Pinterest and Copyright


Good news for photographers and others who are concerned about copyright issues and having their images on Pinterest, it looks like Pinterest is finally taking copyright claims seriously and removing images.

I received this, this morning in my email.

“Hi Forfeng Designs, This is to let you know that we removed one (or more) of your Pins as a result of a copyright complaint. The complaint was not directed against you or your Pin. It was directed against another user who Pinned or re-Pinned the same content from the following address:

While many copyright owners are happy to have their content Pinned on Pinterest, we recognize that some do not want their content to appear on Pinterest. Where, as here, a copyright owner notifies us that they want their content removed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), it is our policy to remove the allegedly infringing Pin, as well as all other Pins that contain the same content if the copyright owners so choses.

Again, this complaint was not directed at you, or anything you did. We just thought you’d like to know why we removed your Pin.

Happy Pinning and thanks again for using Pinterest. The Pinterest Team”

The interesting thing is this copyright complaint hadn’t originated from Pinterest (ie someone pinning content on Pinterest itself) it originated from a blogger pinning content (a photo) that they had snitched from someone’s Etsy page and put on their own blog.

What I find interesting is that the photo’s owner has no problem with the photo itself being on Pinterest (it’s easy to find other copies online on Pinterest), she just wanted it pinned so it tracked back to her own content. Wise Lady!

I am going to interject this about copyright issues, photos being pinned if they originate from your website or blog are mostly certainly boosting your website/blog incoming traffic, as the Etsy lady was smart enough to key in on. That’s anything but a bad thing. If people are not giving attribution and it’s not linking to your content I agree it’s not good, but the question is how to track it down.

Second of all in this day and age, it’s extremely difficult to stop people from copying things, if people are worried about copyright and people using their images without attribution, they need to visibly watermark their images. Most visible watermarks can be edited out if someone has a couple of hours to spare and some skill with photoshop, but the odds of someone spending that much time and effort on it are slim.

A few sites that might help a tad with this.

Photo search copyright:  reverse image search

Google Image Search –

Protection for Photos online watermarking, If you don’t have Photoshop:

Pictureshark –

FastStone Photo Resizer

Batch watermark

Photographers and others should not be loading print ready/high resolution images on line anyway, especially on their websites, aside from copyright worries, not everyone has high speed internet and a large rez photo slows down load time on their website immensely. A good way to check how this effects your website is to have Google Analytics installed on your site. A very high bounce rate and slow loading photos (because they are high rez) means people aren’t sticking around to see them, they are click click clicking away.

I would suggest if watermarking, don’t just watermark with your initials or name, put your actual website address, you can take out the http:// and www. if you are concerned with length, but you do want people to find you, so make it easy for them.

For those concerned about copyright, I would recommend reading on how to deal with it on Pinterest at

Pinterest also provides information on how to stop someone pinning from your site by using a code snippet, this does not stop people from actually copying the photo onto somewhere else and then pinning it or taking a screen or snippet snap shot of it.

If you are concerned your content has been pinned on Pinterest without attribution, do some searches for it, Pinterest does have a way of searching for pins pinned from your own content.  Search for pins originating at your website or blog (without the http://www.) but remember that’s a good thing! If you find your content non attributed, do report it to Pinterest though!



About Chef Forfeng

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