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Pinterest & encouraging people to blatantly copy my work!

So I've been getting increasing amounts of traffic from Pinterest so I thought I'd investigate the incoming links it sends to me. I was really quite upset to find pictures of my artwork with comments such as, "Louise Mead but you can bet I'll be doing a copy of this myself" and "so easy, I'm going to get the kids to paint this in class".

Now I'm fully aware that my work is quite simple in its execution and I'm under no illusions that I'm some van Gogh or Picasso but even so. I can't help feeling quite upset that people would not only have the audacity to copy my work for themselves but to actively encourage others to do so via the internet.

Whilst my paintings themselves are quite simplistic, the idea behind them took some work to develop & get right . As other sellers know, it also takes time & costs money to promote my items so I feel quite upset and taken advantage of that people would effectively steal my ideas and do so in such an arrogant way.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is there anything I can do? I feel like posting a comment but I think it would probably end up with me just looking petty and bitter.

Is this a copyright infringement? Can I complain & request that Pinterest remove it? They seem to be very reluctant to remove posts on the basis of copyright and insist that I write to them by post rather than reporting online as with other issues.

Any help would be very much appreciated.


111 Responses

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent copying of your ideas is not to post it on the internet, and preferrably not show it to anyone anywhere

Comfort yourself with the fact that the "Oh i can do that myself" type people will not do it as well as you, and are unlikely to be your target market

Can't help with having it removed from Pinterest tho as i know nothing about how the site works
Happens to me all. the . time. Even since before pinterest. I would follow my stats back to forums of people discussing how to duplicate my sculptures. So I started selling tutorials :D
I've heard other artists complaining about Pinterest for the same reasons. People seem to think that Pinterest is a place to find new ideas and it's OK to copy from there. It's too bad that their admin aren't willing to patrol the site or help with copyright infringement. Can you post and remind browsers that all of your art is copyrighted?

I didn't join there because of all the complaints from artists and photographers, so I'm sorry I can't help you with details about the site. I did search there recently and found one of my art pieces, but it recently sold, so that's ok that it is there - it's a sailor's valentine and not easy to copy.

I understand all the work behind what looks like a "simple" piece of art. So many people don't understand what copyright is and how it works, so they think that it's ok to copy any art. I think it's up to us to explain copyright and protect our work.
There seems to be fewer people with a moral compass anymore. It's very sad.
Those sort of comments on Pinterest is really no different than those people at craft fairs who have the nerve to come into your tent and say, "Oh, I'm sure I could do that!" either to the person they've come in with or you personally. SUPER ANNOYING, but the chances of them ACTUALLY doing it is pretty low. People are lazy and forgetful.

The only way to truly keep an idea from being copied is to never show it to anybody! Pinterest will probably do you more good than harm. :)
it happens. unfortunately there's not much you can do it about it. i find many of my items on the diy boards.

hopefully they are not trying to sell your items for profit. then you could have a leg to stand on. pinterest did remove a picture i had posted (not in diy but just a room i thought was pretty!) because the original owner didn't want it up there.

i admit, i see items and think i can make that myself. sometimes i do, sometimes i don't. i have a picture i made myself based on one for sale. i'd never make them to sell it of course, but i'm a diy-er. if i think i can make it, i'll give it a shot.
Louise I wouldn't stress too much about it. I love your art and it sure doesn't look easy to me. Iv'e been in this business a long time and when people say "oh I can do that" I just chuckle because they usually never do.
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Inactive Etsy Member 10:56am Dec 18, 2011 EST
Comments like that drive me nuts too. But, in the end, I doubt that people can make them as good as you. Your work is beautiful.
When I worked as a florist, customers and neighboring flower shops would try to copy my work all the time.
I totally hear you!

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