Are We Seriously Kidding With The Pinterest Copyright Nonsense?

I’m a little late to the game on this one, and pretty much haven’t blogged for a few months.  Or more, even?  Whatever.  I’m lazy, what can I say?  LOL!

But all this talk of Pinterest and copyright violation accusations from photographers has got me in a tizzy.  Are you people kidding me?  I’m going to go against my own here, my own being both women and photographers, and wonder aloud what the stats are on which photographers are up in arms.  My guess is that it’s greater than 75% women barking up this tree.

I’m a photographer.  I sell images at iStockPhoto and do photo shoots for people if they ask me to (and I almost always regret it because portraits are totally not my thing) and I’ve had my images taken and used in ways that I did not sanction or intend.  So it’s not like I am on the outside looking in and saying “Silly people, what’s a little theft now and then?”  I’m one of you.

There was one instance I recall where an image of mine was downloaded from my pbase site and added on to a chain email about two little boys baptizing themselves in a rural creek.  (That’s “crick” if you’re from Mississippi or Alabama.)  It was a cute little story and the image of two brothers kinda fit.  One of my boys’ preschool teachers actually recognized them when the email was forwarded to her, and she sent it to me going “Hey, looks like John and Michael!”  To which I replied that it did, because it was.  The really ironic thing was that it was a picture of a charcoal drawing that had been done based on a photograph I had taken myself and sent to a dear friend in The Netherlands.  So I’m not even sure who should be more upset:  me, that the image was stolen or Miriam, because it was an image of her original artwork.

Here’s the image:

Pinterest and Copyright

My answer of course is NEITHER OF US.  If I were that overprotective of my images I simply wouldn’t place them online to begin with.  In this day and age, dear fellow photographers, that doesn’t even help you.  Photographers do realize that people will take your prints – if you’ve not graduated to the 21st century and started offering DVDs/jump drives/downloadable links of your images – scan them, and upload and/or reprint them?  And you further realize there is nothing you can do to prevent this?  Don’t come at me with your pebble-textured, unscannable prints or watermarks.  My eleven year old could get around both of those with half his brain tied around his back.

The issue here is, as Techdirt has so eloquently and often put it, is to know what you’re really selling and how to sell it.  It’s that simple.  Pinterest is not the enemy here.  Lack of creativity and willingness to come up with a changed business model to sell photographic talent is.

Just sayin’!



P.S.  And for the record, if you’re going to swipe something from my pbase site, why not pick (snicker, snicker) this imagemaybe use it in a Kleenex ad?  Or use this shot of Grumpypants McAngryson?  How about swiping this picture of the All-American boy playing baseball?  That’s the thing…when people steal stuff, they don’t even seem to take the most useful images.  It’s so silly, the whole thing.