Y is for Yarn and a Yelp for help

I don’t have any art for this post. I’ve known what I was going to do with Y since day one, but I haven’t gotten to the project as yet and I’m crazily painting my daughter’s mermaid at the moment and don’t want to shift my brain space.

So, what I’m going to do is tell you what I’m going to do.

Do you remember string painting in primary school? Where with a lot of glue, string and mess, you make a picture out of gluing string to paper in patterns. If I recall correctly it was sometimes used to create a print as the string created a raised surface.

For example:

String Printing Plate - Monoprinting LessonString printing plate – Monoprinting Lesson by CJ33 on Flickr.

Well, I was thinking of doing something similar, but not for printing. I have a huge pile of acrylic yarn in multiple colours stashed under my art desk (from my crochet obsession). I was thinking of using those 100% acrylic yarns with my acrylic paints and mediums to create a highly textured (and likely swirly) painting. It would be ooey-gooey as I’m thinking of soaking yarn in gel and experimetning is a variety of ways.

In any case it is on my list of explorations (yes, I have one pinned to my pinboard).

And speaking of pinboards, I want to talk about something that is really concerning me at the moment. In the last few days a fellow blogging friend of mine had a bad experience with Pinterest. Somebody pinned not only her artwork, but many of her general life photos directly from her blog. I found this creepy and don’t blame her for being upset and it got me thinking.

I did a little poking around the net and it appears that although Pinterest maybe a hot spot for popularity, it is also a potential time bomb for legal issues.

I read this and its follow up articles.

I’m not a lawyer, I’m an artist, but there are many scary issues involved in Pinterest and I’m at a quandary as to what to do.

I love Pinterest. It is a great advertising tool, I get lots of traffic from it to my blog thanks to people pinning my work. I’m not really concerned about people pinning my work as long as I’m accredited (doesn’t always happen), but even if I’m not, translating my lousy 700 pixel wide images into the real world to do something with them to make money, not really practical. Sure they can print it small, or they can use it online, and let’s face it, scum are going to be scum, no matter what we do. But I have no problem with my work being pinned…for now.

What I do have a problem with is when I pin others’ work.

Pinning is 99% of the time done without the creator’s permission. Everyone does it. It is what Pinterest was designed for. I’ve been collecting artwork I admire on my Pinterest boards. But if you read the terms of service, you’re not actually allowed to do that. It is a breach of copyright. Technically speaking if you pinned my work without my permission, I could legally sue you for copyright breach/theft. (Please don’t ask me which country, you’ll hurt my brain). And there are plenty of people out there seriously concerned about this.

According to the Pinterest Terms of Service it is the pinner who gets in trouble and pays all the money. So if I pinned your work without your permission, you could sue me.

I don’t have any money!

But I love Pinterest. I really don’t want to delete my Pinterest boards. I have a lovely collection of artworks there of artists I admire. I pinned them thinking that I was doing them a favour, getting traffic to their sites, advertising, all good stuff.

But I did it by making a decision on their behalf that I didn’t have a right to.

Damnit! I wanna pin and play.

Some people are apparently arguing that there is no harm done, but according to many artists there is. Another argument is that if there is no profit being made then there is no harm done. Sure, a pinner might not making a monetary profit, but they are gathering followers who in turn might visit their blog so they gain traffic.  So in a indirect way, they are using other people’s artworks to promote themselves.

Aaaargh! The more I think about this, the more I think I need to delete those boards.

But pinning is fun, I don’t mean any harm!

Thoughts anyone? Help?

I’m considering setting some of my own Pinterest Terms of Use where every pin I make has to have the artist mentioned and directly linked to their website for their promotion. I will limit my pinning from any one artist to a maximum of two works (I pretty much do both of these mostly already…it seemed scummy and a bit ridiculous to pin any more from one artist and totally wrong to not accredit). I will be going through my pinboards and removing any pins I can not fully accredit or link directly to the artist’s website.

A couple of things I could do further is only pin thumbnails of the works I like. But this would require me to copy the work, alter it and upload it manually to Pinterest and that probably has a whole pile of other legal issues attached to it. Perhaps Pinterest should investigate thumbnailing their images like Facebook does.

The most foolproof, but intensely time consuming route would be to contact by email every artist I want to pin. But I want to work on my art, not have a career in pinning.

So should I take the risk that everyone else is currently taking and continue to pin? Or should I remove all the work that is not mine and leave my Pinterest looking like a blatantly boring self promotion site?

What are your thoughts? Do you pin? Do you want your work pinned or not?

And how on Earth does Flickr (which has banned Pinning from its site) and YouTube not breach copyright since they have been obviously promoting sharing for a much longer time? Legal issues hurt my brain.

Best wishes,

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