Have you discovered the wildly popular online pin board service yet? When I first heard about it some months back it seemed like such a great idea—a place to "pin" all those wonderful, interesting, inspiring things that one runs across while surfing the net. Stuff you want to keep track of—somehow. I used the "bookmark" feature on my browser, of course, but a long, unsorted list of urls is pretty unwieldy. Then I just started creating folders that had photos I wanted to keep for reference, and urls of ideas and tutorials I might someday want to look at again. Then along came Pinterest and made it all so easy and organized and with a visual interface that showed you exactly what you had saved. Perfect. So, I saw it as helping us all do what we were already doing, but in a really well designed way. And—since it was all stored online, instead of on one's own hard drive, you can share it.
But it is blowing up, maybe. There is a lot of talk and opinion about what the copyright ramifications are. Some see it as clear copyright infringement. Some people are now saying that even though they have posted their photos online, for anyone to see, they do not want them pinned onto a Pinterest account. In case you're not familiar with Pinterest, this is what a Pinterest page looks like. This is mine.
It may, indeed, be a copyright infringement to re-post other people's photos. I guess that remains to be seen. For me, it seems that re-posting on Pinterest is harmless. The photo is already on the internet. By pinning, you are posting it on the internet. Same/same? Seems like it to me, but not to everyone. People are starting to put notices on their blogs saying they do not wish their photos to be pinned. And I will certainly respect that. For the record you may not re-post my photos and say that they are yours. You may not take my photos and print them on T-shirts (or coffee mugs, or, or, or...) and sell them without my permission. You may not make a quilt identical to one of mine and enter it into a show or sell it and say it was your original design. (If you want to copy for your own enjoyment, knock yourself out...) But, if you want to pin it to your Pinterest board, that's fine with me. I do hope you'll give me credit and link it back to my blog.
Interestingly, it is possible to search and see who has pinned my photos. Fascinating. It is informative to see just what seems to grab people. Here is one screen of images pinned from my blog onto other people's Pinterest boards.
This tells me that my recent quilt with the hearts resonated with several people. Also my "Deep in the Forest" tree and my other tree, the "Sheltering Tree" piece. Just in the past week two people have pinned the beginnings of my campfire quilt. I wanted to leave a message and say, "not yet! It isn't finished!"
Scrolling back a bit I see the deep forest tree was still popular and several people picked up on my little folded gift box tutorial and were interested in the finger lights I bought in Houston.
This is great information! It is also gratifying and flattering.
Maybe I am missing the big threat. Maybe I am just too trusting of people's motives, but until someone explains it to me in terms that make sense, or someone rips me off in some unexpected way by means of Pinterest, I remain a fan. I hope Pinterest can survive the critics and the legal questions. I think it is a brilliant idea.