Earlier tonight a friend asked me what I thought about this lawyer chick going off on the whole Pinterest terms of agreement (TOA) so I figured I would take what I wrote her and post it in here in a blog for those that cared to read it.
This seems to be a huge topic of debate among photographers and artists in general.
If you had asked me this over a year ago I would have said I would have found out who did it and sued them all. :) Today, however, my tune is of a different nature.
With the internet the way it is currently, it has become a necessary evil to post what you have on sites like facebook and pinterest. As a result, the images will be traded, picked, posted, pinned, and even “stolen.” With the internet being what it is – the freest of free enterprising tool – keeping these things from happening is super hard. Once it’s out there, it’s there forever. No if, ands, or buts, they’re there and not going anywhere.
If you were around in the first days of facebook, they had the exact same debate. The result: facebook changed it’s TOA and people “felt” a little safer. Then they opened it to regions, again, same issue. Changed TOA again, and people “felt” safer. Now, facebook is changing YET AGAIN and people are freaking. They’ll change the TOA and people will feel safer.
My point is that the same thing will happen with Pinterest. They will change their TOA and people will feel safer with no real basis than the black and white wording on a digital screen that no one reads unless you’re a lawyer/photographer.
So, my thoughts are currently like this:
You’re an artist. Art is meant to be shared. I can’t keep people from downloading my work from FB, but I can put my name on it and my own credits. I can even lower resolution to an un-usable level since FB is going to change it anyway. I can even police FB (like I used to do a year ago) and make people take photos down. Realistically that’s not possible. With my schedule and financial level I cannot afford that in time or money. So, instead of fighting the oceanic tides of the global internet where nothing is sacred or safe, ride them. Surf as you can and make something good out of it! Share your art, get your name out, and ride the waves! :)
However, when I do see something I do not condone (like just yesterday) I contact the individual and/or facebook or whatever blog site, diplomatically ask for a resolution and generally people acquiesce to my requests. Sometimes they do not and I’m forced to report them. Then they’re taken down and people will be reprimanded.
Ask me again in a year and I’m sure my opinion will change. :)