It all started innocently enough.
I was in communication with an artist about designing a cover for Rainbird (more on that later!) and she wanted to know what my favorite book covers were.
Well, as you can tell from my book cover/artist Mondays, I was delighted to share this information. I remembered that a friend of mine had sent me a Pinterest invite (oh, so long ago). It was a minute’s work to sign up, create a board with the original title of Book Covers I Like, and start pinning!
I was hooked. Pinterest warmed my pretty-picture-loving little heart. I loved creating boards. I loved choosing images. I loved curating my collections. And it was so easy! None of this mind-numbing downloading and uploading and resizing business. Just pop in the web address, pick an image, write a catchy comment, and hit the button.
In an orgy of pinning, I added boards about fairy tales and steampunk and beautiful natural landscapes.
A day later–after that initial warm glow had faded–reality crept in and put her cold, dead fingers on my neck.
Don’t you think, said she, that you’re spending too much time on this?
It’s only the novelty of it, I told her. I’ll be fine in a day or two. It’s not like my children aren’t being fed and clothed–eventually.
Don’t you think, she pursued, that maybe you should be more careful about what you pin and repin?
It’s not like I’m downloading images onto my hard drive, I answered, defensively, starting to get rattled.
Would you, she went on, feel comfortable putting these images on you blog? Are you absolutely positively sure that you’re not violating anyone’s copyright by pinning them?
She had me.
Because I wouldn’t have put all those images on my blog. Some of them certainly, like the book covers. But interior illustrations? Photographs taken by who-knows-who? Artwork by people who didn’t have a prominent Pin It button displayed next to it?
I deleted all my boards save the book covers one. I had let my weakness for lovely art and pretty pictures run away with my good sense. If I couldn’t post an image on my blog in good conscience, I shouldn’t be pinning it.
This was about the time that author Roni Loren posted her nightmarish story, Bloggers Beware–You Can Get Sued For Using Pics On Your Blog, which only deepened my conviction that deleting my boards was the right thing to do. It also sent me scurrying back to check the few images on my blog that aren’t book covers or pictures I took to make sure they’re legit for me to use.
I probably will go back to Pinterest one day, a wiser, more circumspect, and more respectful pinner. But not soon, and not without a lot of care.
Do you pin or post lots of pictures on your blog? Where do you find images are okay for you to use? If you’re on Pinterest, how do you protect yourself?
Liana Mir says
I do a little on my blog (more and more) and a lot of graphic design work, for which I rely on images downloaded under the original sxc license, and new images from http://www.everystockphoto.com/ and http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/. Occasionally, I have to buy one from Dreamstime or somewhere else, but I don’t care for doing that, as usually I can barely afford groceries, let alone images.
Liana Mir says
Always read licenses carefully before using. This is Office’s, supplemented by my Office products. It advises me to consult my EULA, but in short, as long as you own a commercial use Office software, you’re pretty much good to go.
Another good source for commercial use fonts and images is graphic design programs. I got a lot with Adobe Caslon and with Corel’s suite.
*nod* Good recs! And always read the fine print! 🙂
Is the sxc license the same as creative commons?
I like Dreamstime, but it’s pricey so we only use it for website design and stock for covers.
Liana Mir says
Nah. It’s StockXchange. (I think) When the website changed its standard license, I stopped downloading because it made the terms less clear on whether I could use for commercial use without tracking how many people saw the image and made more work for me. So I only use the images I had already downloaded under the original license.
Liana Mir says
I am now finally getting around to adding this to my tools after multiple recs: http://search.creativecommons.org/.
I’ve heard of it, but haven’t used it yet. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
I’m so glad I found my sotuoiln online.
Pinterest sounds like pin-up dolls for grown-ups, and sounds like terrific fun, but I drew the line at writing, moderating, (occasionally) blogging, twitter, and FaceBook. Whew! How much connection do I really need? Truth to tell, the twitter and FaceBook activity is strictly because I’m on the make, trying to build a sales platform.
My blog? Periodically I take my camera out for a drive. If I get good pictures, then I use them on the blog. Sigh. I suppose some snot is probably stealing them, but you can’t protect everything. Just NO images of my family or friends, and NO images of recognizable people or businesses of any kind. Hey, I went to business school, and the one thing I remember from Business Law was that I never want to get involved with it.
Excellent post, and I’m glad you’ve broken free, at least for now, from another pretty pink time-suck. :)TX
I’m not a great blogger, certainly not an entertaining and witty tweeter, but I suspect Pinterest is more my type of space. Not for the social media, but for the way it plays to my passions.
Yes, I keep people pictures off my blog, too, especially my kids. I often wonder what the kids of mommy bloggers will think when they grow up and find their whole childhoods laid out on the Internet for all to see. *shudder*
How’s the writing going these days, Tex?