More About The Bad Boyfriend that is Pinterest

Pinterest Problems?

Oh, Pinterest, how we love you! How we loathe you! You’re still–after all this time–just like A Bad Boyfriend. In truth, I don’t even know what to say to you. Or about you. Yes, I have boards on Pinterest. Yes, I pin things. Yes, I often feel guilty for not being able to track down original sources. In my own defense, I don’t even know what to say. I don’t pin things for other people or to gain followers; I pin things I want to be able to look at again and, as often as possible, follow to the blog or website of whoever created the thing I liked. But that’s a lame excuse for participating in something that just keeps on seeming iffy, you know?


My friend Chris sent me a link to a blog post from last year, and if you have any dealings with Pinterest at all, you should go read it. You might want to make a cup of tea and pack some snacks, because there’s a lot of heavy information there. But it’s information you’re going to want to have for your future forays into the Land of Pinning, especially if you stumble upon an app called Bazaart that was recently offered to me by the developers. I sent a note to Pinterest asking what they had to say about this and got a note from Stephanie, a “community specialist,” saying they planned to investigate it. But that’s all I heard–no follow-up.


I don’t know about anyone else, but to me, this is beyond hinky: the app allows you to create collages out of images you find on Pinterest. So: you take images of other people’s art–or their photographs, which they also own–and put them together and call it a collage, which is saying it’s something *you* created. Now, we can all guess how this goes: while some people will make mash-ups of their favorite images for their own entertainment, others are going to say, “It’s my collage; it’s my creation; I can do whatever I want with it.” And suddenly, you see your art journal page, which you posted on your blog and somebody pinned to Pinterest, as the focus of a collage on someone else’s blog or website: they found it on Pinterest, liked it, used it in a Bazaart collage, and now are claiming it as their own.


Maybe I’m missing something here; I keep hoping that’s the case, because as I see it, the whole purpose of this app is to encourage people to use stuff that doesn’t belong to them to make collages that they can claim as their own–the Bazaart blog actually says, “Meet new friends in the app’s vibrant community and amaze your old ones with what you can create!”


“With what you can create.” By calling it a “collage,” (which they do), they’re saying the result is a work of art, one that you created. And doesn’t that mean that it’s yours? What about the people who created all the parts of that–the images you used in making this Bazaart collage?


What do you think? Am I missing something that makes this not only OK, but A Good Thing? Talk to me~~


Living the Creative LifeRicë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.





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5 Responses to More About The Bad Boyfriend that is Pinterest

  1. Susan Johnson says:

    I totally agree with you. I am not sure that the great minions who don’t create anything understand the concept of ownership of artistic product. It is wonderful when someone likes your work. The problem seems to be everyone continuing to know it is your work. I have seen multiple articles on making sure you put your watermark on everything that is posted. This seems to be the only thing that will make this all work. Thanks for letting me share in your concerns.

    • Rice Freeman-Zachery says:

      I hate to think that’s necessary, the watermarks, but it surely would cut down on the fun of making a collage of other people’s images if every single one of them were marked by a separate watermark, wouldn’t it?

  2. CarolineA says:

    I sooo totally agree! I have been directing people on various websites (including this one) since Katherine Tyrrell first published her blog posts about Pinterest.
    If you use other peoples work in “creating” your “art”, its theft. Its a pity the same websites that I post the links to also sell books and write articles that encourage people to do exactly this as if giving it a coat of paint or sticking something over it makes it OK.
    Whether you do it using an app, or a pair of scissors, making a collage then publishing it online as yours is stealing someone elses work and claiming it as your own. Plagiarism, theft, call it what you will, its not art, and has no originality and no integrity, and as for “the original artists should be flattered” rubbish, they are not, its an insult and you are a thief. Plain and simple.
    Making a Mark also explains how you can ruin the reputation of someone you admire by doing this.
    If you are going to use pictures from the web, make sure someone does not own the copyright, and don’t rely on the new UK laws to justify your actions either. In the rest of the real world, an artist owns their work, and its images, until they pass those rights onto someone else. Unless you have the express permission to use a copyrighted image, don’t use it, unless you intend making a collage and not showing it to anyone else, ever, which rather spoils the fun of publishing it online. And even if you have permission, I suggest you check the archives on on “authentic” and how to develop your own personal style instead of copying and using someone else’s work.

  3. jgirlnine says:

    I agree since there’s an app people feel it is okay …but the app draws from other people’s work without giving credit to those who used their own individual creativity to make a piece. Unfortunatly technology forgoes this principle.

  4. jgirlnine says:

    Technology is not giving credit to people using their own creativity. Images as inspiration are one thing but an app which create collages from other people’s work is not right.