 

You can report "Objectionable Content", including copyright infringement 

Click on the "Report pin" button that appears to the right of the image your mouse is hovering over. For details, here is the link to Pintests How To Report A Copyright page

Want to find out who's linked their pins to your blog or website?

In the space where you put a URL type-  http://pinterest.com/source/artsnark.blogspot.com/ - except put your site where I have "artsnark.blogspot.com"

How to find out if your art is on Pinterest? Excellent question! 

Sometimes when I put something into Google Image, it tells me about a pin. But sometimes it doesn't - even though I know a specific piece has been pinned and repinned. If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know.

After all this, why use Pinterest?

Get organized

Get inspired 

Share with others 

Promote people, places and pieces you love on what looks to be a very fast growing referral site.

Some minor self-promotion is tolerated ( I have heard) however Pin Etiquette #3 states 

"Avoid Self Promotion -Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion."

I enjoyed this article How 5 Artist Use Pintersest by Alicia Eller for ReadWriteWeb.com

Why Do You Care? Please, share your thoughts. Lets get a dialog going!  

A few more interesting articles and posts about this topic

How Your Business Could Get Sued For Using Pinterest by Galen Moore for  Boston Business Journal (found on Techflash.com)

Pinterest - Three Reasons For Not Using It at Artists-Bill-Of-Rights.org

When Stealing Property is Okay by Alan Spencer from AlanSpencerPhotography.blogspot.com

Growing Up - Pinterest's blog post & the comments on it

Nailing Down The Appeal of Pinterest - caught this on NPR this morning (2/29)

By the way, I apologize for the screwy type-sizes & spacing. Blogspot is acting up on me again tonight & simply wont behave. Thanks for your patience

2/29 Following up:  While contacting each artist for permission would be ideal, I don't think it is realistic when you consider the way Pinterest is set up. Part of the appeal is that it is fast and easy to use.  I am still using Pinterest ( http://pinterest.com/artsnark ) but will be even more careful about linking to the original source.  Some of my earlier pins may be lacking proper sourcing & I will try to resolve this. Should anyone find their creation on my boards and want it removed (or the link/credit altered), just let me know and I will take care of it ASAP. 


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.


Drum roll please - we have a winner!

Today is the day random.org picked the winner of the Novica.com $50 e-gift certificate.


WooHoo! Congrats Karen! I will contact you with instructions for claiming this awesome prize.

Many thanks to all who took the time to leave a comment. It is your interest in these giveaways that keeps them coming. The next random drawing will be announce here in 1 week (March 1st). If you feel lucky be sure to pop back and take your chances.  Till then, I'll be sharing bits-o-art and random thoughts. 

Silver Cocktail Ring "Fascination"  by Adrian Miranda

An update on one of the Novica Artisans whose micro loan I contributed to:  Enough people pitched in and Peruvian jewelry designer/silversmith Adrian Miranda is now fully funded. He will use his $350 micro-loan to purchase necessary tools and supplies. In about 6 months he will repay the loan, freeing up my $25 contribution so I can then aid another craftsperson build their small business.  To see some of Adrian's work, click here.

Want to know more about Novica.com's global micro-loan program? Click here to visit my 2/7 post


Fluid - Illustration Friday into Musical Monday

wolf-girl - watercolor, ink & acrylics

"Which of us was Red Riding Hood and which of us the wolf?" -from Rebecca Stott's GhostWalk

My belated contribution to IllustrationFriday's 'Fluid' challenge. To see other takes on the prompt or show your own visit IllustrationFriday.com.  

By the way, many thanks to Jaymasee on Deviant art for sharing her stock photo White Out - it was great jumping off point.


Wow! Is already Musical Monday? Where did the weekend go? 

One of my fave MM hostesses, New Xmas Dolly has declared a freebie week... so here is what I was listening to while pulling this doodle together last night. Quick note, I couldn't embed these tunes - Just click the links &  play in the new window that opens.

I found these musicians over at hitRECord.org.  Been hanging out there whenever I get a few minutes lately, mostly listening to mix of interesting music. HitRECord.org is "an open collaborative production company" (founded by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) where anyone can share their ideas & creations. Find an idea, make something, other folks then get inspired to riff off of that creation ... and the ball just keeps rolling. Everybody feeds off each other's muses and all sorts of fascinating stuff happens.

Well, I have got to run. If you're looking for a mix of random tunes today, be sure to check out the blog hop over at Xmas Dolly. Feeling harmonious & generous? Then step up and share your own earful today!


A last note - Thursday is the random drawing for the $50 gift certificate to Novica.com. Leaving a comment here before 2/23 gets your name in the hat. It is also possible to get a 2nd entry. Check out this post for details.


you are what you eat...

Haven't found the original source-link for these, 
but they gave me a giggle tonight so sharing anyway. 


Sharing the love & a chuckle or 2

The neo-luddite in me can't seem to crop the embedded video today. Just click the link above to view with correct sizing on original site.

Wishing you  a loooovely Valentine's Day!


Music Monday - it's a luuuuv thang


Xmas Dolly is hosting a new Musical Monday & with V-day right around the corner we're sharing the love today. I'm going for more of a bwong-chicka-bwong-bwong vibe with my  Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell selection tonight:

Be sure to pop over to Dolly's and share your luvly links & be sure to have a listen to what everyone else is grooving to this week.

Doh - I totally forgot to share mixed media artist Jodi Ohl's Valentines Day giveaway last week. You can still sneak an entry in... if it is not yet the 14th. Jodi is giving away a free online art workshop as well as a signed  Jan/Feb issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Click here for details & to enter.

And if you comment on my Artsnark blog before the 23rd, you are automatically entered in my random drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Novica.com. Click here for details.


My first micro-loan

silver band 'Aesthetic Peru' by Adrian Miranda

Yesterday I posted a great giveaway from Novica.com. On 2/23 one lucky reader of this blog will be randomly selected to receive a $50 gift certificate to this terrific online shop. (If you haven't entered the random drawing yet, after this post click back a day for details). 

Novica is a very interesting company. One of their goals is "to completely re-invent the way that artisans sell their handcrafted treasures." To do this they connect the customer to the artisan without a bunch of middlemen. They have offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America & have partnered with the IFC Worldbank, National Geographic and others to fulfill this mission. 

this graphic & all images in this post are courtesy of Novica

Another way that this company supports crafts-people is through 0% micro-loans. The artisans use these loans to purchase supplies, tools or other services needed to expand their small businesses. 

Where does the funding for these loans come from? Regular folks like you and me. I went to microfinance.Novica.com, found out more about the process and looked through a list of creative people in need of small loans. They explain what they will use the funds for, plus share a bit about themselves and their craft on the Loan List page.  To the right of each name, you will see the size of their request, as well as how much still needs to be collected. There is also a button to click when you find someone that you want to help out. 

Adrian Miranda

I ended up contributing to 2 micro-loans. Adrian Miranda is a jewelry designer /silversmith  located in Peru. He has new designs in mind that he wants to play with and  is needs new tools and materials. Click on his name to read about this artist. If you want to see his pieces currently available, look here.

onyx waterfall necklace 'Night Rain' by Adrian Miranda

My second small loan was to leather-jewelry designer Nueng Pakdee from Thailand. (You can see his pieces here). I was drawn to his bio as much as his bracelets. I also noticed that he was very close to reaching his funding goal of $350. Hours later, I noticed that a few more people got on board today  and now this fellow's loan is fully funded! 

Nueng Pakdee

So here is what happens next: 

(1) This artisan will pick up his $350 loan from the Novica office in his region. He will use it to try and expand his business. In Mr. Pakdee's loan request, he stated his need to hire an assistant as well as to purchase leather in larger quantities (to get better pricing). 

(2) Over the next 6 months he will pay back the full amount of this no-interest loan. Each time he makes a payment, the lenders' accounts will be credited. At any time, I can check the loan activity in the Artisan Loans section of MyNovica. The repayments to my part of the loan will appear in the Credit Balance column on that page.  The other lenders & I will receive an email update once he has repaid the loan.

(3) I can access my Available Loan Credit at anytime. I can withdraw it, make another loan with it, or  purchase a handcrafted item from Novica. If I buy a piece from the site using available loan credit, Novica chips in a 15% bonus balance towards my item purchase. Additional options include gifting a loan or helping to fund a new region that this company is moving into. For details click here. 

Now, there is no guarantee that a borrower will not default on a loan. If that happens, I wont get my money back... But I have a great deal of faith in people.  I think most people just want to improve their lot in life while fulfilling their creative dreams. (Also most will want to keep in good standing with Novica by repaying their loan in a timely fashion. ) 

leather wristband bracelets 'Reggae Sway' (pair)

I also think it helps that these are 0% interest loans. Having no interest makes repaying the loan seem realistic. There has been negative press about micro-financing the last couple of years, mainly because of the obscenely-high interest rates charged by some other small credit lenders. I remember this 2010 article in the New York Times that had me questioning the viability of this type of lending system.   

Why charge no interest on a loan? On their FAQ page, the folks at Novica state: "If we're receiving 0% funds from customers and lenders, we feel we should charge 0% to our participating artisans. Our economic incentive is for each artisan to grow their business and be successful."

leather wristband bracelets 'Infinite Red' (pair)

Want to know more about micro-credit and how it improves the lives of people who otherwise would not qualify for a traditional bank loan? Visit this page which will lead you to the section titled Information on Micro-credit. You will find answers to several insightful questions on this interesting (& controversial) topic.

If you have the time, pop over and read about a few of these talented artisans. While some are on the Loan List page, others are showcased throughout the main site. Every product page also has information about the person who created each item. And if you find something that catches your eye, be sure to leave a comment on my blog before 2/23 to enter the random drawing for a $50 gift certificate.


Enter to win a $50 Gift Certificate from Novica.com

etched wine glasses 'Crystal Flower' by Javier & Efren from Novica.com

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris

I kept thinking about this famous line from 19th century designer William Morris while wandering through the lovely wares available at Novica.com. I get my fair share of offers from companies that want to sponsor a blog giveaway, but I don't agree to many since I like a good fit. When I was contacted by Novica about a possibly sponsoring a random drawing, their association with National Geographic was the first thing that caught my eye. Popping over to the site, I was impressed with the wonderful mix of eye-catching fashion and home decor pieces from around the globe. Equally intriguing is that each item includes information about  what part of the world it comes from and the artisans who made it.

wood mask 'Blossom Head' by Nyoman Naranata

Novica states that their mission is "create a bridge" between the craftsperson and the buyer: "We want to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow." - pretty cool, huh? 

They also act as a venue through which regular folks can make micro-loans to individual artisans worldwide. *More about the loan program at the end of this post* So, a company with interesting products that actually cares about and supports its artisans... I'm all over that. (By the way, you can click on any of the image captions for detailed descriptions. Photos are courtesy of Novica.com.)

rayon batik dress 'Java Twilight' by Galuh Kenaga

So now you're wondering - What about this giveaway? Novica has donated a $50 gift certificate to the latest Thursday Giveaway. On February 23rd one reader will be the lucky winner of this great prize! Want in the action? To enter, leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 2/23. It is that easy.  I will use random.org to pick the winner.

garnet wrap ring 'Red Comet' by Yuli

Want a second entry? Visit any of these links. Then come back & comment on this post with your favorite item:

If you win, you can use your $50 gift certificate towards any item on the Novica website. Please keep in mind that there will be a shipping charge. (If your item is under $50 You can always put part of your gift certificate towards the shipping costs).

wood walking stick 'Eagle Head' by Nyoman Karsa

In addition to providing the prize for this great giveaway, Novica generously offered me the same amount to play with. Let me tell you, I spent a long time looking around their site. There are so many fun items to choose from, it wasn't easy.  I ended up putting my gift certificate towards this unique book stand /storage box.

nickle plated brass book holder 'Lectures' by Khalid Ali

I really love this box! It is attractive as well as useful & will be perfect accent for my creative space...once I get it back from my 8 yr old who ran off with it  after seeing the 'secret' compartments under the lid.  (see, it is even perfect for hotwheels and comic books.)

Thanks for stopping by today. Now go check out this global marketplace and be sure to leave a comment here to enter the random drawing.

* As mentioned earlier, Novica also helps their artisans get much needed loans to help them expand their small businesses. After trying unsuccessfully to find traditional loans for these folks, Novica set up a system  where these creative people can take out a no-interest loan. The craftsperson then uses these funds to purchase necessary tools, materials or other services that will help their small business grow. To find out more about this micro-loan program, please click here. (As I read more about this program, I've decided that I am definitely going to participate. Later tonight, I will check out the loan requests and donate to one that sounds interesting. Pop back here tomorrow & I'll let you know which project I picked.)*


We have print winners!

Many thanks to those who entered my latest giveaways. With help from random.org, the top 2 winners are....

has won a 5" print of Diva

Pablo J Casal from EL CHOU
has won a 2.5" x 3.5" print of Peacock Masquesrade

Congratulations, guys! 
I will contact you soon with instructions for claiming your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to leave a comment. Your feedback is always appreciated!  

If you are ready to try your luck again, I have a product review & new random drawing to post in the next couple of days. I'm running a bit behind just now but will have it up tomorrow or Saturday. If you like handcrafted items with character, you don't want to miss this next giveaway.


He's Epic! Sharing the Luck

Little Dude's dad always marvels at how lucky the kid is. His latest win was a random drawing at the grocery store for a free 10" cookie. When the bakery called and asked what he wanted for decorations, the Dude requested frosting balloons & "I'm Epic!" in pink icing.

Claiming his prize & getting a picture taken with the store manager.

Time for snack!

...and now he's just "Ep"

After calling some friends to help make dent in this ginormous prize, the Dude asked me to post his big win to my blog "and make him famous." So, here we are!

Are you feeling lucky? You've got a few more hours to leave a comment here & enter Thursday's random drawing for some art prints. Just comment before 1 a.m. (EST) on 2/2 to enter. To see prints & details, click here.

And if you're into antique photos & other vintage papers, hop over to The Queen Be & enter her 2/6 random drawing.