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!


Elaine Tham said...

Thank you for the compliment that it's "a lovely blog", if you were actually sincere about it.. of course.

While your blog post was extremely distasteful, I'm still thankful because it's a piece of warning for me to think about. I'm a relatively new blogger so I would like to hear some suggestions on what bloggers should do when the damage has already been done. Please note that I only want to hear from a mature blogger who will leave insensitive comments on religions out of this.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing your response.

ohnostudio said...

Ok New Blogger, get a camera and you will automatically solve all of your problems. Thou Shalt Not Steal. The Bible says that. Blogging since the inception of the web - I think that makes me Mature.

Leslie Hawes said...

Hi Elaine. I am a 'mature' blogger. The problem that I have with the Pinterest business model and its disregard for copyrights, is that attribution to an artist or photographer is often quickly 'lost' in the process of 'pinning', i.e. what you said in your P.S.
New and/or experienced bloggers who are unversed in copyright make the assumption that 'if it is on the internet it is fair game'. That is not so. It is so important and so easy to look up 'Copyright Act of 1976' on wikipedia and learn about copyright.
Copyright (the right to copy) is a 'value' that is created along with an original art piece, photo, lyric, or written article. The original creator is the 'owner' of that copyright, and unless you get specific permission from that original artist/photographer, lyricist, writer to use their creation, you are infringing on that copyright...or in a word, stealing. Adding a P.S. as a disclaimer is not sufficient. It places the responsibility on the original creator to hunt down misuses and do what they can to get the infringers to comply.
It is to everyone's advantage to learn a bit about copyright in general before beginning any creative venture, particularly one intended by you to generate income.
For instance, if you were to use an image of mine, and create product with that image and I don't know about it until after the fact, when it is discovered (and I purposefully hunt for infringement)it will cost you time and investment for product you cannot lawfully use...not to mention the fact that I have to 'hunt' for infringement and ask infringers to 'takedown' the infringed work, all using my time and creative energy in the process.
I make art with the hope and intention to offer an affordable original product for sale. I place it on the internet to promote myself and my work. For anyone to come along and use my work to make their own product, be it for sale or to 'share', is copyright infringement.

Simple copyright rule...if you do not know who made the original image DO NOT USE IT.

And therein is my problem with Pinterest and all the numerous websites that use their business first and to heck with the original copyright holder,

Leslie Hawes said...

Please excuse the double comment. The other was long.
I am unsure what "damage has already been done" in your comment means. Damage to whom?
If you mean "damage" to an infringed artist, then removing the infringed material as quickly as possible, hunting down all the re-pins and asking re-pinners to remove the work would be what you should do.
If you mean "damage" to your blog, then delete the old one and start fresh with a new knowledge of copyright.

Elaine Tham said...

Hi Leslie. Thank you for taking time to write sensible comments and I appreciate your help. I'll see what I can do.

Leslie Hawes said...

Elaine, please understand... I totally support 'A Glass Artist' (the author of this post) and the sentiment expressed in 'Ohnostudio's comment, and I do not support your use of a 'disclaimer', or promise to 'give credit' to a copyright owner after the fact, if they happen to find you.

Using someone's copyrighted work and then offering to give them credit if they find t being used is adding insult to injury, in my opinion.

Content creators (artists) are tired of and angry at the 'pin it and let the copyright holder come and complain after the fact' concept and mindset of Pinterest users.

I cannot 'see' your blog, as it is 'private', so I cannot make a judgement on how lovely or not it might be.
I can say that if you created a verse overlay over one of my pieces of art, I would not be patient or polite in asking for its immediate removal, and would not feel inclined to consider your feelings should you reply to me, "I'll see what I can do".

Understand that any delay in your removal after a 'takedown' request is sent to you, could results in multiple re-pinnings of that infringed image and creates a nightmare scenario for the copyright holder, having to chase down all the 'pins', requesting 'takedowns' by submitting DMCA forms, doing followup checks to locate new 'pins'.

Please educate yourself about Copyright. It is the LAW.

Leslie Hawes said...

If you ever come across an image that you would like to research to find the original creator, learn to use the Google 'Search by Image' function. Right click on an image, click on 'properties', copy the URL that shows in the new window, paste that URL into the 'Search by Images' function, and do some research.

Elaine Tham said...

I am aware that you support the blogger's statement and there is no misunderstanding about that. As for ohnostudio's comment, let's just say that while there is certainly truth in it, I do not wish to waste my time speaking to unrefined people.

Leslie, please trust me when I say that I completely understand where you are coming from. Believe it or not, I do not support copyright infringements myself. I did not know, however, that overlaying words on copyrighted images (with credits or a "disclaimer") was wrong.

When I said that "I'll see what I can do", I was trying to tell you that I'd do what's within my capability to undo this as far as possible. It was for Leslie the 'commenter', not the 'artist'.

Whether there was any "delay in removal after a takedown request is sent", I think all of you can see it for yourself.

Leslie Hawes said...

Hi Elaine,
I am pleased that you have done some studying about Copyright Law and now know that using an image for an overlay project is copyright infringement. Now you are "one of us", you are a person who is prepared to try to gently educate all those many who are still suffering under the illusion that "if it is on the Internet, anyone can use it".