The ethics of attribution? Ethics, hell. How about copyright legalities? Social sharing seems to have blown a hole in a lot of rights of ownership issues. Not that the legal issues have changed. Rather, the practical realities of widespread sharing have undermined the ability of any creator to protect their work. Bottom line: You’re an artist, illustrator or photographer posting your work to gain exposure or, God forbid, trying to sell something – you do so at your own risk apparently. Chances are good that those artsy semi-nude photos you did with your fiancée are already being re-purposed at some Bulgarian online porn mill headquarters, soon to reappear on a “Boudoir Romance” Pinterest page…and innocently enough, actually, in the latter case. A blogger, poster or pinner can try to be diligent about listing Tumblr sources and such, at the very least as a courtesy to the nice bloggers who went to trouble to locate and post images and items in the first place. As far as being clear on whose photo, illustration or other artwork the file really belongs to – that is, who was the creator, and do they know their work is plastered and repined all over the internet – well, that gets increasingly tough. The truly unique painting or photo you ‘discover’ at a Tumblr blog or Pinterest board may have already been re-posted a zillion times, and originated in some nice artist’s or photographer’s own blog, Corotflot or Deviant Art page. All too often, who really knows, how would you go about determining the point of origin, and frankly, who is really going to bother? When I started blogging a bit (a mere two months ago, I believe), I don’t think I was very diligent at all about captions, legends, attributions and such. Now I’m trying to be much better about this. But there are still oodles of snappy pics I spot and want to repost or pin, and I’ve no idea where they really originated. I only know what sit or blog I’m on at the moment. And lets be honest – Pinterest’s ease of use and quick ‘n simple re-pinning process compounds things.
For now, I’ll continue on my current path. It’s all about compartmentalizing, I suppose. Oodles of pics go to Pinterest. Pointless rambles like this go to my blog and Tumblr. Someday I’ll figure out what to do with Facebook and I’ll continue wading through all the self-promoting “Follow this link to my easy book promotion course” posts masquerading as “discussions” on Linked-In.
Oh, what the hell. Stop by my Pinterest page. If you like anything I ever ramble on about here on my blogs, you’ll probably dig the growing image collections at my Pinterest page. Soon, perhaps you too will be posting decadent cupcake photos, cute kitties at play images and launching a “My Style” girl-crush board yourself.