By: Annette Venditti 
Guest Column, provided by Pushing the Envelope, INC. 
I just started a Pinterest board and I am loving it! (While the social media team here at PTE has been on for a while, I’ve waited to join.)  I have quite a few friends already actively participating so I finally decided to engage the artist/creative side of my brain and join them in this new online image sharing site. As I began creating my boards, sharing and liking images in all my favorite categories, I was quickly hooked by the sheer beauty of all the images and the variety of categories I could find that interested me greatly. That was the first week, by the second week, I ran across an article by Kirsten Kowalski, an attorney, who wrote about why she deleted her Pinterest boards due to a legal concern she had about copyrights and copyright infringement. Yikes.
She basically said that Pinterest’s legal disclaimers (something I did not bother to read, by the way) leave the users solely responsible for any future rights concerns or issues by any contributing artist or photographer who’s images they posted and shared. I needed to find out more (as now I had both my daughters start a Pinterest of their own for creative inspiration!) and did some research and this is what I found and the guidelines I plan on following from now on.

As an artist myself, I am very sensitive to the concept of sharing someone’s work or, heaven forbid, plagiarizing anything written, photographed or drawn by another artist or designer. Check out these basics and read more about how to use this image sharing application in the future. Check out these tips and do your own research as well to ensure that you and your friends and family are safe and inspired daily by this creative and time-stealing application.

  1. Don’t REPIN, Pin The Original: Re-pinning in this application is simple and quick, BUT there are many images that do not have the original source connected to the image so before you pin to your own personal board, take the time to locate the original source and be sure it’s stated on the image when your done.
  2. Don’t CUT, COPY or PASTE An Image: If you begin to edit an image you find and share it on a blog or other source, this is potentially copyright infringement and not legal by any means. Share the image on Pinterest as you found it with the original source ALWAYS included.
  3. DO Always Critique & Comment (Captions): Be sure to include a comment or critique on the caption section of the image for EVERY image you pin and share to your boards. Once you have confirmed and included the original source, by commenting you are offering feedback to the original source or individual who owns the image and therefore contributing back to the image and it’s source.

So, at least for myself, I will continue using Pinterest as I have simply fallen in love with the idea of opening my boards and being instantly captured for hours at a time by images that offer me creative inspiration, artistic and natural beauty, human emotion and more. I leave you with my final words of wisdom, go forth and Pin!