The reason I’m writing … is to let you know you’ve used my photograph to illustrate your story without proper photo crediting. That’s my image up there, of Samantha Hutchinson of the very popular lifestyle blog, Could I Have That?. The picture was created for Tory Burch’s blog, which was pinned as such by over 500 people, without crediting.Pinterest is a relatively new social media service that calls itself a "virtual pinboard" - a place where you can copy and paste photos and content, and organize them as reminders or interests. And then opens those pinboards to sharing with others who can "repin", "like" or comment. While the system does indicate where the original pinned material was obtained from, it does not seem to check whether the content is original to that site, or was obtained (or authored) elsewhere.
It is this notion of losing photo credit that makes Pinterest so incredibly frustrating and heart-breaking to us photographers and makers of original content. People pin images I’ve taken all the time without proper crediting. It’s not a new issue, but it is a new medium that has busted the digital media world wide open. …
I do not take pictures for fun. I create photographs for a living. I work hard as a photographer as I’m sure you do as a writer — How would you like it if someone reposted your story exactly and credited as simply “NYPost.com”?
As the photographer responding to the Post indicated, this may result in improper citation of credit, if the reporter or blogger doesn't make the extra effort to track down the original source or credit line.
It may also be a copyright violation - because unless the copyright holder has given explicit permission to copy and use, the pinned content is technically an unauthorized (i.e. illegal) copy. Pinterest does recognize this, and has implemented a process that allows copyright owners to request that their content be removed from the site, and developed a "nopin" html metatag that copyright owners can use to prevent tagged content from being pinned. These actions may help Pinterest qualify for "safe harbor" status under the DMCA, but would not protect individual users from possible legal action for content piracy. Nor would it protect journalists who use copyrighted content without permission or appropriate credit.
There's a moral lesson here - don't assume that you can reuse anything you find on the net, or that the site you grabbed content from owns it, has properly credited it, or has given permission for it's use in your context. Journalists may have become a little lazy in this regard as they have traditionally created the content themselves, or gotten it from syndicators or sources with express permission to use. At the very least, try to go back to the original source to check for the proper credit line and any permissions for use. And for those thinking "fair use" or a news exemption - remember that only covers the use of portions of the original work. If you're online in the first place grabbing the content, it shouldn't take that much longer to track down the original source and verify credit.
And if you don't think this is serious, pay attention to the fine print that news organizations put in when they solicit viewer or reader contributions - at the very least they will say that sending content in gives them permission to use the content; more often, they'll indicated that contributing content transfers copyright ownership to the content.
Source - NY Post scolded by photographer, JimRomenesko.com blog