Photo-and-idea sharing site Pinterest has been battling its way through copyright complaints practically since it was formed, even going head-to-head with image giant Getty over the way their images are being used and distributed throughout the site. Now, they’re rolling out a way to make attribution and tracking easier for both the user and the owner of the copyrighted material.
Pinterest is working with Flickr in the project, enabling shareable images with a “pin it” button; in turn, pins from Flickr now have an attribution disclaimer, giving credit to the image source. That credit shows up right below the photo and is a clickable link to its origin.
The new buttons are being put in place after several complaints that Pinterest wasn’t doing enough to keep copyrighted material from being shared; previously, their main gesture to image rights owners was to allow them to opt out of having their things being pinned, which still didn’t keep their images from being shared. Getty Images, in particular, was not happy about the way their content was being shared on Pinterest and wanted them to acquire a license to use the material. There was even some talk about Getty trying to persuade Pinterest into paying for their Picscout technology, which essentially does the same thing this new “attribution” link does but also alerts copyright owners whenever their images are being used somewhere.
A photographer posting on a Microstock Group forum wrote that the connection between Pinterest and Picscout was obvious, yet it was odd that no deal had been struck; when the photographer tried to trip Pinterest up in using their images, they found that the image codes had been messed with, which is not a new complaint.
I was looking for ways that photographers could perhaps band together and look out for each and their intellectual property. By now I’ve figured, waiting for someone to sue could be a long way away and in the meantime we have disrespectful agents like DT, 123rf and DP making matters worse with their ‘pin-it’ button. It’s a losing battle and our only hope of reducing copyright infringement on Pinterest, is to notify photographers and scare/educate those pesky ‘pinners’.
I remembered PicScout and the ImageExhange plug-in and thought that would be a great tool we could use to find copyright infringements. So off I went and loaded my plug-in and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did! Those thieving little scammers at Pinterest have gone and fiddled with their code again, this time to avoid any infringements being picked up by PicScout, which is now owned by Getty.
Pinterest had no comment when I contacted them earlier this month about all of this. Their blog says the new attribution tool is a work-in-progress, but they have also begun adding attribution to Vimeo, YouTube, and Behance.