An art group I belong to organized a group board about 2 months ago. After pinning for a couple of days, I lost interest in it. Without discussion, just looking at images as a group seems pointless. I need the verbal discourse to keep my brain stimulated. And it was time that could have been better spent in the studio, where time is at a premium.
A couple of list serves have had intense discussions about the pro's and con's of Pinterest. A member sent a link to this website that advocates for Artist's rights: Artists Bill of Rights
It points out the fact that when you sign the contract for being a member of Pinterest (and who reads all those pages of words in those contracts?) it includes
By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services. Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content and nothing in these Terms will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to use and exploit any such Member Content.
I read that as the parent company can do anything with any image you post to your boards.
Some of the concerns that people have expressed are about images and artwork being used to make retail products, patterns, cards, mugs, mouse pads, posters - the list goes on. This has happened, so it isn't as far fetched as it seems. If you find that a company, or individual has violated your copyright, you can file with Pinterest - but their terms say that they will go after repeated copyright infractions. How many times is repeated? And who has the time to keep up with this stuff? They also strip the metadata that you put in your images, so it can be very difficult for people to give you credit, if they understand that there should be credit given. Copyright law is not understood by the general public.
My work is extremely personal, and I love sharing it. But it feels kind of icky to think it is out there for the world to see, without even my name on it. Since I put so much time, energy and thought into the work, it's difficult to think it can just be sent off anywhere in the world. For those who don't create original work, and understand the effort that goes into it, this may be hard to understand. But it is hard work, and should be respected just as any work deserves respect.
So far, it looks like a website that may be valuable to retailers. Until they are more respectful of copyright, I'll stay off it. And be in the studio!