Today I've been thinking about copyright issues again and about how users interpret things differently and about how much these things are really worth the average blogger getting upset about.
Basically, contrary to popular opinion, things posted on the Web, although in the public domain are still the intellectual property of the poster and they still, as in the rest of the media world, hold full rights over how their work is distributed and published. Many people think that, just because it's technically very easy indeed to re-post someone else's work, that it's OK and legal to do so. It isn't. A re-poster doesn't have to claim it as one's own work in order for one using the material (say a photo) without permission to be a violation of copyright. The arguments that someone 'should be flattered', is getting 'free advertising' (quite irrelevant for most non-commercial purposes anyway) and 'shouldn't post their stuff if they don't want others to use it' are really just poor justifications and the last one makes about as much moral sense as saying that one shouldn't buy a picture and hang it in their own living room if they don't want their visitors to steal it!
However, I realise that, no matter how hard anyone tries, they're just not going to stop people using their material and one can tie oneself up in all sorts of knots and waste so much trying to assert copyright that it brought me to the point of thinking, 'If I grant general permission under, basically, non-commercial circumstances, then there will be nothing to get annoyed about. No-one will have ignored my wishes as I will have allowed them to do what they have done.' There are just so very many more important things to spend one's time and energy on. So, I've re-written my copyright page allowing folk to use my images on social networks, book-marking sites and discussion forums, as long as they provide credits and links. Yes, you can now 'pin' from here. People were managing to do so, regardless of the former 'nopin' tag anyway... As long as it's just a hobby-interest setting and you're not planning on making money, directly or indirectly, from the use of one of my photos, you can use it. Please don't re-publish tutorials, articles or anything like that though. Links are all that are needed to these things, as they are already in the public domain.
If there's any doubt about what you're interested in using my blog material for, check out the Copyright page and get in touch with me. I'm almost always going to say 'yes', although with commercial ventures, I may ask for something in return.
I'm just a medium skill embroideress with a moderately popular blog and getting all twisted up about who uses stuff without my permish is both a complete waste of time (as nine times out of ten you make no impact on them anyway when you protest) and just too unimportant an issue to dwell on. So, use away (within reason - I don't want to find, say, a blog post with a dozen or more of my photos featured!), but just remember to put my blog link and name on. I'll be interested to see how quickly images proliferate elsewhere now....=) I've set up my own boards now with only things from my own blog and from which people may repin.
Thanks and enjoy!=)
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2013