Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Music Lessons

In Music Lessons, we made some parallels between the piracy-induced decline of the music industry with Pinterest, and predicted a similar decline in the availability and quality of image content on the internet. The article in refence, David Lowery's Letter to Emily White has gone "viral" and the phenomenon has given rise to numerous rebuttals along with the praise.

The comments to the rather toothless rebuttal article A WSJ Intern Replies To An NPR Intern’s Viral Post on Music Piracy are more revealing than the article itself. While one commenter bemoans, statistics in hand that
"[...] recorded music has gone from a $12B business in 2001 to a $6B business in 2011. About 35% of that 19% is 7900 Petabytes which was 11 billion movies consumed that people didn’t pay for. That is why Home Video has gone from a $26B business to an $18B business. Pirate Bay is the 81st most popular web site, more popular than Netflix and way more popular than Spotify. ISPs made $50B in 2011 selling a service that comes with free music, free movies, free software, free games and free books. the solution is for ISPs to obey the law and terminate repeat infringers."
another commenter adds, taking a completely different angle:
It’s not because we’re poor, we’re just living in a high speed world where we want access to EVERYTHING… EVERYWHERE and it’s services like iTunes, Spotify and Pirate Bay (listed in descending order of benefit to musicians) that are providing us with that.[...]This will cause a total lull in musical creativity, inspiration, originality and general interest in music until the industry devolves into being a totally non profitable market for anyone because no one will care to consume it anymore. It’s bleak, man.
Interestingly, a more robust rebuttal of David Lowery's piece on Boing Boing has elicited some angry backlash... against the rebuttal itself:
"The issue, for me, isn't whether millions of hobbyists can squeeze out $100 a year while technology companies skim millions from the transactions, but whether a professional class of musicians, artists, writers, filmmakers, etc. can still exist in this country."
"Morrison posted an opinion that "we shared music when it was casettes". And then didn't bother to inquire whether the amount of sharing in any way equated to digital sharing."
From the camp of "Love The Art, Hate The Artist":
"Do you know any musicians who make music only for money? I don't. They make music because they can't stop themselves from making music. And they have day jobs."
"Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock."
"If you want to sing, sing. But, for God's sake, stop complaining about how you're being oppressed because the rest of us don't want to support you while you do it."
"It's been coming for awhile. Musicians have officially become boring."
"The free content crowd doesn't value artists. And they're nasty about it too. Nicely done."
Until Pinterest came along, graphical content was largely untouched by piracy. Ben Silbermann has found a way to tap into this poor cousin of "sharable content" with a platform geared towards the hoarding of third-party digital images by its users, adding a further leaching of creator's copyright with an embed feature that is little more than a gateway to a hotlinking free-for-all of this infringed content.

What is the adaptive path for visual artist with respect to their partnership with the internet?

REDUCE CONTENT. Reduce definition. Reduce size. Reduce availability. Institute a pay-per-view. Charge for website access. Educate the masses.

We may be fighting Pinterest now; tomorrow, we'll be fighting hundreds of Pinterest clones.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Etsy Loves Pinterest

Being pinned is a thrill for some.

People that sell things tend to find Pinterest useful. Maybe that's why Rakuten, the behemoth Japanese e-commerce company, invested millions in Pinterest. Maybe that's why Pinterest is conviently hosted on Amazon'z servers.

Etsy Shopkeepers appear to appreciate having their images pinned. In fact, they rave about the flattery and the exposure, responding to being pinned much in the way that pinners expect. Minor objections seem to center around pinners wanting to make the projects themselves rather than purchasing the items. There are, unfortunately, very few quantitative evaluations of actual Pinterest traffic and conversions from the Etsy shopkeepers.

The Print-On-Demand (POD) site, after toying with the "pin it" button, has removed it. In the words of founder Ralf Stelander, "We have decided to remove the pinterest button, it generated very little traffic anyway."

One might guess Pinterest may not doing much for the POD business model.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pressuring Pinterest & Pinners

Everyone who has raised a child knows how difficult it is to be heard by those little ones when they have decided that they just don't want to hear.

How can artists get pinners' attention? Words will fall on deaf ears, therefore, all we have left are actions. They do, after all, speak louder than words.

Public relations:
(1) Google "pinterest copyright infringement" - click on "more search tools" on the left menu and select "last 24 hours" or "last week" and make sure that the anti-Pinterest voice is one of the first in the comment sections of articles about Pinterest. Enlighten the audience on what pinners seem to understand the least: how Pinterest "publicity" doesn't help every artist's business model, that it doesn't help yours, and that it's not their right to make the assumption that artists seek fame above all, and saddle us with endless DMCAs take downs.

(2) Log in to your Pinterest account, and repin copyright warning images from Pin Hammer's pin boards

If you have your own website:
As instructed in this post Educate Pinners With .htaccess, hijack pin requests to substitute an image containing a stern copyright warning.

If copyright has occurred, you have some options:
(1) Be vigilant with your content and serve as many DMCA notices as necessary, emailing, not the automated form on Pinterest's website. The blank frames where images use to be will linger and serve as a reminder that infringement has occurred and that there are artists that do not welcome it.

(2) Log in to your Pinterest account and post some version of the below in the infringing pin's comment section:
You have posted my image without permission. By taking away my lawful right to distribute this image and handing this right to Pinterest, you are making it more difficult for me to earn money from my work. You are helping Pinterest make money from my work instead of me. Please help artists continue to be able to derive an income from self-publishing on the internet by not pining their work. I'd rather you remove the image, but if you really want to keep it on Pinterest, my licensing rate for every posting/re-pinning on a Pinterest pinboard is $250.00/yr. Again, I would prefer if you remove the image because Pinterest has no hotlink protection.
To quote a commenter on Pinterest announces new terms of service & that private boards are coming soon:
Despite first necessary changes to protect the Pinterest founder from major lawsuits the conflict with copyright persists. The majority of pinboard owners still do not and will not care about copyright. Also Pinterest can trust that the majority of copyright owners will not take the effort to constantly check illegal pins. From my point of view Pinterest tries to get away with a “dirty deal” between them and their users (silent agreement to tolerate uncounted copyright infringement)as cheap as possible. Only if and when copyright owners (can) protest they will finally do something. I do not think that this is a basis for an ethical business conduct.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dear Artists,

Dear Artists,
We've grown up to your music, we've wept to your poetry, we visited places from which we saw your photographs, we crafted projects from your instructions, we've been inspired by your painting styles.

It's the digital age, and you're going to need to adapt. We're downloading your music and sharing it with friends and strangers on the internet. We're posting your writings on our blogs, because ideas are free. We're sharing your arts, crafts and photography on Pinterest and other platforms. We will give it all to Pinterest and Grokster to distribute and profit from because they conveniently put everything in one place, and for free.

How you're going to make a living from your creations is your problem, not ours. You're just going to find a way to adapt and make money without copyright protection. Art is meant to be shared, get on with the program. If you can't figure out how to make a living with everyone distributing your content where they bloody well please, suck it up and go wait on tables.

Once again, thank you for the inspiration and making the world a more beautiful place. We're looking forward to complimenting you by handing off your work to Ben Silbermann, making him rich rather than you, but especially getting kudos for our refined style from our "followers." Remember, it's publicity! You should be grateful.

Genuinely appreciating artists as always,

The Pinners
This, above, is the message that pinners are sending artists/creators. They really do hate the artists as much as they love their art.

Quoting a comment from Julie Meyers Pron's blog Pinterest: Educate Your Users About Content Theft, "I haven't contacted any of the users because I know from past experience the hateful reaction you get when you ask people not to break copyright & reprint your recipe."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Good News and Bad News.

A mere 3 lines of code on your website will send a clear message.

The method described in Educate Pinners with .htaccess gives results like the one your see illustrated above in the screenshot. Pinners pin the image of their choice, but only if they look back at their pinboard will they notice the copyright-warning image that has been automatically substituted. If they notice the message, typically, they will erase it themselves - saving YOU the trouble of DMCA notices, and controlling the message that pinners receive when they infringe on your copyright.

All of this magic is accomplished with just 3 lines of code in your website's .htaccess file.

That was the good news. Now, for the bad news.

A surprisingly large contingent of pinners is so stubbornly imbued with its self-given right to grab an artist's content in order to gain some measure of approval from total strangers on the internet ("followers") that after Pinterest itself has blocked them from pinning content from one's domain and receiving a pop up message that pinning isn't allowed, they press on and pin anyway, in which case they end up pinning a substituted copyright-warning image instead of the image they wished to pin.

Now, you'd think that after receiving two manners of copyright warnings, the pinner would pause, and infringe copyrights on another hapless website that isn't yours. If you were to think this, you'd be very wrong.

For after these two copyright warnings, a shocking number of pinners simply double-back with their browser back-button to the image search engine result page where they originally saw your image, and pin from there.

Because you put it on the internet, and no matter how many times they're warned not to take it, they're going to bloody grab that image to impress strangers, and enrich Ben Silbermann.

It's going to be very, very difficult to change things. Pinterest will have to yield. But the copyright-infringement platform is just that, and doesn't show signs of wanting to go legit.

Friday, June 22, 2012


So. In Pinterest Gives Copyright Credit to Etsy, Kickstarter, SoundCloud, we find out that Pinterest is making some "effort" to give un-editable attribution to some big corporate friends.


These corporate friends are Etsy, a well-known online craft bazaar, Kickstarter, a funding platform that's probably just a publicity-hog anyway, and SoundCloud, a music-sharing website that allows a pinner to "pin" actual songs to their pinboard, with copyright-infringement issues of its own (see this article, although they are reputed to be meticulously pro-active in their infringement detection, quite unlike Pinterest).

Just like when Pinterest removed the word "sell" from their Terms of Use, and rolled out the arrogant nopin metatag that turned copyright on its head as something that doesn't exist for Pinterest until you recode all your thousands of static pages (in some cases) to affirm your copyright against their users, this is another completely useless news report that gives the appearance that Pinterest is making some progress on the respect-copyright front when it is doing nothing at all, as usual.

Attribution doesn't absolve copyright infringement.

Halting copyright infringement may not even be on Pinterest's agenda. This may be due to Pinterest's very existence and popularity appearing to be entirely derived out of the feverish infringement binge of its users, enabled by the convenient pinmarklet.

One cannot be surprised that when Pinterest makes headlines about copyright, it's not even about copyright. It's just more smoke and mirrors to coddle its users into thinking they're working really hard for us creators, and to seat copyright infringement on the thrones of angels.

Attribution is necessary, but over-rated.
The "money" rests in distribution, not fame.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Music Lessons

The music industry was brought to its knees by copyright infringement. They have been dealing with willful ignorance of copyright laws, and the impoverishment of many musicians for years; we all know the battle is quite lost.

Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered, by David Lowery, is a long article, but it is an important read for all artists.
Recorded music revenue is down 64% since 1999.

Per capita spending on music is 47% lower than it was in 1973!!

The number of professional musicians has fallen 25% since 2000.

[...] “small” personal decisions have very real consequences, particularly when millions of people make the decision not to compensate artists they supposedly “love”.

[...]Rather than using our morality and principles to guide us through technological change, there are those asking us to change our morality and principles to fit the technological change–if a machine can do something, it ought to be done. [...] [Copyright] has worked very well for fans and artists. Now we are being asked to undo this not because we think this is a bad or unfair way to compensate artists but simply because it is technologically possible for corporations or individuals to exploit artists work without their permission on a massive scale and globally.

What the corporate backed Free Culture movement is asking us to do is analogous to changing our morality and principles to allow the equivalent of looting.
From the comments:
The message is: “Content creators, get in line to give your work away for the pleasure of possibly earning a bit of anonymous attention somewhere out over the inter-waves.”
The article is brimming with gems. A convincing point is made that people don't mind paying corporations for copyright-infringement platforms, hardware, and infrastructure, but they'd rather not pay the artists. Artists enforcing their copyrights are "copyright trolls" and "extortionists."

Please share this link:

Post it on Facebook, forums, add comments about Pinterest to the article's discussion, raise awareness. Everyone should read it - the article, and the abundant comments below it.

The music industry is already on its knees.
We're next.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blank Pins

Perusing Pinterest reveals an increasing number of blank pins -
Presumably, the result of DMCA take downs.

In this post, a list of domain names for which blank pins are found, will be updated regularly. Feel free to add to the list in the comment section.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Convincing Pinners Might Be An Uphill Battle

Pinterest is a pain to many creators.
Pinterest doesn't "get it." Will the public?

Meet The Real Linda Ellis is a disturbing read where a self-described innocent infringer berates a copyright holder for attempting to enforce statutory damages to the tune of $7500.00.

Linda Ellis wrote a rather simplistic poem entitled "The Dash" that some years ago has made the FWD: FWD: FWD: email rounds that grannies love to send each other. The poem is about the dash between the birth and death years on a tombstone, metaphorically speaking, the "living" between the two dates. Linda Ellis claims to have registered this work, and it has become her bread an butter, going as far as expanding the little ditty into a book about not wasting time.

When the poem was found, posted in its entirety, on April Brown's website, Linda Ellis sent her a demand for $7500 for the use of her poem.

What resulted is a very long exchange that, regardless of the merits of the poem, demonstrates the entrenched disregard and the deep lack of understanding of copyright law found in some segments of the general public.

While it's easy to sympathize with Brown's shock, anger and frustration at having to pay an amount many, many times greater than the value of her use of the poem, her misadventure illustrates the pitfalls of using a copyright-infringement platform like Pinterest.

Like a minefield, most of the steps you will take won't blow your leg off, but eventually, you, or someone in your village will be the unlucky one to pay the price.

If the Brown/Ellis conflict is any indication, creators attempting to defend their copyright against pinners (because Pinterest itself rejects all blame in their ToS) will be labelled copyright trolls, and the infringers, innocent infringers.

Ben Silbermann may wax poetic about making Pinterest "beautiful" but Pinterest is a hideous reality to the many creators whose contents its users grab, for it to commercially exploit some time in the near future, as the hiring of Tim Kendall suggests. If creators don't defend their copyright, they lose; if they defend it, they lose, too - legal fees and public opinion.

Thanks, Ben.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pinterest Bracing Self Against Lawsuit(s)?

Several weeks after hiring Tim Kendall, Facebook's monetization man, Pinterest has enlisted no less than former Google Deputy General Counsel Michael Yang as its first General Counsel.

To speculate, it is possible that Pinterest will take advice and actually become respectful of copyrights and take serious steps to educate their users. It is also possible that Pinterest intends to unleash punishing legal challenges should any creator(s) dare to take them on.

If creators are hoping to continue making a living off their images and protecting their copyrights against the actions of Pinterest's users and those of present and future Pinterest-clone users, they must make their voices heard - they will have to scream at the top of their web-lungs. Begging "pinners" to try to understand their plight or educating "pinners" (something Pinterest seems loathe to do) on how pinning may hurt creators' livelihoods.

There are some that think creators have already lost the battle, and ought to give up their copyrights and associated livelihoods lest they become the "bad guys."
I’m wondering if everyone has come to the same conclusion: no company is ever going to bring a copyright infringement suit against a Pinterest user. [...] Sending a Pinterest user a letter instructing them to remove your copyrighted materials and accusing them of copyright infringement is [...] a total slap in the face.
-Catlan McCurdy
While Ms. Mc Curdy sides with the popular internet behemoth, the small artists continue to hurt: Ellen Ward, who publishes wonderfully spontaneous drawings, is another David against the Pinterest-Goliath.

Do we have a slingshot?

Finding Your Work On Pinterest PART 8

After a DMCA take-down using their online form, Pinterest does not remove every version of your image.

It keeps two, sometimes a third, all of which are publicly accessible, and very much hotlink-able. Two are very large.

This is such an egregious violation of the DMCA safe harbor, nothing else needs to be said. Be sure never to use their online form. Always email them a list of all images as instructed here.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What Pinterest Must Do To Get Along With Copyright Holders

~ If We Actually Respected Copyrights ~
A Pinterest To-Do List
  • Have a function where a webmaster can request that ALL images from his/her website that are already pinned be removed everywhere on Pinterest without having to chase them individually.
  • The default state for a website is that pinning is not allowed. To allow pinning, site must be enabled by webmaster. Critical traffic mass has been achieved - awareness of Pinterest is high enough that sufficient numbers of webmasters will enable pinning.
  • Print-on-Demand (POD) site users should be able to submit image URLs that they disallow even if the POD site permits pinning sitewide.
  • Make a serious effort to educate their users, geared at encouraging pinning from own material, Pin-It buttons, and Creative Commons. Educate users about finding images from the Creative Commons.
  • Remove all publicly accessible images targeted by a DMCA take down notice. If images that are taken down need to be retained for some legal reason, let that be in a place not accessible by anyone but site admin and with password protection. Right now, an image that is taken down can still be hotlinked by clever fourth party websites.
  • Ditch the EMBED button entirely. Many people that don't mind having their work pinned are horrified with the prospect of having their images embedded on unknown fourth party websites.
  • Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Educate Pinners With .htaccess

    Have your own website? Here is a chance to educate the pinners with a message, and stop pinning at the same time - all with a single piece of cut-and-paste code that can disable pinning sitewide. Two birds with one stone.

    Simply add the code of your choice, below, to your .htaccess file. When attempting to pin an image from your website, unbeknownst to them, the pinners will be posting something completely different, that will be seen by all their followers! There is a lot of potential to reach pinners with this method. The images are hosted on flickr.

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm8\.staticflickr\.com/7099/7286791720_017f7f2cba\.jpg [R]

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm8\.staticflickr\.com/7220/7203313120_708e9a7229\.jpg [R]

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm8\.staticflickr\.com/7080/7167093018_58b755d606\.jpg [R]

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm9\.staticflickr\.com/8158/7003734640_55920c978d\.jpg [R]

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm8\.staticflickr\.com/7238/7003187122_e1a58a8202\.jpg [R]

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm8\.staticflickr\.com/7084/7002973012_8535692c4e\.jpg [R]

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm6\.staticflickr\.com/5275/7000674678_c5a1b80ba4\.jpg [R]

    To use this image:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
    RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm8\.staticflickr\.com/7080/7107060703_aec6eba365\.jpg [R]

    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Nordstrom, That's The Right Idea!

    Perfectly legitimate, and cool for everyone.

    Nordstrom's has a Pinterest page! And why not. They're pinning pictures from a catalog for whom they own the rights, they are "authentic" to what they are selling, and they're displaying attractive, attainable, easy-to-find merchandise that can be repinned without losing sleep over potential copyright infringement lawsuits. You can pin a whole fantasy wardrobe, buy it, and enjoy wearing it.

    That's a way better model than the current orgy of copyright infringement. Does Nordstrom's commercial presence diminish Pinterest? One might argue that it does not, since the page has, at the time the screenshot was taken, a healthy ~19,000 followers. People like it!

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Pinalerts sends you email notifications of new pins from website(s).
    Any website. Doesn't have to be your own., located in Orem, Utah, is quite enthusiastic with the Pinterest bandwagon. They're so completely enamored with the marketing possibilities that they are offering a tool for marketers to monitor the success of their pins on a new, separate website called

    The idea might occur that this tool could be used for monitoring new copyright infringements on Pinterest.

    Results were disappointing. Pinalerts only reads the first page from the URL.

    It doesn't read and pages up to 9.

    Too bad.

    Saturday, June 9, 2012

    Spying On The EMBED Code

    Q: How widely used is the EMBED code?

    A: Query this search string with your favorite search engine:
    "Image Source * via * on Pinterest" - over half a million images embedded already.

    Q: How many images are both misattributed to Google, and embedded in a 4th party website?
    A: Query "Image Source: google * via * on Pinterest" - at least 30,000.

    Q: How many are embedding images from your website?
    A: Query "Image Source: * via * on Pinterest"

    These tips WILL NOT help you find the more literate webmasters that strip the code down to straight-up hotlinking.

    Slowly, but surely, image copyright will be pinned to oblivion.

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Safe Harbor And The Pinmarklet

    The pinmarklet is a gateway to easy copyright-infringement.
    Pinterest says so.

    Once installed in your browser, the “Pin It” button lets you grab an image from any website and add it to one of your pinboards. When you pin from a website, we automatically grab the source link so we can credit the original creator.
    Not a single word educating the users about copyrights, or how to find images from the creative commons. Users are entreated to GRAB ANY IMAGE from ANY WEBSITE. That's it! Pinterest even implies that's it's OK since they are crediting the originator.

    Can Pinterest hide behind the safe harbor provision while giving its users a tool to infringe on copyrights, telling its them outright to go forth and use it for illegal activity?

    If a user were to be sued for copyright infringement, could turn back and sue Pinterest? Is Pinterest covered by the Terms of Use?

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Search Engine Results As Source, and DMCA Safe Harbor

    Pinterest has to be aware that nearly anything pinned from Google Image search is improperly attributed, and quite likely infringing material.

    In general, to avail itself of a safe harbor protection, a service provider must show:
    1. it did not have actual knowledge of the infringing material on its system;
    2. if it did not have actual knowledge, it was also unaware of facts or circumstances from which the infringing activity to would be apparent; or
    3. that upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness it acts expeditiously to remove or disable the materials.
    How proactive must a service be in order to be protected by the sage harbor provision? The answer may be not a whole lot.
    Source: Lexology
    UMG argued that Veoh had the right and ability to control infringing activity and thus could not take advantage of the safe harbor protection. The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument finding that Veoh only had the necessary right and ability to control infringing activity once it had been notified of such activity. The Ninth Circuit found that merely knowing that a website can host infringing material did not satisfy the specific knowledge requirement to impose liability. Thus, the Ninth Circuit held that “the ‘right and ability to control’ under section 512(c) [of the DMCA] requires control over specific infringing activity the provider knows about” and “a service provider’s general right and ability to remove materials from its services is alone insufficient.”

    The Ninth Circuit’s decision in UMG Recordings provides further clarification about the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. Service providers are encouraged to be proactive in identifying and removing infringing material upon receipt of notice that such materials exist. Such policies can help shield a service provider from liability under the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions.
    If the requirement for a service like Veoh (and by extension, Pinterest) to be proactive in the removal of infringing material is limited to the time following receipt of notice, this means that creative content providers are defenseless against the army of pinners, and will have to consecrate hours upon hours of their time protecting their copyright while Ben Silbermann becomes extraordinarily rich with venture capital.

    This leaves us with the option of concealing our content behind tiny thumbnails, ending its distribution on the internet altogether, or trying to educate pinners to curb their infringing activity.

    No happy ending.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Ben Silbermann's New Account

    When the copyright infringement monster made its presence felt under the beds of pinners everywhere, Ben Silbermann himself deleted his own boards at, a URL that now leads to a 404-not-found page. He did, however, start a new one from scratch, under the rather disingenuous guise of wanting the experience what it is like to be a debuting pinner all over again. Right.

    CLICK HERE to view Silbermann's new (possibly) copyright-respecting boards. Limiting, isn't it, Ben?

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Pinterest: A Short History Of Dissent

    Why I tearfully Deleted My Pinterest Inspiration Boards The floodgates open here.

    Not Pining Over Pinning - Why I said Goodbye To Pinterest Because I've stopped to think about art. And about artists/photographers/writers/etc.[...] about what happens when the individual who made the piece can't control how it's used, but a corporation can.

    Five Reasons Why I Hate Pinterest “OMG!!1 did you find this on Pinterest?”. Nope, actually found it on or other wonderful original content website/blog.

    How Pinterest removed all my pinned images in minutes Note: Pinterest is now wise to this trick, it didn't work for me.

    Pinterest Blocking Meta Tag Using the disallowing metatag is not a solution to the predatory behaviour Pinterest encourages.

    Pinterest and “Pinning Etiquette” and/or a link is not a way to get around copyright infringement.

    Thoughts From Others on Pinterest So Pinterest wants to make it easy for you to take any of the infringed work they have on their servers, and include it in any blog post you feel like. No need to license artwork. They’re teaching everyone to help themselves to the buffet of infringed upon works they have collected.

    Pinterest: Delightful, Addictive, Theft ...more than early Napster, more than Megaupload, more than any government-seized hip-hop blog, Pinterest is entirely copyright-infringement.

    Is Pinterest the new Napster? The rate of usage reflects the fact that, like Napster, those who use the service often become addicted to getting access to the best content in one place, in this case images.

    It's Not A Secret There have been a few articles popping up discussing Pinterest’s use of Skimlinks, so we wanted to dive in and talk about what they are doing, as it’s not a secret or sneaky or covert, but a very popular, mainstream, and valuable approach to content monetization.

    The Problem With Pinterest SO MANY of these are stolen photos my friends. Stolen from the photographers who took them, some who make their living off of them.

    Pinterest Comes With Pros And Cons For Photographers The DMCA shields services like pinterest that display user content, but that doesn't mean that the users themselves are not in violation, it just means pinterest can't be held liable for the action. Pinterest is pretty disingenuous on this issue—their terms tell people only to post material for which they have permission or rights while knowing perfectly well that the services is designed for and encourages them to post material mostly without permission.

    Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations? If someone pins a photo on Pinterest, they've created a competing version of the image, which could siphon image search traffic away from the source site.

    Pinterest is Changing How I Blog I have so many fun ideas that I’d love to share, but I’d also like to create products out of those designs eventually… so it’s leaving me unsure of where to go from here with my blog.

    Pinterest and an artist’s dilemma Pinterest is different. When you add a new pin, you’re asked for the address of a web page; the site loads the page, pulls a prominent image from the page, and shows it within Pinterest. While you’re viewing your friends’ pins, there’s no direct way to visit the original source; a source link is only available on the pin detail popup. (Clicking the full-size image or the inconspicuous source link above the image sends you to the source site.) These popups show images at full size, so there’s very little motivation for normal users to visit the original author’s site; the Pinterest user can view everything from his friends without ever leaving the site.

    Pinterest’s Quiet Copyright CoupPinterest is merely putting the proverbial lipstick on their copyright abusing pig. Pinterest users can STILL save any image from any website, and upload it to Pinterest (removing any value to the originating site) where it can then be repinned into oblivion.

    When did it become OK to take someone’s stuff without asking?[Pinterest] also creates a decent-sized copy of the image, which it hosts on its own servers and displays to Pinterest visitors. Unless you’ve got any desire to see the photo at its full resolution or want to find out more about a particular link, there’s no great incentive to look any further.

    Pinterest: A Broken Business Model So by their own admission Pinterest isn’t primarily for publishing original creative work, but republishing the work of third parties who almost inevitably will not have given permission. [...]Pinterest is a cynical exercise that enables and encourages others to steal and is profiting from those thefts, while simultaneously attempting to plead innocence and place the blame on those who Pinterest encouraged to steal in the first place. But when the lawyers come calling, as they surely will, Pinterest may find that by shafting both creators and consumers of culture they have precious few friends left to defend them.

    Pinterest has a Loaded TOS… Don’t Accept it However, as a web developer who just had to put that snippet onto my clients’ websites I don’t think it’s a good direction to head where one business model requires every website on the Internet to opt out of their environment. Here’s a better idea… ask us if we want to opt into the Pinterest service… let those websites willing to play in the little sandpit of their business model to put a piece of code into every clients website.

    Some More Pinterest Detective Work ...are they missing the hidden usage – that of Pinterest’s users monetizing others’ works in a commercial marketing way?

    Is Pinterest a copyright time bomb? [Pinterest] relies on its terms of use to 'ensure' — and by that I mean a wink and nod — that all images are owned by the users who post them. So millions of users, using browser add-its for grabbing photos, are of course just doing this on their own websites, right? And if they're not, Pinterest would be shocked.

    Could Pinterest become the next Napster? When you take it without payment, you effectively reduce the ability of artists, photographers to create more good stuff, because they are not compensated for it

    What Does Pinterest Look Like Without Copyrighted Content? To continue existing, Pinterest is required to write terms of service that, if fully and actively enforced, would destroy the site.

    Pinterest Founder Nukes His Own Account [Silbermann's] account, which had nearly a million followers and almost 4000 pins, was quietly pulled offline a few weeks ago. A modest replacement has been started from scratch. "Starting a fresh new account to remember how new Pinterest user's [sic] feel!”

    Copyright Infringement Made Cool Pinterest might claim that they have no knowledge of each individual infringement, but are they really unaware that infringement is taking place across a wide spectrum of their user base? Good luck convincing a jury of that.

    Copyright Infringement Makes Me Buck Like Bodacious When the electric bill comes, you can’t tell the electric company, “I will credit your name to pay for the bill.”

    Why I’m Not a Pinterest Fan: A Small Seller’s Point of View While I do get marginal traffic from Pinterest (and by marginal I mean less than 50 total referrals over a month, far fewer than my other networks), it’s not proportionate to the amount of views, repins, likes, etc., that I get on Pinterest.

    Copyright Infringement Makes Me Buck Like Bodacious When the electric bill comes, you can’t tell the electric company, “I will credit your name to pay for the bill.”

    Pinterest Copyright Concerns ...if it is illegal I am sure something will be done.

    The End Of The Road For Free Patterns I have been cornered into making a decision against my own wishes by an unstoppable copyright-infringement steamroller called Pinterest. AKA Napster-for-Images. [...] ...from now on, all the new patterns will be for sale, and only small thumbnails will be shown on the web pages.

    Pinning a Lawsuit on You Perhaps the distinction between Pinterest and other internet sites is nothing more than its prominence and focus on image sharing.

    Read the fine print; 'Sharing' can get you sued Luther says it's not enough to simply credit the writer, photographer, or artist whose work you're posting. You need to get official permission from the source, because sites like Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook likely won't stand behind you in a lawsuit.

    Companies Using Pinterest, Be Careful Not to Get Pricked If the DMCA protects anyone, it is Pinterest and not its users.

    Companies Using Pinterest, Be Careful Not to Get Pricked Like Grokster, Pinterest has not employed filtering technology to diminish infringing activity and employs a business model in which "the commercial sense of their enterprise turns on high-volume use."

    No Interest In Pinterest I’ve reached critical mass in my frustration around my images being used without permission elsewhere on the internet, but particularly Pinterest.

    Pinterest site's massive repository of RB artwork Now with 77 pages of objections.

    Copyright Watch: The Liability-Proof World of Pinterest Pinterest puts all legal risk squarely in the lap of its users, while reaping the rewards of their free labor, the free content they upload and their growing appeal to potential advertisers.

    Pinterest Traffic Drops Due To Copyright Issues Concerns over Pinterest’s terms of use, specifically ownership of pinned content, caused many dedicated users to delete accounts in fear that they would be held accountable for copyright infringement.

    Pinterest - the next Facebook or unlawful copyright infringement? aware that Pinterest’s terms also require you to indemnify them for any liability in using other people’s material; i.e. if they get sued because of what you posted, they can give you the bill and their lawyer’s bill too.

    Could Affiliate Links Kill Pinterest? when Pinterest modifies a pin by altering the structure of a link, they stop being an online service provider facilitating users who share content and become a curator of content actively engaged in changing the way it gets shared. Put another way, changing a link could be construed as a form of editorial control.

    Changing the Culture of Copyright: Though the Pinterest Terms of Service mandate that users post their own content or have permission to post any third-party content, in reality, the platform implicitly encourages users to pin third-party content regardless of whether the user has obtained permission from the content owner to do so and without necessarily attributing the source of the content. [...] Pinterest itself may be vulnerable to claims of direct and/or secondary liability. In MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd ., 545 U.S. 913 (2005), the Supreme Court ruled that Grokster and StreamCast (dba Morpheus) could be held liable for facilitating the commission of massive amounts of copyright infringement by end users who employed the defendants' peer-to-peer software to copy and redistribute music and films to each other's hard drives.

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    UNPIN With Love

    Since Pinterest won't let you "link with love"
    consider "unpinning with love" instead.

    The "LINK with love" idea was judged to be important enough to warrant its own domain name, with a .org, perhaps to convey pure, non-commercial motives.

    " will have the greatest impact if we work together and multiply our online presence. Showing support for means displaying your badge to show you understand, appreciate and respect the value of intellectual property and you commit to leading by example. In other words, you LINK with love*."

    By linking with "love," what is meant is mere crediting of the source.

    No doubt that intentions are noble, and goals lofty; it's a pity these are based on unsound principles. Creators aren't necessarily looking for credit, and many business models are based on controlled distribution rather than fame or name recognition. To respect the "value of intellectual property" requires asking artists for permission, which will be granted or not depending on how they make a living from their creative work. Proper credit doesn't cut it.

    Sadly, despite the gentle and respectful emotions that underlie this colorful, well-designed and thought out campaign, Pinterest ensures that all "love" is completely stripped from all outbound links. Pinterest itself nullifies the best intents of these very kind, well-meaning pinners, deliberately, and in a rather shocking manner.

    In a recent post, Nasty Linking Practices, we examined the pernicious nature of Pinterest's linking scheme, which, while as self-serving as anyone might expect, is nefarious to the source websites' presence in search engine results; it can easily be interpreted as an intent to grab some of their rightful, natural traffic. In light of this calculated scheme perpetrated by Pinterest on the websites whose content it enables its users to mercilessly scrape, perhaps a more useful campaign would be "UNPIN with Love."

    To UNPIN with Love, you need only delete all pins for which you have no permission or that aren't in the Creative Commons, regardless of correct attribution. There is no better way to show your appreciation for the creative community than to return what never belonged to you in the first place.

    You can show your support for the "UNPIN with Love - I know better now" campaign by pinning the image below to each board that you have cleaned up of copyright infringement. Be proud of the badge! All images below are in the Creative Commons. Feel free to use anywhere you want to spread the word.

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    How To Use Pinterest Legally - Advanced Class

    Take the Creative Commons challenge!

    Why not GO LEGIT and pin images with a Creative Commons license allowing you to do it? Sure, you have to dig deep in the search interface to reach the mother lode. But it can be done.

    The tips below are your gateway to legitimate pinning, safe for yourself and the creators.

    Click on the wheel icon on the upper right hand corner of Google Image search page, and select "Advanced Search."

    Near the bottom of the "Advanced Search" page, open the "usage rights" drop down menu and you'll find four perfectly good options that will net you images that you are free to pin to your heart's content

    The good news is that there are thousands of high-quality images that are perfectly safe to pin. Really. It's a nice surprise. Be sure to mention that your pin is legit in the comment section. You'll impress all your followers with your top-notch web citizenry.

    Saturday, June 2, 2012

    The Future Of Images On The Internet

    Today, the spotlight is on you.

    What is your principal source of revenue arising from the display of your art on the internet?

    As an artist/photographer/creator, what measures are you considering taking in the short term to minimize copyright infringement?

    What measures are you considering in the longer term?

    What do you predict will be the ultimate effect of the erosion of image copyright on the internet?

    Are there parallels to be made with the music industry?

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    Legal Newsflash

    TODAY, Chris Pothering, of the Short, Cresmann and Burgess law firm, in Copyright Policies and Pinterest: Did They Get it Right the Second Time? , concludes after a re-examination the recently revised Terms of Use:
    "So the end result for the pinner remains the same. Without a successful defense under fair use (and this is an open question), you may end up liable for significant damages. [...]In spite of these changes, however, pinners should still be wary of the fact that, should there be a nasty copyright action, they could end up paying a very large bill."

    The Elephant Has Sneezed

    Surprise! Never seen this before... from a website without a nopin tag.

    If your artwork/photography is on a domain name that you own, you can notify Pinterest that you want them to block your website from pinning.

    They have the technical ability to this, for they have done it. It did take months of screaming to get there.

    No more endless recoding of ineffective nopin tags. While that does make things quite a bit easier for webmasters to manage, we're still dealing with an arrogant opt-out, rather than opt-in. It does beat thousands of take down notices.

    What the message is missing is (1) an admonition to only pin their own images or images with a Pin-It button or (2) a link to a page on Pinterest explaining their users how to find images from the Creative Commons.