My 3 Monsters: The Debate

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The Debate

I know many of you who read this blog are fans of Pinterest.  I am.  If you don't know Pinterest or use it regularly, this post is not going to be interesting to you.  Sorry.  There is much debate right now about Pinterest and copyright violation.  At first, I'll admit, I thought, "That's ridiculous!  Pinterest is just good, clean, creative fun."  What's the big deal, right?  That was before I read this article.  And this one

Hmmmmm.  As a "creative blogger" it got me thinking.  Is Pinterest ethical?  Or do I at least use it ethically?  I LOVE the idea of sharing ideas.  I love finding inspiration from super creative people, and I think it's great to have a place where I can visually organize all the things that inspire me.  I truly believe many of us in the Pinterest community feel similarly.  I get thousands of great ideas and recipes {that I intend to make and use} from all over the internet via Pinterest.  From my perspective it's great.  When I put an idea out there on my blog, I'm happy when other people like it and are inspired to try it themselves.  I have seen my Typography Wall Art recreated a thousand times on the internet {almost all of them link back to my blog, which is very considerate}.  I love it when people "pin me".  I get more traffic to my blog from Pinterest than from any other source, which is great for me.  For many bloggers, traffic to their blog = money in their bank account.  That's the good part -- Pinterest working at its finest.

The bad part is that not everyone gives credit where credit is due -- sometimes unintentionally.  I never thought about the effects of repinning someone's pin.  If that original pin doesn't link back to the source of the idea, and that pin gets repinned a thousand times, the genius behind the idea gets lost in the jumble.  Many of their admirers don't know who they are admiring and the admired loses income.  Boo. Worse is when someone intentionally tries to pass an idea off as their own.  Some even steal images and text from the source.  BOO!

I'll admit, I'm a copycat.  I've always said that.  But I think I've also always made it very clear when I'm copying someone else's idea.  When I did my 31 Days of "Pin"spired Projects back in October I talked about what I liked in the original project and always linked to the original source.  I feel really good about that.  If someone has put something out on the internet that I think is really cool, it's OK for me to attempt to replicate it if I give credit to them, right?  Send a little traffic their way?  It's mutually beneficial.  I hope.

I get frustrated when I pin something great and find, when I go to make the project, that the pin leads to a dead end.  When I click on a pin I want it to take me directly to the source -- the directions for the project or the place where I can buy the product -- NOT to some random blog or Tumblr where the picture sits, looking all pretty, with no credit or additional link. Dead. End.  The only real solution to this problem is to always pin from the original source and link back to that source when you feature a project on your blog.  From now on when I see a pin that I love on Pinterest, instead of just repinning and going on my merry way, I will click over to the source of the image and pin it again from there.  I will also try to remember to credit the source in the comment of my pin.  It will take longer, sure, but I feel like creative people who take the time to share their ideas with the world deserve it.   

Hopefully this little bit of polite behavior can keep the ugly side of Pinterest {law suits, etc.} at bay.  Maybe that's enough, maybe not.  Anyway, I'm stepping off my soapbox now.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue in the comments.


  1. I'm still debating this issue in my mind too! I love that Pinterest generates traffic to my blog but I am worried about copyright issues.

    I never repin without checking to see if it is linked to the original source. Takes more time but worth it to me.

    BTW, Pinterest is how I found your blog!

  2. I love this post!! I have been so frustrated when I click on a pin and it takes me through 20 other people and sometimes I never get to the source...SO I personally always go to the source and pin directly from there, in the end it makes finding that recipe or craft project SO much easier!

  3. Pinterest is how I found your blog, too! I agree with everything you said, though. I try to always check before I repin, that the link is going to the original post so the creator can be given credit. I'm not as good about actually putting the name of the blog or source in the text of the pin, but I did discover recently that if you highlight something on a web page, and then click "pin it", the text you highlighted automatically goes into the text of your pin. That's a quick and easy way to put the name of the source into your description!

  4. Oooh! I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip. I don't know if it really makes a difference to put the source in the comments if it links back to the source. I'm just trying to be extra careful.

  5. I don't have a creative blog so pinning isn't an issue for me - but as a HUGE Pinterest fan, I'd hate to see it go away because some people are dishonest, misleading or whatever. The sad part is that I think this problem has always existed, but Pinterest has brought it to light and increased the problem due to easy access.
    I HATE not finding the original link. I also hate when the link is to the home page and not the specific project so I spent all this time scrolling through pages trying to find it.
    While I'm on it - I don't want to see porn on Pinterest either. Our computer is in the main area of our home. More than not, I have kids looking over my shoulder - I don't want to see it and I sure don't want my kids seeing it. Who does that? Yes, I can flag them and Pinterest removes them instantly, but I have to click it, which enlarges it, in order to flag it. How about - just don't pin it in the first place.

  6. I love Pinterest and while I am not a blogger I try to respect all of those out there that come up with the creative Idea to begin with because while I am a great copy cat I am not a good inventor. I always open a pin before I repin to make sure it goes back to the original source and if it doesn't I either find the original source or don't pin it. Also when I pin something I try to pin the picture with the tittle of the post on it... I figure that's why it's there most of the time. I hoping if enough people can just use a little common sense Pinterest will be around for a while.


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