Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pinterest: Pros and Cons

Everywhere I turn these days, people are discussing Pinterest.
More to the point, there are divided opinions whether to be on it or not.
Author loops are rife with Pinterest discussions and I've been chatting about it on Twitter too.

My viewpoint?

I jumped on Pinterest with gusto. Within the first week I had beautiful storyboards for my books and WIPs. My BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD and HOT HEROES boards had over 500 followers within days. I was loving it. Having an absolute ball. And it really helped my creativity to see the stories I was writing unfolding before my eyes in pictures.

Then a lawyer wrote an article about the dangers of Pinterest and of being sued by photographers.
Then 2 authors I know had to pay huge sums of money for incorrectly using pictures, despite taking them down as soon as they were notified.

And I pulled my boards.
All of them, except my covers, and I haven't logged onto Pinterest since.

It soured my entire experience, the thought that pictures we pin, despite linking back to the original source, can cause so many problems.

And then I started thinking...as an author, it's the bane of my existence when people illegally pirate my books, posting them for free on the Internet.
How do the photographers feel, having the same done to their work?

So in all good conscience, unless Pinterest cleans up the legalities, it's something I won't be doing.

Where do you stand on the Pinterest debate?

11 comments:

Kate said...

Without knowing the complete details of your friends' situations, I think the copyright holders overreacted. As long as your friends actions didn't intentionally detract from the photographers' ability to sale or distribute their work AND they removed the offending items when notified, it should have been a none issue.

As an amateur photographer, I've had many photos that I've posted on Flickr or Tumblr blogged or pinned on Pinterest. As long as it links back to my original and someone doesn't pass off the photos as their own, it doesn't bother me.

Granted, I might feel better if I were a professional photographer, but even then I hope I wouldn't be as narrow-minded to sue someone who inadvertently shared my photos with others via something like Pinterest.

Lisa said...

Thanks for this blog! Having worked in new media long before I became an author, I'm usually *very* careful about infringing on copyright. But since I started Pinterest as a person rather than a business, it never really occurred to me it would be an issue.

Once I started putting up boards to promote my books/contests it becomes me using someone else's work to sell my own -- and that certainly could be a copyright issue. Thanks again for putting the lightbulb on for me!

Conry Lavis said...

How long does Pinterest take to send an invite?
I've been waiting for what seems like forever!! Can people invite you or do you have to wait for Pinterest?

Buy Pinterest Followers

Lois said...

I look at it this way - I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, GetGlue and technically speaking G+ (though I use that more for contest entries than anything else). I figure that is more than enough social media platforms.

But also too, I love searching for pics as much as anyone else, but I just never felt the need to share all of them with others. And if I do, I'll just sent the original url. So, no, haven't tried it, and haven't wanted to. LOL

Lois

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

I was too nervous to even sign up in the first place, Nicola.Scaredy old cat me!

On the one hand I feel I'm missing out on a whole load of fun and a useful promotional tool, but the copyright thing bothers me. A lot. And I'm the sort of person who'll lie awake at night and worry about being sued.

And I'd be mad as hell if someone pirated my work ...

Nicola Marsh said...

Sadly it wasn't a non issue for these photographers, Kate.

They demanded payment even after the photos were immediately taken down.

The amateur/professional line could be a part of it?

Nicola Marsh said...

You're welcome, Lisa.

it's so hard, learning the ins and outs of social media stuff!

Nicola Marsh said...

People invite you, Conry.
Or you can request an invite.
Doesn't take more than 24 hours.

Nicola Marsh said...

That's another good point, Lois.

How many social media platforms do we join?
For me, it's a time suck when I could be writing.

Though I do love the prettiness visual factor of Pinterest...

Nicola Marsh said...

That's why I removed my boards, Rachel.
Just not worth the angst.

My friend thought it would never happen to her, and it did. Out of the millions of people...so yeah, easier to be off it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for an intelligent article.

As a professional photographer dealing with crafts, I've had to waste weeks (that I could have spent earning money) getting Pinterest to remove thousands of my pictures.

I know many pinners believe they are providing publicity. However, from those thousands of images of mine that were posted on Pinterest, I received under 20 visitors per month, which is minuscule. Pinners seldom follow links to the original website. Why would they, after they have seen the whole image in full size?

Instead to visiting my websites, the pinners view my images on their pinboards. Overall, Pinterest has been bad for traffic in my particular case.

To everyone deciding not to join Pinterest: THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.