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Is Pinterest Infringing Copyright?

A new social media site called Pinterest has become the flavour of the month. It is claimed to be the "fastest growing site on the internet", and has now got over 10 million unique users. It is basically a new take on the old family "scrapbook" - users create boards according to their style, preferences, hobbies etc. and then place image “pins” on their appropriate “pin boards.” The boards cover often homely themes like “Chocolate Cake Recipes,” “Christmas Ideas,” or Wedding Planning” and users can follow particular "pinners" as they do on Facebook and Twitter.

The difficulty for photography suppliers - photolibraries, photographers (not to mention artists and illustrators) is that Pinterest captures the images and puts them on its servers as part of the process. Although in its Terms and Conditions Pinterest expects users to own or have cleared copyright, this is clearly just a ploy to keep Pinterest out of legal proceedings and transfer the blame to the users. As readers of this site will know, taking peoples' images without clearing copyright is infringement; it was ruled that using "thumbnails" as Google does in its searches, was "fair dealing" but taking the main image was not.
There has been considerable discussion on internet forums and mailing lists about whether this was copyright infringement. It seems again that photographers are getting the short end of the stick, in that their work is used for financial gain for others, that is Pinterest in this case: it doesn't seem to use adverts but does gain income from modifying "affiliate links" to products so it gets a share of the revenue.

Below is a link to a couple of good articles about the issue from photographer Sean Locke.

Website: Sean Locke Photography

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42nd World Festival of Underwater Pictures Dives In
The 42nd World Festival of Underwater Pictures will be held from Thursday 29th October to Sunday 1st November 2015 at the conference centre Parc Chanot, Marseilles. It is the only event of its kind in the world and includes a competition and a programme of still images and films on the marine environment and underwater world.

The Bechers – Documenting Industrial Decline
Husband-and-wife team Bernd and Hilla Becher spent their lives austerely photographing passing industrial technologies, like anthropologists study vanishing tribes. Their work will be a testimonial to those giant endeavours in future, a reference work for both artists and historians.

CEPIC 2016 is to be in Zagreb Croatia
Congress will be held on 25th to 27th May

Burden of Proof – Crime in Photography
Exhibition looks at the way photographic images are used as evidence

Texas FotoFest: This Side of Paradise
Preview at the Texas Contemporary Art Fair this weekend

South African Wins British Photography Prize With Japanese Image
Photographer Adrian Van Heerden receives prestigious ArtGemini 2015 award

Visual Researchers' Society of Canada 10th Anniversary
New president for Canada's leading photo researcher association

Julia Margaret Cameron: Influence and Intimacy
New exhibition of pioneering Victorian photographer at Science Museum

Rupert Murdoch Takes Control of National Geographic for a 470 Million Price Pound Tag
Deal gives 21st Century Fox majority stake in National Geographic media

Two New Magazine Launches
Take and Popular show off their music and culture vibes

Gagosian Gallery Features Negatives
Thomas Ruff's Nature Morte uses film photography

African Icons – Unique Coffee-Table Book
Documenting Africa's most amazing places and creatures

JISC Guide to Digitisation and the Environment
UK digital preservation centre looks at environmental impacts of digital media

BAPLA FOCUS - Who owns the future?
Event to discuss the industry on October 1st in Central London

Canon Launches Ultra Low-Light Camera
Images capable of being created in the darkest conditions

Advances in 3D Imaging – Sphericam 2 Project
Interview with Sphericam's Founder Jeffrey Martin

Victorian Photographic Archives on Show
Exhibition of rapidly-changing London from 1839-1901

Taylor Swift Backs Down on Copyright
Singer accused of hypocrisy after extreme contract terms for photographers revealed

Travel Photographer of the Year Exhibition Opens
Award-winning travel images at the Royal Geographical Society in London

Exhibition of Shirley Baker's Social Documentary Photographs
Photographers' Gallery shows work by Mary Evans shooter

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