Pinterest is awesome. I can't tell you how much better it is to have those little virtual bulletin boards than it is to have hundreds of bookmarked pages lamely labeled "recipes" or "craft ideas." Instead, when I need a recipe, I can go to my boards and see what my choices are. And once I've selected one, I can click on it, and voila, I arrive at the original page.
Except when I don't. Grrr. I hate it when people pin a whole blog when they mean to pin a post, or worse, they pin the picture location instead of the website. So, it doesn't always work out the way it's supposed to. And then you get people repinning these poorly created pins, and it's just impossible to find what you are looking for.
It gets worse. Someone I follow, a friend from the stitching bloggers community, had recently pinned a Bent Creek "freebie." I recognized it not as a freebie at all but rather as a paid chart. Yikes! That's not good. So I told her, and then commented to the person she had repinned. Then I went to see where that person had repinned from and found...it will shock you...tens of regular--for pay--charts that had been scanned in and shared as "freebies." Ack! I contacted one of the designers who is in the process of filling out copyright forms to reclaim her rights from the pinners.
Now I know that there are some people who are never going to get on board with the idea of copyright; I'm not going to worry about them. Well, I do worry for your soul, but this isn't about you. There are many of us who do comply. I bet a lot of us blithely pin things labeled a "freebie" without thinking twice about it. I do believe we're going to have to start.
1. If it doesn't have "free chart" ("grille gratis") written right on the graph, it may not be a free chart.
2. If the pin doesn't take you back to the designer's website or flickr or facebook page, it's probably not free.
3. If, when you click through, you end up on a Russian or Chinese website, copyright is being violated.
4. If you can see the edge of the scan, definitely violation.
Please check your pins. Please tell violators that they are violating. Let's do what we can to help our designing friends.