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Published: 12 December 2012

By Andy Ross

Copyright on the internet

This post has come about because the WeaveTech forum is discussing Pinterest, the online way of showing people the pictures you like on a virtual pin-board. One of the members has posted about finding her own image pinned by others on the site and is asking about copyrights and copying.

The consensus seems to be that anything that is posted online nowadays is open for anyone else to use even if it is labelled copyright, or has a watermark on it. That seems unfair so if you see your work or you recognise someone else's work on a site, a polite email asking for accreditation is probably in order. Copying has been around for ever; it is one way that we all learn new things, so we can't get away from that. But taking someone else's ideas and using them for your own is not on. If you are concerned about this, have a read of this government document which is clear and helpful, and gives useful advice and support on copyright issues.

That said, Pinterest is not about copying! It is a way of showing people what you like and so most people that use it are admirers of work that they pin to their boards. It is actually a good way of showing off your work and seeing how many people like it. The pictures can link back to the original post, so make sure, when you put a picture of your work on the web, it has all the details so people can get hold of you.