A blog that focuses on the photography of Dean J. Birinyi, an interior and architectural photographer based in San Francisco, CA.

How to keep from getting slammed by Pinning a Pretty Houzz

Private Residence
Los Altos, CA
Gina Viscusi
Viscusi Elson Interior Design
Today’s architectural photograph is residential library in Los Altos, California was shot for Gina Viscusi of Viscusi Elson Interior Design.

Lately it has come to light that Pintrest is not indemnifying users from copyright violation. I think it’s because they know they are not violating anyones copyright themselves, they’re just encouraging other people to do so. I feel they know there are going to be lawsuits aplenty, this is why they are making it quite plain and requiring user acceptance of liability for copyright infringement.The worst thing that can happen is that as a professional you pin an image and you get sued for several thousand dollars, in the state of the copyright holder because as a professional who holds copyright to your own work you can’t effectively claim ignorance, unlike a mother of two whose last job was managing a bank ten years ago.

Copyright is a very complex issue and it is important that anyone whose livelihood is dependent upon photography or graphic design whether they are a creator or a user be aware of what copyright is and what it is not. You can protect yourself from possible problems related to improper use of a photograph by learning the basics of copyright at this link.

Copyright is important to me and copyright was so important to the founders of the United States that it is in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and all the others thought copyright was more important than freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, quartering of soldiers, search and seizure and the rest of the bill of rights.

That’s a pretty big deal.

The law is the creator of a work holds the copyright upon creation, in short - you create it, you own it. Copyright gives the copyright holder the exclusive right to reproduce the work, the exclusive right to modify the work and the exclusive right to distribute the work from the moment of creation until seventy years after the creators death. The founding fathers felt it was right, just and important to give creators a limited monopoly to exploit their own creations for financial gain to encourage further creative efforts.

These days with the internet, social media, and Pintrest becoming the primary means of viewing and sharing creative works it is more important than ever to ensure the creator of artistic works and well as the user thereof be well informed of what copyright is and why it is important. For me it’s important because my photographs are what I have to sell, and they are all I have to sell. I have to use them to buy groceries, pay my mortgage, healthcare and retirement. This is why I embed my copyright and contact information in the metadata of each and every image I deliver, why my images all contain a watermark and why I license the use of my images.