Skip to content

Pinterest: How to pin respectfully

Pinterest: Protecting your work

Can you stop people from pinning your work?

Yes. Pinterest actually has an Opt Out option. You can insert code onto your site that prohibits anyone from pinning anything of yours. Unfortunately, this does block your whole site so you cannot have some pictures advertising for you on Pinterest while still keeping most of your work under your own control. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pinterest will change this soon.

Try google docs!

I’d actually prefer that they have some kind of Opt In option for each picture. That is, a pin button that makes a picture pinnacle. You would put the button on any images that you are allowing others to pin and people would only ever be able to pin images if they have that button. It would be a great solution because all work would be protected by default. The pin button would then be like granting permission. And so we would know that everything we see on Pinterest everything we want to re-pin, is shareable with permission of the owner. Also, it would allow the owner to control which images are their advertisements, instead of it being up to the reader. I doubt that will happen though.

Until then, the only solution I can think of is that you maintain an extra blog. On your main blog you use the opt out clause. Then, when you want someone to be able to pin something, you link to your secondary blog wearing something like, “Head over to my Easy Pin Blog for some great shareable images.” You would also have to link from the second blog to the first. I don’t know if people would go through the trouble to do all that clicking through but until Pinterest has a Per Image Opt Out this might be a good solution for those who need tight control over what does and doesn’t get pinned.

Other things you can do to protect your work

If you’re o.k. with people sharing your pictures on Pinterest you still might want a bit of control over what’s going on. There are some pin buttons that let you select which picture is chosen as a pin when somebody clicks it for your post. Note that this doesn’t do anything if people copy the URL directly into Pinterest.

You might also want to consider having a Pin Policy on your blog. You can read my Pinterest Policy here. It basically says three things:

  1. /li>

  2. describe the pins in a searchable way so that others can easily find them. For example, choose the words “Delicious and easy watermelon popsicles” instead of “Delicious!”
  3. I’ve started providing “pictures for sharing” at the bottom of some posts. These have my web address at the bottom and some text on the image saying something about the recipe. You can see examples here. I ask people to pin these specific images when they’re available.

Pinterest: Who owns my images?

Yesterday at BlogHer Food I was on a panel with Elise Bauer, Liza Barry-Kessler and Julie Ross Godar discussing Copyright issues in food blogging. The questions from the attendees about how to adapt and attribute respectfully and about how to protect their own work came at us from all sides. It was a great conversation!

However, we ran out of time before we could even mention Pinterest. So I thought I’d lay out my thoughts on the subject here in three posts:

  1. This post explaining what the issues about Pinterest and ownership of images are;
  2. Coming soon: How to protect your images;
  3. Coming soon: How to respect the images of others.

The big issue with Pinterest is that their terms state that they have the right to reproduce anything that is put on their site. You maintain the copyright to your images but they can use your images in print or online if they want. Read about it here.

So why do I pin my images?

As we saw on the Social Media Panel yesterday, Pinterest is the biggest driver of traffic to many of our sites. I certainly want to benefit from that traffic!

Also, what is most more important to me is the rights to my recipes. I think of that as my core. It’s like Elise said yesterday: She thinks of her images as advertising for her recipes and thus often gives permission to others to post them on her blog. On Pinterest I advertise my work with pictures. The benefit to me far outweighs the potential drawbacks.

Why might you not want to pin?

There are likely many bloggers who want to keep control ovver their images. That makes sense.
For instance, if you are primarily a food-photographer for whom the picture is the core, you might have a very different view of things.

Respecting and Protecting on Pinterest

Yesterday at BlogHer Food I was on a panel with Elise Bauer, Liza Barry-Kessler and Julie Ross Godar discussing Copyright issues in food blogging. The questions from the attendees about how to adapt and attribute respectfully and about how to protect their own work came at us from all sides. It was a great conversation!

However, we ran out of time before we could even mention Pinterest. So I thought I’d lay out my thoughts on the subject here.

The big issue with Pinterest is that their terms state that they have the right to reproduce anything that is put on their site. You maintain the copyright to your images but they can use your images in print or online if they want. Read about it here.

So why do I pin my images?

As we saw on the Social Media Panel yesterday, Pinterest is the biggest driver of traffic to many of our sites. I certainly want to benefit from that traffic!

Also, what is most moorland to me is the rights to my recipes. I think of that as my core. It’s like Elise said yesterday: She thinks of her images as advertising for her recipes and thus often gives permission to others to post them on her blog. On Pinterest I advertise my work with pictures. The benefit to me far outweighs the potential drawbacks.

Why might you not want to pin?

There are likely many bloggers who want to keep control ovver their images. That makes sense.
For instance, if you are primarily a food-photographer for whom the picture is the core, you might have a very different view of things.

Can you stop people from pinning your work?

Yes. Pinterest actually has an Opt Out option. You can insert code onto your site that prohibits anyone from pinning anything of yours. Unfortunately, this does block your whole site so you cannot have some pictures advertising for you on Pinterest while still keeping most of your work under your own control. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pinterest will change this soon.

I’d actually prefer that they have some kind of Opt In option for each picture. That is, a pin button that makes a picture pinnacle. You would put the button on any images that you are allowing others to pin and people would only ever be able to pin images if they have that button. It would be a great solution because all work would be protected by default. The pin button would then be like granting permission. And so we would know that everything we see on Pinterest everything we want to re-pin, is shareable with permission of the owner. Also, it would allow the owner to control which images are their advertisements, instead of it being up to the reader. I doubt that will happen though.

Until then, the only solution I can think of is that you maintain an extra blog. On your main blog you use the opt out clause. Then, when you want someone to be able to pin something, you link to your secondary blog wearing something like, “Head over to my Easy Pin Blog for some great shareable images.” You would also have to link from the second blog to the first. I don’t know if people would go through the trouble to do all that clicking through but until Pinterest has a Per Image Opt Out this might be a good solution for those who need tight control over what does and doesn’t get pinned.

Other things you can do to protect your work

If you’re o.k. with people sharing your pictures on Pinterest you still might want a bit of control over what’s going on. There are some pin buttons that let you select which picture is chosen as a pin when somebody clicks it for your post. Note that this doesn’t do anything if people copy the URL directly into Pinterest.

You might also want to consider having a Pin Policy on your blog. You can read my Pinterest Policy here. It basically says three things:

  1. /li>

  2. describe the pins in a searchable way so that others can easily find them. For example, choose the words “Delicious and easy watermelon popsicles” instead of “Delicious!”
  3. I’ve started providing “pictures for sharing” at the bottom of some posts. These have my web address at the bottom and some text on the image saying something about the recipe. You can see examples here. I ask people to pin these specific images when they’re available.

How do you respectfully pin others’ work?

Attribution For Our Very Thoughts: Necessary Or Overkill?

In the Spring 2012 issue of Lucky Peach Magazine Dave Chang, Sat Baines, Claude Bosi and Daniel Patterson scathingly discuss chefs that steal from other chefs. They’re pretty harsh about the whole thing. What interested me was that they were not talking about stealing a recipe. They were talking about stealing concepts and techniques; they were talking about stealing something much more abstract than a list of ingredients, a set of instructions or a picture.

This reminded me of my own academic background where one credits every idea to as many sources as possible. You never have your own unique thought in academia. Or at least, you don’t have one without propping it up with a whole bunch of other people’s thoughts first.

(Continued)

Courteous Copying

A headnote to a recipe on a blog states “Courtesy of Ina Garten.” What does it mean?

a) This recipe was taken from one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks;

b) This recipe is similar to something Ina Garten made on her tv show;

c) Ina Garten called the blogger up and said, “Please post my recipe on your blog. I really want it splashed all over the internet.”

For me, “courtesy of” means that permission is involved. Therefore (c) is the best answer to me.

Lately I’ve been seeing “courtesy of” all over the place. Sometimes it looks like permission has probably been obtained. For instance, if the blogger states that a review copy of a book has arrived and the book looks amazing I assume that permission for sharing a recipe came with the book. But without any back story, I wonder if permission has been granted at all.

Is it possible that some bloggers would choose answer (a)?

What do you think? Has “courtesy of” come to mean “taken from”? Is this an acceptable use of the phrase? Have you ever attributed a recipe with “courtesy of”? If so, what did you mean?

Terms of Use: Open Source Code versus Recipes

________________________________________________________________
Unauthorized duplication, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing. – Statement found under the copyright notice of many Ani DiFranco albums.

Are recipes like songs? Maybe not. What are they like? ________________________________________________________________

Recently, a food-blogging friend sent me an email comparing recipes and computer code.

Her claim: Without open source code computer programmers would not be able to learn as much about writing code and about developing software. If we all refuse to allow others to share our recipes and/or build upon them our knowledge will not increase as much and recipes will not improve over time.

For the pursuit of good food (and of knowledge), it makes sense to tell the world about a dish we’ve made, even if the source of that dish is another person’s recipe.

But, is there a difference between recipes and open source code?

(Continued)

When Does “Inspired By” Mean “Inspired By”?

I’m inspired by many things: The colours in my herb garden, a perfect bite of cheese at a Toronto Farmer’s Market, the mango salad at my favorite college dive. Just thinking of these experiences makes my fingertips crave a keyboard.

The question: When is it appropriate to type “inspired by” in a food blog post?

At BlogHer Food in Atlanta this May, the “Recipe Writing: Copyright, Credit, and Etiquette” pannellists, Dianne Jacob, David Leite and a lawyer named Liza Barry-Kessler, posed the same question. Attendees gave examples of possible uses. They seemed to agree that you may use “inspired by” if:

(Continued)

Welcome to Food Blog Best Practices

The purpose:

To discuss and establish best practices for recipe writing on food blogs. On the Practicing Best Practices Page you’ll find the guidelines that have been established so far along with links to the post(s) where they were discussed.

How it works:

I (or a guest blogger) post about a small point, for example “defining adapted from”. The issue is then up for discussion in the comments section of the post. I’ll synthesize the discussion and add it to the Practicing Best Practices Page.

The Result:

An evolving community-driven set of best practices for food bloggers.

(Continued)