Ah, and there goes my Pinterest account…

Image representing Creative Commons as depicte...

Oh, I know Pinterest is already working, and quickly, on the big problems they have been having with copyright issues…so deleting my account wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to rumors of lawsuits or anything like that.

But I was never comfortable using Pinterest…often because I would look at someone else’s pin, trying to find the source for an image (because I want to know who made it), and there wouldn’t be any information or links back to the original. There were just too many unacknowledged images on my boards, too many re-pins that, when I looked into it, didn’t have attribution. It was such a mess (and I was so mortified that I had been doing this to other people’s images!) that I deleted my account tonight. It just seemed easier than going through all my pins, deleting the ones I couldn’t trace to source.

I’ll wait till Pinterest has sorted its shit out before starting up again. So sorry to all the Pinterest followers I’m dropping, but I’d hate to think I encouraged anyone to re-pin an unattributed image that I’d used wrongly.

To be quite honest, I wasn’t using it very much anymore; I found all those images overwhelming. Spend too much time looking at other people’s original work and you might not be able to come up with your own! It was like being raped in the eyeballs by Pantone swatches: cupcakes, quilts, wedding decorations, dresses…all higgledy-piggledy and terribly, well, preoccupied with the acquisition of consumer goods, and with self-delusion: “If I can’t own it, at least it’s mine on Pinterest!”

I found that looking for too long made me start to want things…things that I didn’t need, that I didn’t even really want, that wouldn’t make me happier than I am, and that, when I finally got my hands on them, I probably wouldn’t use after the two-week shiny-new-toy phase had passed. It just does that to you…convinces you that you want/need all this…stuff! There were some good things, of course, but most of it was just ordinary junk, but in pretty colors. Blargh, I’d kill myself if I had more  than two things together in one room that used the rainbow as a color scheme. I’m not even sure that the rainbow can be called a colour scheme*…when you’re 14, the rainbow is a color scheme. But I’m not 14. Anymore. And I’m so glad my mom refused to paint my bedroom walls with balloons arranged in rainbow stripes, when I was!

*it’s a spectrum…you’re meant to choose a few hues, and leave the rest. That is a scheme.

As for my own images, I wish I could say something cool about the Creative Commons permission I put on my online images, but  it’s all pretty straightforward and uninteresting. Share alike. Attribution would be mighty decent of you. Non-commercial, though I’ll be honest and tell you I can’t be arsed to enforce anything, legally. I did, however, tell a woman to “drop dead” in 2003, and she obliged the next morning. Also, I put on a curse on someone in highscool, and her partner recently killed himself, I was told. Just sayin’. *laughs*

Banksy was cool before anyone else, and nobody does the Copyleft magnanimity better than he does. You’ll find this gem on his website, under the ironically-titled ‘Shop’ heading:

Banksy - Online Shop


11 thoughts on “Ah, and there goes my Pinterest account…

  1. It’s interesting this has happened. I have a Tumblr account and it’s my gripe with Tumblr too. I actually love tumblr as a service, but it drives me nuts when people don’t attribute.

    And I very much know what you mean about spending too long looking at what everyone else is up to. It’s a huge timesuck, and before you know what’s happened, all the time you had to make something yourself has drifted off. Happened to me a lot last year, and I’m trying to keep it under control this year!


  2. All the recent articles on Pinterest and it’s terms drew my attention, including your last post about it. I was one of the lazy people who hadn’t bothered to read the terms properly and so was horrified to realise I had been essentially complicit in exploiting other artist’s images. So I have been going through my pinterest boards and deleting all images I cannot get original source for. (not done yet – i have over 1000 pins…gah) I also learnt a good tip – which is if you drag the image from pinterest into the serach box on Google images, it throws up all sources it has of the image, ften with the original as the number 1 result. This has led me to find many of the original sources for my pins, and also revealed some fabulous artists and wonderful websites I was unaware of. I am happy PInterest has now changed its terms to renege ‘irrevocable rights’ to all pins.


  3. Hi, please read the issues involved with using Pinterest…the whole point is that images aren’t being linked to, they’re cut off and floating free on Pinterest, with no way to find the original sites, no attribution, no context. To certain professions, like photographers, this is actually harmful…a photo is considered ‘consumed’ when viewed. If you can’t even make a courtesy visit to the photographer’s website to view his work (where, let’s face it, he may be making his living by advertising, or by selling copies of his book) you will drive the person to stop sharing his work. Think about it.


  4. I kept my account but deleted all my Pins. I actually did, at one point some months ago, go back and find the original sources of my Pins and added the links to the descriptions, and when I would add new Pins I made sure to include the URL of the original source in the Pin’s description. BUT, I had never thought about the fact I was taking someone else’s photo and sharing it without obtaining permission from them first — that’s not something I would do with a photo on a blog! I’d just never thought about it with respect to Pinterest — duh.


    1. And if everyone did that, there wouldn’t be a problem! As I said, I could’ve done tht too, but I hardly use Pinterest, so it was easier to delete my account. 🙂
      Funnily, my views on asking permission go a bit like this: I look for creative commons stuff, and use that without asking permission. If it’s fully copyrighted, I go ask. I think it’s silly to have to ask permission to re-blog or feature someone else’s image (why are they on the internet?) but I believe that the image should link back to them, should mention their name, should connect to the source some way or another. What it should not be is a screenshot given a new file name and no context. That’s my opinion, anyway. Thanks for commenting, Glenda!


  5. Fascinating post, especially when read in conjunction with your previous “This needs to be said, and said, and said, until it sinks in” post. I’m trying to figure out how to combine inspiration with originality, and how to balance my love of Pinterest (yes, I do love it) with its obvious problems. Lots of food for thought here!


  6. I had only visited the site a few times and was puzzled also .. no info/details .. Good for you!! Too true .. over here, I had stopped shopping at Michaels and then was caught up in the excitement of the colourful crafty items for sale .. I’m trying my best to stay away from the store for awhile! 🙂


  7. This is the second blog on my subscription list that has mentioned the problems with Pinterest today. I feel conflicted as it is useful but I also feel uncomfortable with the policies. Thanks for talking about it


    1. You know, it isn’t that Pinterest did it on purpose, and if people took the time to write proper descriptions of their pins, with the name of the artist/author, a lot of these problems could have been avoided. But most people are lazy, and they don’t think it matters (because it most likely isn’t their work being passed, without credit or link, from board to board around the site)


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