Monday, October 14, 2013

Update On .htaccess

Back in June 2012, I wrote: Educate Pinners With .htaccess with instructions on how to allow pinning... except not of the image that pinners intend to pin, but a substituted image with a message about copyright.

I noticed that this strategy has recently stopped working because Pinterest no longer identifies itself as "Pinterest" in web logs when one of their relentless crowscrapers infringes on your copyright. Now Pinterest is using the longer form: +

If you want to continue substituting the pinned images with a copyright warning, you must update your .htaccess file with the following lines:
RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://media-cache-ec0\.pinterest\.com/upload/44965696249836704_DMXjrNee_f\.jpg [R]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} \+http://pinterest\.com/ [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://media-cache-ec0\.pinterest\.com/upload/44965696249836704_DMXjrNee_f\.jpg [R]
The command for the old identifier "Pinterest" remains in case they mysteriously revert to it. This is the copyright warning that is being substituted:

Pinterest Is The Most Despicable Website On The Internet

Remember how you used to be able to check for copyright infringement with this URL?
Not anymore. Now you have to join Pinterest and log into it. If you don't, you get this prompt:

That's right; Pinterest won't even let you check for copyright infringement on your own website without you SIGNING UP and AGREEING TO THEIR TERMS OF SERVICE. Isn't that outrageous? Their gall is just obscene. Once you're logged in, and filing your DMCA take-down notice, these unscrupulous fiends know who you are and have proof that you agreed to their TOS. Talk about covering their filthy keisters against the arm of justice.

All these people out there, thinking they're collecting pretty pictures, they have no idea what a disgusting organization their "hobby" is enriching, at whose expense, and the pain they are inflicting on artists.


If that's not annoying enough, the DMCA form has been plagued with bugs for months that Pinterest sure is in no hurry to fix, trying to make it as difficult as possible for the victims of their relentless crowdscraping.

We have to deal with:
  • Explanations for "strike" and "remove all" that pop up all over the area where you are trying to click on the radio buttons.
  • These pop up explanations cover up the fact that the radio buttons for the first pin and those for the second pin TOGGLE AGAINST EACH OTHER in a way that sabotages ALL multiple-complaint submissions, and result in a rejection with the message "this field is required" and a blanking out of many the field below that need to be re-entered (country, tick-boxes, signature). They are forcing you to do everything TWICE. For months.
  • These bugs have been there so long that Pinterest MUST be doing this on purpose to harass copyright holders, or it's their absolute lowest priority. They want us to give up.

Every artist's Pinterest nightmare

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Customize The No-Pin Meta-tag

Did you know that you can now display your own custom message when someone attempts to pin from your website?

<meta name = "pinterest" content = "nopin" description = "Buzz off my images, PIN HAG!" />

Saturday, October 5, 2013

More Reading Material

The Perils Of Pinterest - great article and comments.

Pinteres Is Not A Source - the only problem is that attribution does not mitigate copyright infringement...

Bing Adds Pinterest Collections To Image Search - More bad news.

Pinterest and My Ethics - How I Changed My Mind = Grrrrrr:
I’m going to be sharing anything that I want on my Pinterest. If someone out there decides to be a jerk about what I share, then I will happily remove any offending thing. I will also write a bubble about them and share with the world how they are part of the SUCK. I’m using my own moral compass for Pinterest, or as Peloquin said on “Nightbreed” said “F*** the Law”. I want to share the awesome, not steal anything. Don’t blame me for Pinterest’s screwed up policies and code.

5 Reasons Why Starbucks’ Pinterest Strategy is Not A Big Hit - aka "Starbucks Infringes Copyright On Pinterest And Is A Terrible Example."

Pinterest moves away from images with “Article Pins” - Here we go: after the images, the text. Didn't we see that one coming?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Worthwhile Reads

The Pinterest (Er, Tumblr) Problem, Fair Use, and a Suggestion for Change from Joe Ross.
But the problem [...] is that the “Pinterest problem” is absolutely not on a scale never before seen. This is, in fact, how the internet works. The compliance with the DMCA and solid indemnification clauses keep companies out of hot copyright water, but users are infringing at an astounding daily rate.
Pinterest and Copyright Infringements from the Beckwith Mansion & Estate Blog.
[...] when people ask, “Are you on Pinterest?” I tell them I am not and that I don’t believe in supporting copyright infringements.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Word From Gary Larson

Gary Larson does not want his comics to be redistributed on the internet.
My effort here is to try and speak to the intangible impact, the emotional cost to me, personally, of seeing my work collected, digitized, and offered up in cyberspace beyond my control. [...]

So, in a nutshell (probably an unfortunate choice of words for me), I only ask that this respect be returned, and the way for anyone to do that is to please, please refrain from putting The Far Side out on the Internet. These cartoons are my "children," of sorts, and like a parent, I'm concerned about where they go at night without telling me. And, seeing them at someone's web site is like getting the call at 2:00 a.m. that goes, "Uh, Dad, you're not going to like this much, but guess where I am."[...]

Please send my "kids" home. I'll be eternally grateful.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Why You Should Stop Pinning Other People's Images To Pinterest

Pinners are killing the homegrown internet content machine.

Tara Bradford's How image-sharing sites are undermining photography is an absolute must-read for both pinners and content providers.

I say this because Tara provides a comprehensive list of all the rogue image scrapers and crowdscrapers that she must deal with on a daily basis. To pinners, this should vividly illustrate the negative impact that their hobby has on the very people they purport to celebrate. To content creators, the list is a reminder of all the websites that need monitoring.

I must quote Tara here, because I swear my eyes became moist reading this:
After blogging for 7 1/2 years and writing 2,427 posts, I have deleted nearly 1000 posts - and may delete more - to avoid having to track those photos all over the Internet. I've deleted category links to posts within my blog, after at least 3 phishing sites copied every post in several categories (a website was suspended, after posting 91 of my articles). I've changed the original url to many blog posts, after finding the same photos stolen over and over again (with 19 different bridal sites as the culprits!). And I've started adding prominent watermarks to every image I post.
This is what pinners and other crowdscrapers are doing to the internet that I know and love. They are eroding it now, and they will eventually destroy it, leaving nothing but corporate content.

This internet I speak of was once a place that rewarded self-publishing. Freed of the need to please an editor, the costs and delays of print media, authors, photographers, teachers, etc. could use the internet to share information, and derive revenue from advertisement, sponsorships, licensing, print-on-demand etc.

Pinterest and other crowdscrapers incite people to strip that content from the people that create it, and surrender it at the feet of corporate entities.

Loss of vital web traffic and exclusivity of distribution removes the incentive to add more content. As Tara and others start to first stem the flow of content production, block access to image search engines, get tangled up in lawyerly pursuits... the homegrown internet content machine will dry up and die.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stamping Out Pinterest

Great post on the Stamp Out Stamp Theft blog - more artists upset with Pinterest.
I was told once by one person that she would not remove the image until Pinterest told her to. I'm not sure they really care about our complaints. It looks like they have a special form that needs to be filled out by the owners.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pinterest Police

The Paris Hotel Boutique blog has a pet peeve. The author is annoyed when she receives a negative content or a correction regarding an image that she probably pillaged from another website, photographer, or Google Images. The nerve! Of course, the image illustrating the blog was taken from some other website.

The author's biggest pet peeve is the Pinterest Police. According to this misguided blogger, Pinterest must be actively searching for copyright infringement, and is harassing poor pinners that don't properly credit their sources.
When pinning, please try and find the original source for credit.
Hey, Pinterest doesn't care.
Legally, we're supposed to ask for permission from the photographer.
But clearly no one does - burdening artists and photographers with a never-ending chore of finding their content on Pinterest and writing take-down notices. Please stop pinning without permission especially since you know it's wrong.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

News Roundup

Right-clicking Images from Websites, Pinterest and Google is an interesting article from a photographer who doesn't want her images pinned. The discussion below is every interesting, as many commenters pledge to delete their Pinterest accounts - showing the effectiveness of educating the public.

Other people's Photos also features a lively discussion that you may want to join in.

Don’t Steal My Stuff, Dude! has a humorous twist.
Recently, I found a blog that had copied all of my posts and photos word-for-word from my other blog. After hounding them with several emails, they finally responded to me that they would credit me for the content they had borrowed, and we were all happy. While gracious about it, I still got the feeling this other blog owner felt somewhat entitled to my work.
That's why a lot of us prefer the DMCA than arguing with website owners!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How To Unpin On Pinterest

So you want to unpin a picture on Pinterest and you don't know how.

You have come to the right place as we will demonstrate the most effective way to remove the unwanted pins that blight your otherwise gorgeous pinboards.

Your first step is to reach this form by following THIS LINK HERE.

The first box says: "Identify your work on your own website" simply copy and paste the link towards which the image is pointing.  With Firefox, you can right-click on the image, select "Copy Link Location" and paste in the box

In the box that says: "Identify the infringed work on Pinterest" simply copy and paste the URL in the upper right hand of your screen in the web address bar.

 Next, there are two radio buttons.  Select YES for both.

Fill out the name and address fields, click all three boxes and write your name at the bottom.

And you're done!  Pinterest will remove all these unwanted pins for you! It's much easier than doing it yourself!

Happy pinning!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Hate Pinterest, I Really Do

Thomas Knauer hates Pinterest for very sophisticated philosophical reasons that had not even breezed past my mind. calls its naked content scraping curation.

Friday, June 28, 2013

As Predicted...

As predicted in Exploiting Pinterest's Embed Feature, semi-automated or fully automated scraper sites are re-arranging Pinterest's crowdscraped content for further redistribution but especially PROFIT.

May this serve as a reminder for those that are flattered when their material is "pinned" - when the horses run out of the barn, there is no telling how far they'll go.

To wit:

Every content creator's favorite byline is displayed on this scraper blog:
No copyright infringement intended. The source of each image and it's related text is always linked to with the 'source' link at the bottom of each post.
Except that the "source link" leads back to Pinterest, not to the content provider's own website.

And the below, a reminder for everyone that argues that "Pinterest makes no money!!!":
This website uses third-party advertising companies to serve ads to visitors of this site and may use information (not including visitors' name, addresses, e-mail addresses, or telephone numbers) about visits to this website to provide ads which are of interest to the visitors. It is advised to install a dependable anti-virus software and firewall on visitor's computer so as to have optimum safety from computer virus attacks.
Pinterest may make no money beyond raising venture capital by exploiting other people's content by way of crowdscraping, but there is nothing to stop fourth-party scraper sites to exploit the EMBED feature and actually profit from copyright infringement.

The "flattery" of having one's artistic material ravaged by pinners comes at the cost of being used a tool by internet pirate to draw visitors, and infect their computers.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Banned From Pinterest

Blogger Mark Ewbie reports, in Hubpages, having been banned from Pinterest!

Could it be the copyright police finally doing its job?

Is Pinterest's strike system not a sham?

It is still a complete and utter sham, because Marke Ewbie was banned for self-promotion, aka, posting his own copyrighted content instead of other people's.
What I fail to do is observe the unwritten rule about sharing lots of other people’s stuff, and only a little of mine. I say “Unwritten”. Fact is that it is written all over the place.
Thus, instead respecting copyrights, Pinterest is actively coercing people into riding the copyright-infringement bandwagon that they have created. This is in stark contrast with their stated corporate copyright policy:
Pinterest (“Pinterest”) respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects its users to do the same. It is Pinterest’s policy, in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, to disable and/or terminate the accounts of users who repeatedly infringe or are repeatedly charged with infringing the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of others.
The above, as we all know here, is the worst kind of empty posturing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pinterest Sputters

Pin hags are getting bored of red velvet shit.

After a meteoric rise, and subsequent leveling off of traffic, Pinterest's 2013 second quarter appears to demonstrate that stealing images from artists, photographers and bloggers gets old after a while. One can always hope that Pinterest will myspace itself.

Let's take a closer look at the last 3 months:

Pinterest is trending down, artists hopeful

While it's reasonable to expect traffic downturns during the summer months while pin hags are out gardening, this downturn does appear more pronounced and sustained than it was at the corresponding time last year.

What factors might contribute to this excellent downturn?
  • It takes a few months for pin hags to realize how futile their picture collections are.
  • Bing, Yahoo and Google Image searches now show full-size images without having to visit source websites, competing with Pinterest's highly successful business model of shamelessly grabbing other people's pictorial content by way of crowdscraping.
  • Even spammers are beginning to realize that Pinterest referral traffic is just a worthless trickle.
  • All the pictures have already been pinned, so Pinterest is degenerating into an incestuous orgy of monotonous re-pinning.
  • Maybe the "strikes" are working a slow grind?
Pinterest is not going down without a fight.
  • The image displays are even bigger!
  • Analytic features for overtly commercial boards, so that their owners get to see in charts and numbers how completely useless Pinterest referral traffic really is!
  • Hassling the content providers: DMCA take-down requests are more error-prone than ever with the "strike system" radio buttons popup text interfering with the use of the buttons, glitches like the button that is clicked causing the button in the following entry field to unclick, error messages that wipe out the check-marks and pull-down selection menus, DMCA confirmation letters that do not list the images that have been taken down (if they have been taken down).
If Pinterest flouders, how about crowdscraping the written word, next?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fellow Artist, I Feel Your Pain

They Stole My Art

You are not alone.

Pinterest Still Lacks Common Courtesy

Pinterest still lacks the most basic courtesy towards the people whose content it enables its users to infringe over and over.

When a pinner is coddled with a lengthy, grovelling, apologetic letter from Pinterest following a DMCA take-down request, Pinterest inludes the URL of the image that was taken down. Maybe to help the pinners upload the picture to their computers directly! God forbid a pinner should lose HER precious image!

I, on the other hand, after filing a DMCA take down notice, Pinterest just sends me a terse reply without any record or confirmation of the images that are taken down. There is no apology, either.

It seems that their whole business model is adding insult to injury.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Copyright Infringement Becomes Too Burdensome

In Cindy Schnackel's RedBubble blog entry Big Changes, the artist explains how rampant copyright infringement is affecting the way she publishes her work on the internet:
One of the biggest changes[...] is to cease selling many, (or any), reprints on Red Bubble.

[...]Changes to search engines give away images instead of drive traffic to us now. Social and sharing sites have become infringement cesspools. Scraper sites link our work to porn and ads and hide behind secretive web hosts.
How has Pinterest and search engines displaying full-size images instead of just thumbnails affected the way you publish your work on the internet?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Article Worth Pointing Out

The's Eric George, in Long, Hot and Expensive Summer writes:
The firing of a newspaper blogger for informing the general public that Pinterest is not copyright infringement. Well, the paper was about to get sued into oblivion because some people on Pinterest used that as a defense in their cases and LOST.

The bottom line is it is going to be a very long and very hot and very expensive summer for infringers and the providers who have dumped everything on the users. It may not happen this year if things are appealed but the ship is sinking and the rats are running to get off and move the infringing materials to other companies they buy overseas. I hope the new system coming in allows them to be sued even if they do that.
Regrettably, no sources are given or names mentioned. I can't ascribe a comfortable level of credibility to the article but I thought I'd share anyway!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Outrage of the month

In Pinterest photos: Can they be used without copyright infringement?, author "bevcohen" writes:
What I find very confusing is why Pinterest users are allowed to pin pictures from all over the internet without regard for their rights to use those pictures. Public domain or not, pictures are continually being pinned.

And pictures on Pinterest can be re-pinned. If that’s the case, it seems reasonable that we should be able to use those pictures on posts at Bubblews or anywhere else.

So instead of searching the internet for public domain pictures that we can use without copyright infringement, Pinterest might be a great one-stop photo shopping site. Any thoughts?
Any thought? Yes, disturbing thoughts. As most of us creatives have feared when becoming aware of the existence of Pinterest, the public's perception of an image posted on Pinterest is that this image is fair game for them to use on whatever website they feel like.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Legal Issue Settled?

In a blog post by, Maureen Gilmer re-assures her readers that "pinning pictures is not copyright infringement." Now we know?
No, pinning pictures is not copyright infringement, but the jury is still out about whether or not it’s a threat to artists and photographers. Many are using watermarks on their pictures to emphasize it’s copyrighted within the Pinterest system.
Ironically, the author's images on the blog have buttons labelled "PURCHASE IMAGE" with a shopping cart icon. I am not kidding. You can't make this stuff up. I repeat: she is trying to sell rights to the images she posted on the blog! Not only that, but she claims with obvious pride that the images are pinned all over Pinterest already!

Who will purchase her images, when, as indicated in the images' caption, they are pinned all over Pinterest? I can just hotlink them from Pinterest with the EMBED code, then Maureen can sue to original pinner, and not me. Besides, it's not copyright infringement, right?

How can she say that "the jury is still out about whether or not it’s a threat to artists and photographers" when she should have the perfect vantage point to know that it is a threat to her selling rights to her photos?

I hate to be mean, but that was one of the most ignorant things I've ever read.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Continued Harassment of Artists by Pinterest

In its valiant and tireless attempts to make it increasingly difficult for creatives to protect their intellectual property, Pinterest now forces us to become a member of their copyright infringement facilitating platform.... for the privilege of checking if images have been pinned from our websites.

We artists are their bread and butter; some of us are happy to let Pinterest steal their work and exploit it commercially in exchange for traffic tidbits of dubious worth, and others are very unhappy about having their livelihoods, which is protected under current laws, grabbed from them.

The very least they could do is to make it easy. But no. Pinterest wants to make it as difficult for artists as they possibly can, while sending their members letters "you have done nothing wrong, happy pinning" as their coddling version of copyright enforcement.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Absolute MUST-READ

Photographer Tara Bradford relates a story, in This photo is not free: Nikken EU & copyright infringement, where a company infringed on her copyright for commercial and promotional endeavors, and incredibly, is refusing to pay her a very reasonable, non-punitive fee of $535.00 for the photo, because, their spokesperson claims, THEY TOOK THE PICTURE FROM PINTEREST and Tara should suck it up. The company is even refusing to apologize.

This is absolutely outrageous.

According to Tara,
[The spokesperson's] argument blamed the so-called "original pinner," insisting that if other people grabbed the photo, Nikken EU could too. She claimed to be "unaware of any copyright restrictions related to the use of this photo..." Further, she advised that Nikken EU "strongly deny any copyright infringement and recommend that you contact the person who first posted the photo and availed it to all Pinterest users."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Photographer Against Pinterest

In About Pinterest: An open letter to my readers, photographer Tara Bradford writes:
[...] I don't want even one of my photos on Pinterest.[...]

I am trying to prevent my original work from losing its value by being pinned (and uncredited) numerous times on multiple Pinterest boards, amidst groupings of dubious quality and origin. Pinterest is a big company with massive funding and I am one small business owner, simply trying to protect my livelihood. I receive no benefit whatsoever from my photography appearing on Pinterest.
For other posts from Tara about Pinterest, read:

Picture This, Pinterest

Has It Come To This?

The continuing saga of keeping photos off Pinterest - this article mentions a pinner that knowingly posts Tara's photographs knowing full well this is against her will.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Still No Self-Promotion

Pinterest's early TOS and user etiquette had some firm language warning against "self-promotion" - setting the tone of the "pinned" images never to belong to the pinners. If a pinner can only "promote" other people's images, by definition they do own the copyright to them.

Pinterest has a new feature where they "verify" your website, which on the surface sounds like it could be a way to legitimize and set paramaters for self-promotion and posting one's own images.
Accounts with a verified website have confirmed ownership of their website using our automatic verification process. Website verification establishes the link between a website and a Pinterest account.

These accounts are marked with a checkmark which displays next to their website on their profile page and below their name in search results.
However, this seem not to be the case at all: In Do NOT to verify your website in Pinterest - Read my story. the below was reported:
This was a big mistake: very short time after I verified my website in Pinterest, my account got deactivated. There was no warning from Pinterest and no specific reason.

They've just suddenly decided that I was a spammer. I believe that they've noticed that most of my pins are linked to my website and they didn't like it so they kicked me out.

But here is the big issue: Because of the association between my website and my account - my website got banned from Pinterest as well.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pinterest News Roundup

A lively discussion on the Etsy forum, spanning at least 25 pages in two days, was spurred by the following opening post by an Etsy seller, after receiving a "strike":
What the heck??? I pinned an image from a blog I follow. It was not the person's website. How on earth would I have known that the person didn't want their stuff pinned? This really stinks.... I don't care about the pin, I care about getting cyber-slapped for something that Pinterest encourages - PINNING!!!
Further down in the thread, she write:
If she didn't want me to pin the image at all, why didn't she just send me a message thru Pinterest right then and there and tell me to delete the pin???
...which is a fairly typical demand for courtesy from copyright infringers that lack the courtesy of asking for permission, and do not realize how much time they are costing content creators in chasing their content.

It is interesting to note that many pinners in that thread report having had "strikes" and some pins deleted. Etsy pinners are by no means a random sample, but if so many pinners have pins removed, one might be led to believe that Pinterest handles MASSIVE amounts of DMCA take-downs.

Photog Gets Into Nasty Tussle With Radio Station Over Copyright Infringement outlines a case where a photograph was used without permission, and is followed by some fascinating comments.

In Why can't we use Google images on our website?, a webmaster requests the help of a consumer advocate after receiving a demand from Getty Images. The comment section is very lively here, too.

While not about images, AP wins big: Why a court said clipping content is not fair use reports on a recent judgement imposing fair use limits on the written word, in this case, snippets from news articles.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I Hate Pinterest In March, Too!

Melanie who absolutely loves whiskey has it in for Pinterest:
I fucking hate Pinterest more than a lot of things. I hate Pinterest more than I hate spiders, birds and bad Asian drivers. Pinterest is absolutely RUINING girls lives on the regular and they have no fucking clue why they can't get a boyfriend. I have an idea. Maybe it's because you link your Pinterest to your Facebook and everyone can see how fucking batshit nuts you are.
Confessions of a Curvy Girl blames Pinterest for craft projects that don't turn out as well as they do on the picture. It's not the only site that tackles "Pinterest Fails" but I've largely ignored these since they don't add much to the conversation other than the fact that all these people misconstrue the source of the images as "Pinterest."

Lindsay Markin of The Swim Diva writes:
I don't get Pinterest. I have no idea why someone would want to advertise how much "stuff" they are lusting after. [...] When I want something I tell myself "get it, or get over it".

[...]Nobody else cares what I like, nor do I feel the need to get the approval through other people that what I like is also liked by others.

[...]Pinterest discourages creativity and encourages plagiarism. Instead of actually doing things, it is a self-satisfying act to virtually "pin it" as if one has accomplished something.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Now We Know Who Trolled Who

Back in August, Creators Against Pinterest published Will The Real Troll Please Stand Up, an account of what can happen to content creators that attempt to protect their intellectual property through the legal channels, with parallels to potential lawsuits against pinners. This particular story concerned poet Linda Ellis whose poem The Dash was infringed upon by one April Brown, who found oil for her fire on the website, operated by Matthew Chan. The website, and affiliate websites, posted derogatory, "photoshopped" pictures of Ellis and devoted an entire subforum to deride and mock her.

A Georgia Judge has decided that the real troll was Matthew Chan and imposed a restraining order as follows:
The Respondent has knowingly and willfully violated O.C.G.A. §§ 16-5-90 et seq. and placed the Petitioner in reasonable fear for the Petitioner’s safety, because Respondent contacted the Petitioner (and urged others to contact Petitioner) and posted personal information of the Petitioner for the purpose of harassing and intimidating Petitioner (1.) As the owner and operator of the site, Respondent has the ability to remove posts in his capacity as the moderator. However, Respondent chose not to remove posts that were personally directed at Ms. Ellis and would cause a reasonable person to fear for her safety. Because the Respondent’s course of conduct was directed at Ms. Ellis through the posted messages and information relating to Ms. Ellis, and the conduct was intended (and in fact did) create fear and intimidation of the Petitioner, Respondent is hereby ORDERED to remove all posts relating to Ms. Ellis.
According to Linda Ellis' blog, Chan
boasted about driving around near my subdivision in a forum with a photo of my home and my address. He posted threats about he and others driving around my neighborhood with video cameras, threats that I was “dead,” threats that he was speaking with people who want to “put me in the ground.” He posted my personal information and records. He called my employee’s home. He posted videos in which he yelled obscenities directed toward me, loudly screaming: “Linda, you’re a piece of __it!” adding that I “won’t understand anything but BRUTE FORCE!”
Following the judgment, Chan has cleaned up the forum of everything Linda Ellis and seems to have reduced himself to mere veiled insider innuendos.

Perhaps, just like we have "innocent infringers," we have "innocent stalkers." In a spectacular example of not-knowing-when-to-let-go, April Brown responded to the judgment with a press release stauchly defending Chan's actions.

Some Do Get It

Janice Heppenstall writes, in Why I Don't Want My Images On Pinterest:
Effectively, then, if I ‘pin’ your images, I am giving away rights that are simply not mine to give, and that you will not be able to get back, and I am very worried about having done this. Equally, if you ‘pin’ mine, you’re effectively converting my ‘All Rights Reserved’ Copyright Notice into a Creative Commons Licence. To make it absolutely clear: it’s not the sharing of my work that bothers me, provided this is done with my permission and with appropriate copyright statements attached; it is the nature of the contract that anyone who posts images on Pinterest are making with that company in respect of my work that is my cause for concern. And this same concern is why I’ve now deleted the pinboards I had created.
I recommend that you read the article and the discussion below for its crystal clarity and the gentleness of the author. A detour to view her beautiful photographs and embroidery projects would be a worthwhile use of anyone's time.

In Reposting The Etiquette Of Attribution, calligraphist seanwes writes:
Does linking to the creator or tagging/attributing them automatically give me right to use their image?

No. Never assume this. [...] It doesn’t matter if it is attributed or unattributed. [...] Linking to the author does not give you a free pass to use their work.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Aiding Copyright Infringement

According to Tim Hull of Courthouse News Service in: No Reprieve for isoHunt in Copyright-Aiding Suit, the 9th Circuit Court ruled this week that the owner of the popular BitTorrent search engine is liable for contributory copyright infringement.

The owner of had appealed a ruling from a lawsuit filed in 2006 by several major motion picture companies, and has now lost.

This is a good sign that litigation against Pinterest could result in a victory for the plaintiffs, since, in my opinion, the Pinterest case is even more clear-cut than in the case of - inasmuch as they are patient with the slow turning of the wheels of Justice.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I hate Pinterest February Roundup

Danny McMurray's "I Won't Be Caught Dead On Pinterest Until Someone Turns My Corpse Into Candle Holders is an aboslute must-read! Tantalizing extracts below:
The first [reason] is that the majority of Pinterest users are women and the second is that the majority of pins are about, as follows: diet/exercise, makeup/clothes, crafting, “inspiration” for when you fall off the wagon, weddings, and home decor.


Let’s take a step back to the end of the 18th century and check in with Mary Wollstonecraft. In Chapter Four of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she makes the persuasive argument that women and men are equally capable of reason and intelligence. Pause for a second while you’re out voting, and owning property, and wearing pants and consider that this was a revolutionary concept at the time: people- — both men and women — believed that the female brain was not wired for higher thought. Wollstonecraft suggests that the reason this appears to be the case is because women are improperly educated, that “understanding, strictly speaking, has been denied to [them]” through the forced acquisition of trivial skills like needlepoint, painting, and ornamentation in lieu of cultivating the ability to think.
From Why I Hate Pinterest and Social Media
I may just be one of a very few women who do not obsess over the internet phenomenon that is Pinterest. In fact I avoid the thing like the plague. Oh yeah, I looked at it. Then I started feeling unbelievably guilty.
Free-spirited folkster Rebecca Lynn Forehand writes, in Why I Hate Pinterest:
I don’t need MORE ideas, I need more focus on the ideas I already have.
In How Pinterest Made Me Feel Like A Bad Parent, Audra O'Connell writes:
I hate Pinterest. I hate what it’s done to mommy hood and what it’s done to the psyche of women around the world. Pinterest has helped Mommyguilt reach levels not possible before. Why? Because it shows us what we’re NOT doing, or what we think we SHOULD be doing or what we CAN’T do.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Artist Nixes Pinterest

In Why my art will only be found here, romance novel cover artist Patricia Schmitt a.k.a. Pickyme. writes:
So from now on I will only be posting my art on my web site. I will link to my work on FB and Twitter, but will not be uploading to any social media site again. I just want to know where my art is and make sure that others will not profit off of my work.
I get a warm fuzzy feeling when an artist realizes the importance of distributing one's artwork in making a living.

pinterest pin

Recommended reading on Pinterest in the March issue of Arizona Attorney: Pinterest and User-Generated Content: Website Liability for Copyright Infringement.

Listed are six separate and exclusive rights of copyright owners, with the 4 below applying to image producers:

  • copy or reproduce the work;
  • distribute the work;
  • display the work;
  • make derivative works from the work

It's nice to be reminded about "distribute" and "display," and that there is no provision stating that "proper attribution" absolves infringers.

The article also points out that the DMCA requires that the ISP terminate the account of a "repeat infringer" in "appropriate circumstances" - something that Pinterest makes a big show of, with its fake strike system that never leads to account termination.
However a new "willfull blindness" standard may be applied to Pinterest from being eligible for the DMCA safe harbors.
Let's hope the above comes to pass.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Patricia Bee's heart sure is in the right place, tirelessly promoting "responsible pinning" with proper attribution and a link back to the original website - on her Pinterest page.

The misconception that accreditation of an image to the creator and a link to the creator's website absolves one from copyright infringement is so rampant that even people that cruisade in favor of respecting copyrights unwittingly disseminate it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Class Action Lawsuit Against Google Images?

In Standing up against Google’s new Image Search and the copyright issues involved – Class action lawsuit, Mia McPherson writes:
I said I would be happy to take part in a Class Action suit against Google and due to a recent conversation with an attorney I realize that class action suit is entirely possible and I want to inform as many photographers as I can about it.

I had a very interesting conversation today with attorney William R. Restis of Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP that was very informative about the possibility of a class action law suit against Google with the focus being on the copyright issues that their new image search raises.

[...] Contact William R. Restis of Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP. This is the same firm that filed a class action law suit against Instagram in December of 2012 for their change in Terms of Service, a suit that forced Instagram to reconsider those changes to their TOS.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Pinterest's Ridiculously Ineffective Warnings.

At last, I found a reaction from someone receiving a copyright notice from Pinterest. Heidi Lyn Burke 's Burke can be summarized as "I'm curious whose picture it is, I can't figure it out, moving on!"
If they hadn't told me about it I wouldn't have even noticed . . . still, I wonder what exactly it was.
Another blogger, Duck Duck Cow dwells in irony, featuring a heavy copyright notice protecting her own blog:
Copyright Notice Copyright 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007. Every paragraph, sentence and split modifier on this blog is the sole property of the Cow, as the author, unless other credit is given. Any use or reproduction of this stuff without written consent of the author is strictly prohibited.
The blog features 4 images uploaded from Pinterest that credit the "pin" and link to it, rather than crediting the author directly, and linking to the original content.

That's for irony.

More reading: Copyright, terms of use and Pinterest by by Judy G. Russell

For references, below is a "strike" letter dated Feb 20:
“This is to let you know that we removed one (or more) of your Pins as a result of a copyright complaint. The complaint was not directed against you or your Pin. It was reported by ####### and directed against another user who Pinned or re-Pinned the same content from the following address: #########

While many copyright owners are happy to have their content Pinned on Pinterest, we recognize that some do not want their content to appear on Pinterest. Where, as here, a copyright owner notifies us that they want their content removed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), it is our policy to remove the allegedly infringing Pin, as well as all other Pins that contain the same content if the copyright owners so choses.

Again, this complaint was not directed at you, or anything you did. We just thought you’d like to know why we removed your Pin.

Happy Pinning and thanks again for using Pinterest.

The Pinterest Team
Pinterest DMCA #ID 0000000″

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lawyerly Tactics

The Copyright Zone reports on a trend in attorney's continuing education to offer classes aimed at defending clients against cases of copyright infringement. The second point is worth noting:
2. Send a letter saying “We have taken it down. Thanks for letting us know. Goodnight”. Never offer real money to a non-represented claimant. Few photographers hire lawyers. If you do hear from a lawyer then you can start paying real attention to the case.
Pinners will love point #5:
5. Always claim that since there was no copyright notice your client who is not a lawyer, “had no reason to know anything was wrong” and that “no malice was intended”.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Seventh Most Influencial Person On Pinterest

According to's Lauren Ray Creators Against Pinterest ranks #7 out of 10 most influencial persons on Pinterest.
...her protest shows just how new and unusual Pinterest’s platform is and how the site will have to overcome uncharted challenges if it wants to keep content creators happy.
Well hun it's never going to make me (or other content creators that exploit the distribution of their own work, a right granted under copyright law) happy unless the NOPIN tag becomes the default state, and that giving permissions to pin pictures is what requires action.

I hope to continue moving up the rank - especially now that even Google Images is emulating Pinterest's "pioneering" image copyright grab.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More On Google Images

Google has become the biggest image scraper of the Millennium is one of the best commentaries on the new Image search, do not miss it!
Google has made a serious mistake, they are looking at class action lawsuits being filed against their company. As a photographer and copyright holder I’d be happy to join any and all of those class action law suits against Google. The way I see it Google is crapping on our rights as artists, creators and photographers. And I am furious about it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pinterest Gets Worse

Check out Pinterest's own blog in We're Testing Out A New Look. With Bing and Google putting the squeeze on Pinterest's original monopoly of image copyright infringement with their own large-image display in image search, Pinterest is cornered into up'ing the ante:
Pins are bigger and we’ve added more information related to pins, so it’s easier to find things you’re interested in. For example, on each pin, you’ll see pins from the same board, other boards this pin was pinned to, and a whole slew of related pins.
That's right. Pinterest is planning to display even larger images than before, and showing a bunch of other thumbnails to the side, make themselves more "sticky" to the visitors and decrease potential visitor leakage to the creator's websites.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Worthwhile Reading

In FIVE Reasons It's Wrong To Seatl Other People's Content, Peg Fitzpatrick recounts her difficulties protecting her written word. Scroll down the article for some very well written and interesting comments. Below is a teaser that I hope will entice you to follow the link and read:
And what’s really amazing is how many of these thieves suggest they are doing you a favor by spreading your content! Um… NO! A close relative to this is when people exclaim “think of the exposure!” as they moonwalk backwards and away from paying for your talent and hard work [...]
Copyright law is very clear that the copyright holder has the exclusive right to decide how their work is distributed.

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”.