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?