Pin it baby, pin it
You sit down for a few minutes in front of the computer and the next thing you know it’s hours later, and you are deep into Pinterest pinning like a banshee. Your boards are rocking, and you are watching your follower count reach the stratosphere. Before you turn off the computer for the night, you need some photos for a quick blog post, clicking on your Pinterest boards, you grab a few images that you had earmarked before, type out the post, and hit publish.
There, all done you think, I’ve used images from Pinterest but I made sure to type the word “source” beneath each one, that should cover all of my bases.
Not so fast, it might be a case of blogger beware.
It’s not stealing if I credit the website is it?
Well, yes it is, you could be stealing copyrighted images without knowing it, or maybe you do know it, and don’t care. It’s becoming a trend among bloggers to use images found on Pinterest, and other sites for blog posts while typing “source” underneath the image with a link to the web site, or pinterest board that they found it on, it’s incorrect to assume that just by linking to Pinterest or a website you can make use of the image.
It’s not a excuse to say you didn’t know any better, more then one blogger has been sued for copyright infringement, you can read about Roni Loren’s less than idyllic journey of discovery here after she downloaded a picture for her blog off of Google images. She found out the hard way that it doesn’t matter if you link back to the photographer, or even credit them. It’s still copyright infringement, and it’s a big mistake.
Copy, paste, and repeat
It’s tempting to copy and paste a image from Pinterest or other online sources instead of using your own photos, after all we are mesmerized by the amazing images seemingly available for the taking out there.
Laura from La Caseta de Paper has written a well researched post explaining to you why this is a no no. She explains the legality of which images are allowed, along with what you can do to find images for free, or for a small fee for your blog. She explains how the difference between pinning a image onto Pinterest, and using that same image in your blog post creates a copyright infringement.
Not a source?
Bonnie from Coming home to roost explains why Pinterest is not a source, and how to use a Google image search to find the original image. I would suggest to be completely covered that you check the copyright usage, after your find the source, and contact the photographer or web site for permission to use the image before posting.
Pin mine, pin mine
All images are copyrighted the second you click that photo in your camera, but it’s also a good idea to have a description on your blog letting others know how they can use both your images, and text. As a blogger, and photographer I allow my images to be pinned to Pinterest because of the increased traffic it brings my blog. But I am fully aware that once it’s out there, it’s a free for all that’s why I have a copyright notice on my sidebar, and each image I post is watermarked, and has imbedded metadata. I monitor my Google alerts, and use Tin eye for a reverse image search. I’m working hard to increase my photography, and editing skills and those images are mine! Lets not make it any easier for those who steal images, and posts from bloggers who have worked hard to create good content.
One last word of advice from Laura at Caseta de Paper, is if you are unsure of a copyright use of a image, don’t use it.
Great advice that I hope everyone takes.