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~~
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