What a week it has been, and my misery in continuing with no end in sight.
I'm stuck to my neck in the copyright quagmire that is Pinterest. Pinterest is essentially Napster-for-Images, but maybe quite a bit worse and insidious. The swathes of colorful bunny, cupcake and fantasy wedding images barely conceal the noise of the copyright infringement party that Pinterest is encouraging.
Instead of creating new content (I have tons of great ideas that are waiting to be put on paper ans scanned into a patterns), I find myself standing alone on a barge having to face the cannons of an unstoppable pirate ship.
Until this Pinterest issue is settled, I am creatively paralyzed.
If you post images on the internet, expect them to be :shared:!"
I hear this frequently. If you write a song, put it on a CD, and Lady Gaga does a cover and makes millions from it, aren't you getting what you asked for by recording your song and putting it on a share-able medium?
Embrace it! Isn't it great publicity to have your work getting exposure?
That's not true for everyone. Some webmasters may get extra traffic, but the nature of my images means that I get literally no significant traffic from Pinterest. I have over a thousand images there, and last month I got exactly three visitors. You can't, however, just look at it from an individual perspective. Think of the collective of small mom-&-pop content providers like myself, and a competing website where all their images are collated and centrally viewable. The viewership that was once enjoyed by small content providers is now occupied on Pinterest, who will make millions from content stolen from artists and photographers. Is it flattering to have popular images on Pinterest? Yes, but only for a fleeting moment, one's heart sinks quickly when realizing this does not translate in traffic, but goes against your own self-interest. YMMV.
Aren't thumbnails FAIR USE?
Absolutely. HOWEVER - Pinterest stores copies of FULL SIZE images on their servers, that is NOT fair use.
Shut up and use the "no-pin" metatag!
No, and for a few reasons.
(1) There are now a few hundred Pinterest clones and you can't have every single webmaster chase them all and update every page of their website to stop copyright infringement from all these clones.
(2) The no-pin metatag pops up a message that I have no control of, which says: "This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!" - what is this, are they encouraging visitors to pester webmasters for the right to "pin?" I'd rather pop up a message of my own composition that is going to be less than flattering.
(3) It creates a "default" setting that all graphical content on the internet OPTS IN to being infringed upon unless they actively OPT OUT. This is absurd beyond belief.
(4)People read the warning, but they still have the ability to pin!
File a DMCA take-down notice, that'll take care of things!
Normally it does except that Pinterest doesn't remove the re-pins and the re-pins of re-pins, and you have to dig them out yourself. They do have a form for multiple submissions, but they've arranged it to sneakily discourage webmasters. A single malformed URL submitted, and the whole list is wiped out and you have to start again. They are doing everything they can to carry on like thieves.
The take-down procedure humiliates the complaining artist/photographer. First, a empty spot is left without the image, but all the details of the website the taken-down image comes from remain left behind. Second, this is the letter they send to the offending pinners:
I'm Ben, the co-founder of Pinterest. I removed one (or more) of your pins today at the request of a copyright owner who preferred that their images do not appear on Pinterest. The photo is here for your own records:|
[THE PHOTOS/IMAGE IS SHOWN ADDING INSULT TO INJURY]
This is a rare - we usually find that people are excited to have their photos shared with a larger audience because it can drive traffic back to their site. However, when we do get requests to remove these materials, we try to respect the wishes of the content owner efficiently. If you have any questions, please email our Community Manager, Enid (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I just wanted to give you a heads up. Thanks so much for using Pinterest. I hope you're enjoying the site! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Pinterest DMCA #ID [...] - Ben and the Pinterest Team
"We usually find that people are excited to have their photos shared with a larger audience because it can drive traffic back to their site" WRONG WRONG WRONG I am not excited and I get not traffic. Is it my imagination, or is Ben Silberman himself giving infringing pinners the to infringe some more, because publishers are overwhelmingly thrilled by copyright violations? He's personally encouraging infringement. I'm not dreaming; though I wish I were.
Dummy, use the /SOURCE/ trick! Example: pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com should have all your images listed.
Right now, my website has ONE image listed in this manner yet there are hundreds crawling in the vast Pinterest bowels.
The pinning and re-pinning process is tentacular and a veritable nightmare. If A pins a picture, and B repins it, A has 1 repin. If C repins from B, A still has 1 repin, not 2 from the "grandchild" repin, and B has 1 as well. Every time I find one image, I find 10 more that it links from, and that it links to, and then I have to hunt down the grandchildren pins, the great-grandchildren pins, parent pins, grandparent pins... ad infinitum.
Except that it goes on forever and I would need about 22 dimensions to express the full horror that is Pinterest.
And that's not all; many images are mis-attributed to Google Images. The other side of the coin is that I am starting to see people linking images to Pinterest as if Pinterest was the original source of the image! It is truly infuriating.
Did you notice the EMBED button? What is it?
Eh. That EMBED button allows any webmaster to repost the images that Pinterest has scraped through its indefatigable users and is hosting on their servers, on their own websites to be further infringed upon by yet another party! And guess what? There is no way to track those down, at all.