To Pin or Not to Pin

I’m so excited! I’ve been pinned. Not in the 1950’s sense of the word, but on Pinterest.com. In case you’re not familiar with this wonderfully addictive site, allow me to elaborate. Pinterest.com, the most crowd-pleasing creation since Facebook, is an entertaining Web site where people can build image boards based on what inspires them from photos found anywhere on the Internet. To be more precise, from Wikipedia, “Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing Web site that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, ‘re-pin’ images to their own pinboards, or ‘like’ photos.” The topics run the gamut from travel to weddings. I’ve gotten lost in it for hours!

"MarisaElenaWeddingBouqs"

I love how Marisa's florist was able to perfectly match her sister Elena's bouquet to her periwinkle blue suit.

Imagine my surprise when I was perusing the site in my spare time and discovered that some of my own photographs had been pinned. How cool is that?! In the words of the very talented actress Sally Field as she accepted her Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the movie Norma Rae, “You like me. You really like me.” I was so flattered that some folks liked my images enough to pin them on to their Pinterest.com image boards.

"tropical-bouquet-bodice"

The red glorious lilies steal the spotlight in this vibrant summer bouquet.

Which brings me to a very controversial topic among many of my fellow photographers. To pin or not to pin? Is this copyright infringement? Some say yes, some say no. Award-winning New York City wedding photographer Christian Oth gave a resounding no in his blog post entitled, “Pinterest — The Wonderful World of Pinning and Infringement.” He decided to remove “Pin It” buttons from his Web site because of copyright infringement. He stated in this post, “This is creating an entire network of photographers, designers, and other creatives who are seeing their work displayed without their knowledge or consent.”

I believe that it could be copyright infringement if the images are used incorrectly. If someone is pinning photographs on to an image board in a virtual scrapbook manner, the way Pinterest.com intended, I’m of the opinion that this is not copyright infringement. Photographs are works of art and should be enjoyed. If you’re going to post your images on the World Wide Web, then you need to be prepared for people to discover them resulting in potential usage. The degree to which they use them is where I have a possible issue. As long as the people pinning my images aren’t running down to their local Cosco or CVS store to make 5″x7″ prints, it’s fine with me. Let them enjoy my photographs by creating virtual scrapbooks within the image board format of Pinterest.com.

"french-braided-brooch-bouquet-horiz"

It's all about the details. The french-braided ribbon and vintage rhinestone brooch applied on the handle of this wedding bouquet created just the right fashion statement this bride was looking for.

Is Pinterest.com perpetuating copyright infringement? Let us know what you think in our comments section below.

Until next time, here’s a kiss and a smile! :)

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