Thursday, January 31, 2013


Someone reacts to a copyright notice from Pinterest.
Yes. That the linking creates images that are large enough not to bother clicking through to the original, that they turn up in search results (and not even single file to hide their numbers!), that the credit link is easily neglected/lost... and that images on Pinterest can then be freely used on other sites.
When Pins Go Wild
It does do a lot of damage and that’s what possessed me to write about it, because I don’t think people realize (even if they aren’t bloggers) how important it is to give proper credit where it’s due.
Except... credit doesn't help if your content has already been viewed on Pinterest and reposted on "Fred"'s website. Credit or not, Pinterest allows hotlinking...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Discussions About Image Searches

A discussion about the new Google Images rollout can be found here:
Google Images' New (Bing-like) Layout

A discussion about the Bing Images can be found here:
Bing is stealing our server's bandwidth

Bing Images offers rogue webmasters an API whereby they can leech off Bing, for example, picstopin and other similar dodgy image websites.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Some Terrible, Terrible News.

You heard it here first. Pinterest's greatest "contribution" to the internet is to set off a tsunami of image theft from every direction, inspiring countless websites to join the fray of image vampires.

Google has now rolled out a new Image Search - as if the search engine giant was trying to "undercut" Pinterest in the highly popular image-theft business.

Try it yourself: got to Google Images, launch a search query, and click on any image.

You'll see that Google now displays a large version of that image WITHIN GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH. That's right; Google has no longer confines itself to the use of thumbnails. Why not, since the copyright-infringement trailblazer Pinterest remains to this day free of serious legal challenges?

Adding insult to injury, Google has neglected to provide an opt out mechanism for webmasters to block the display of large images.

And here we are again, in some bizarre situation where we have to take action if we want our copyright to be respected.

Google, if it chose to do so, would have the ability to give webmasters a disadvantage in search engine results should they decide to opt out of image theft. This is quite a sinister development.

For more: Plagiarism Today.
The issues of Google hotlinking larger images or encouraging others to misuse images aren’t going to subside.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

'I Hate Pinterest' Some More

Photographer Molly Cranna:
...i hate that it perpetuates the regression of women back into the kitchen, back into decorating their homes, back into diy projects, back to the worst kind of basics.
In Sorta Crunchy, Megan is nostalgic about the pre-Pinterest days, and considers its effect on blogs. A visitor comments:
Damn it all to hell, I hate Pinterest for what it's done to blogging.

I hate that I got sucked into it.

I hate that even if I step back, the tidal wave will just keep going. That feels so...empty. Discouraging. Less heartfelt.
Megan replies:
I know that for me, Pinterest made me feel like this blog could be and should be something that's it never going to be. I don't wear pinnable outfits, I don't make pinnable recipes, I don't write pinnable tutorials. I actually love to use Pinterest and use it often as a resource, but trying to shift and morph into a consistently pinnable blog? Yep. Empty. Exactly.[...]And I hope I didn't come across as overly critical of Pinterest-driven blogging. I enjoy Pinterest and use it a lot! I've just come to a place of being honest with myself that it's not in my DNA to be able to churn out that kind of content.
Thetamom is another Pinterest casualty.
I fear that blogging, the real blogging that I have grown to know and love is slowly becoming eaten up in a world of self-promotion, filled with Instagram and Pinterest-inspired users. People want the visual, they want what’s quick and easy...
A visitor to the Zeebra Designs & Destinations blog writes:
If it’s on the internet and it’s free, you’re the product, not the customer. [...])

[...]Many people who talk about “curating content on the web” believe the old saw about “if it’s on the web, it’s there for the taking”. There are makers and takers, in every walk of life.
K. Snodgrass bemoans thow Pinterest craft envy erodes her self-esteem::
I hate pinterest with a passion and I don't even use it. I just know all about all of the great ideas in the whole world that I will NEVER have energy or desire to complete.It seems like wherever I go now, people have to tell about the thing they just did or saw on Pintrest. Or what they accomplished and posted to pinterest.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Quickie News Roundup

Heather Simone writes, in 'The Pinterest Trap':
I'm tempted to start going through my pins, going to the site the picture/craft is on, and bookmarking them through Delicious instead. Seems like a safer bet to me.
It's always nice to know that there are people out there that "get it."

In an unrelated, ironic twist, someone on the print-on-demand site REDBUBBLE sells an iPad case with the Pinterest pin design.

In Lawsuit Alleges That Early Pinterest Investor Stole The Idea, Pinterest Says Suit Is ‘Baseless’, Anthony Ha of Techcrunch reports that one Theodore F. Schroeder claims that Pinterest investor Brian S. Cohen stole his ideas. Whether this suit will get anywhere is debatable, but seeing Pinterest embroiled in an Intellectual Property lawsuit should bring in a chuckle or two.

According to a commentator:
I would say that being copied by another contemporary business entity is one thing, but having one of your founders/investors/employees/insiders feeding your inside info to a competitor, is something else, and def. worthy of a lawsuit.
Today's best read comes from the University of Richmond's Journal of Law and Technology, and written by Stephanie Chau: A “Pinteresting” Question: Is Pinterest Here to Stay? A Study in How IP Can Help Pinterest Lead a Revolution".
Social networking sites flourish in the face of a narcissistic society. [...] unbridled self-indulgence and self-expression grew into “a more extraverted, shallow, and materialistic form of narcissism. [...] A vicious cycle ensues whereby these sites reinforce narcissistic behavior by rewarding the user with more connections or comments, and as those narcissists connect with other narcissists, the behavior mushrooms quid pro quo.
There is a lengthy discussion of legal concerns, including that attribution doesn't matter:
However, courts’ current fair use analyses are blind to the copyright holder’s involvement as well as attribution by the infringer,
This is particularly important:
A new inducement doctrine may be more helpful. In MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., the Court held that “one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties.”[82] Given that Pinterest does not ask users to consider permissions before each pin, its business model is distinguishable from that of Facebook. Moreover, Facebook encourages sharing personal experiences and photos whereas Pinterest encourages sharing content created by others. Just as Grokster distributed free software that allowed users to share electronic files through peer-to-peer networks, Pinterest provides an interface for users to freely share images.[83] Although there are provisions protecting the online service provider (“OSP”),[84] Pinterest must tread carefully to avoid crossing the inducement threshold.
In favor of copyright holders pursuing legal action against pinners, the following is noted:
If a Pinterest user loses a case against a copyright holder, the floodgates will open for other copyright holders to pursue similar claims. Disgruntled copyright holders will feel betrayed by the company. Users may eschew the system. It will take a complete restructuring of the core business for Pinterest to recover. Timing compounds the pressure on Yang. If a court rules before Pinterest can monetize, Pinterest may lose the opportunity to capitalize on the network it so famously achieved in the last two years.

The article is quite good at fairly presenting all permutations of events that can happen with Pinterest, good or bad, but the tonen is quite sycophantic. Still, great read.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some almost get it

Back in October, I reported that Pinterest's new strike system was just a sham to appear to content creators that they are serious about copyrights, all the while sending their users letters absolving them from responsibility and giving them a little pity party.

My Blessed Life blogger Patricia Logan reports having received those toothless "strike" letters from Pinterest.
I got a note from them saying that they had to remove one of my pins due to copyright infringement. "Oh it was nothing I did" they said, It was against a person who either pinned it from the beginning, or they re-pinned it from someone else who did the pinning.
Ms Logan, much to her credit, shows that she has more brains than Pinterest.
If you (the guys who thought of this concept) have this wonderful site, which is a big hit, how can you forget there is a copyright law that as old as dirt? [...] The folks in Washington are all over this, and would love to see courts active in slapping fines on people and shutting down sites that do not adhere to the laws of the land, especially something so trivial as a copyright law.
It's almost a miracle that Ms Logan is reaching the right conclusion despite Pinterest's attempts to convince her she'd done nothing wrong.

Now I'm just being picky, but this is where Ms Logan makes an incorrect assumption, and incorrect assumption that even copyright owners often make:
P.S: Document and give credit to the person or site you got it from always works too.
Crediting the source is not enough. You always have to ask for permission. Credit or not, many content providers do not want to have their content displayed on websites other than their own, because they derive their revenue from traffic - and Pinterest takes their traffic (and revenue) away.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Elaine Tham has a really lovely blog, which today I take as an example of the copyright pitfalls that Pinterest is promoting. Elaine has used a picture "found on Pinterest" and slighly modified it by overlaying a Bible verse. Like a lot of people unschooled in copyright, she takes the image, and forces the copyright owner to seek her out for credit or a take down, like photographers have nothing better to do with their time. Ironically, this person seems to be keen on doing the "right thing;" unfortunately, she doesn't know what the right thing is.
God comes first. I wanna do what's right, what FEELS right.
P.S. The background image was saved via Pinterest and the photographer's name was not known. I have no intention on copyright infringement, but if the owner wishes for the credits to be included or the image to be taken down, please write to me in the Comments section!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

...and we're back.

I did take a short hiatus from the blog to concentrate on other projects.

I'm now equipped with a giant, state-of-the-art screen to better find copyright infringement on Pinterest. A second reason is that PhotoShop is a screen space hog but that was only a minor consideration in my purchase.

Pinterest has undergone a few changes, such as something akin to the "@" function in Twitter, and pinners who have lost the ability to pin from my websites, sure make up for it by pinning my material from Yahoo and Google searches.

But more importantly, I have come across Arlee Barr's deliciously subversive Pinterest account and her staunchly anti-Pinterest views. She's a fantastic textile and embroidery artist.
Did you know that Google will more likely point you to a pin of your work than to your own website???? So much for “Promotion”.