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Editor’s note: I invited Katrina  Zepp of Salt City Spice to come and share her thoughts on pinning original works as DIY projects on Pinterest after reading her post-there are many differing opinions on this topic and I hope we can meet up in the comments to share our thoughts and ideas. See you there!

pinterest ethics, salt city spice, Katrina Zepp

{Pinterest logo via here}

A few years ago, my husband and I were in the middle of renovating our entire house from top to bottom and I was stuffed full of ideas. I made notes, cut out photos from magazines, and collected paint chips, fabric swatches, and other odds & ends to help remind me of the mood I wanted in each room. I kept these little bits of inspiration in a special binder dedicated to our projects and referred to it constantly. Back in the olden days (i.e., 2008), this was probably pretty standard.

Now? As I start to generate ideas for the kitchen overhaul we hope to complete next year, I wouldn’t even think of using a clunky binder, because there’s a much better way – Pinterest. In case you aren’t familiar, Pinterest allows you to visually bookmark images from nearly any website and arrange your finds onto virtual style boards, sharing your “pins” with others along the way. It’s an endless stream of pretty, and really, who couldn’t use a little Pinspiration?

As with any type of media that encourages users to openly share ideas and content in a public forum, however, there’s also the question of ethics. The issue?

Etsy sellers are finding their  handmade works pinned as “DIY” where the pinners clearly intend to make a replica of the original item themselves.

 

To be clear, the DIY pins in question are not links to tutorials and there isn’t a note that the pinner will be reinventing the item to create something new. In fact, in some instances, the pinner is explicitly clear that they intend to copy the item exactly. This isn’t inspiration; it’s a very public notice that someone intends to replicate an original idea or design. Regardless of the legality, is it ethical to link to a handmade item available for sale and publicly announce you’re going to make yourself? 

To me, ethical pinning means generating responsible content that takes into account the original source along with the intent of the idea or item in question. Lately, before pinning, I’ve been following what I like to think of as The Golden Rules of Pinterest:

 

  1. I won’t pin, tag, or imply that original works by Etsy sellers are DIY projects.
  2. I check sources (by clicking the photo until it takes me back to the host site) – I won’t repin potential DIYs from others without first fully investigating the original source.

This is undoubtedly a sticky subject and a correlation to the ongoing discussion about inspiration versus synchronicity versus copying and the idea that nothing is ever really new… except maybe the methods we use to organize and share our ideas.

So where do you stand? Have you ever found your handmade item pinned as a DIY project? Do you check the original source of your pins? Will you take the Pinterest Pledge by pinning the above image to one or more of your Pinterest boards? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!

Katrina Zepp is the owner and creative force behind Salt City Spice, specializing in eclectic home decor. She’s a food enthusiast and enjoys sharing her latest culinary creations with her husband and toddling daughter.

Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/saltcityspice
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/saltcityspice
Blog: http://saltcityspice.blogspot.com/

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  • http://gaiacornwall.com/ Gaia

    ooh this interesting especially as I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of this. (Also interesting in lieu of the copyright discussion we had here a few months ago.)
    I totally understand this point of view. And in general, we should all be better about crediting the pins to the original “maker”. Something I’ve been trying to be more conscientious of.

    However, I think if people are planning on making and keeping various items, I think it’s pretty harmless. (as long as the pins are credited, as mentioned above.) And actually kind of cool. More people making stuff for themselves is a good thing. (Right?) BUT if they’re planning on SELLING said items, that is definitely not ok.

    I’d also like to point out, that (I believe) most of the things I’ve pinned to later make myself, were very high market things. Ie costing hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars. Even if I didn’t make them myself, I would not be buying said items. But I don’t know if that matters…

    Interested to hear what other people think!

    • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks for your comment Gaia! It really is an interesting discussion with so many people having differing opinions.

      My thoughts on it all are this: When I pin something on Pinterest I try to include the name of the maker in the text as well as the price if the object is for sale. If it is a tutorial or DIY project I include that too-just as I very carefully source and credit the images I share here. I do the same thing on Facebook & Twitter etc. To me it is a matter of both personal and professional courtesy. We have talked about inspiration before and I still hope people take Marisa up on her Pinspiration challenge, why don’t we source our creative inspiration in the same way we source references and images and quotes? I don’t think giving credit inhibits creativity or the spread of ideas its like tipping the hat to artists that have influenced you. I think makers do have to be okay with the idea that whatever is shared on the internet will inspire someone else’s craftiness-that is a given and as long as people are making the idea their own and giving credit there should be nothing to be upset about. We can’t ever truly own an idea or technique. I don’t think Katrina is saying NOT to pin things with the intention of making them just to think about how pinning the work and clearly implying you will be making it is perceived by the makers of the items.

  • http://happydappybits.com Jane | happy dappy bits

    I personally don’t use Pinterest as of yet but many of my greeting cards are pinned by others (which I’m always flattered by!) and I have a link on my blog to make it easy for others to pin if they’d like.

    I have noticed a few remarks that bothered me a bit…”printables” (I don’t sell any printables!). Possibly an honest mistake. This also happens on Tumblr where people remark that my card or gift tag is a “great idea!” and mention their plans to make their own replica. As a seller, I work hard on all the items in my shop (from idea to product) so it hurts a little when people make comments like “so easy!” as if it’s a DIY project.

    I’m not sure what the solution is, just have the courtesy and respect to give credit where credit is due and not steal people’s exact ideas or market them as something they aren’t. Maybe others can weigh in.

    Appreciate your bringing this important issue forward! :)

  • Kate

    I think you’ve raised an interesting point and after thinking about it disagree.

    I have an online shop that sells items that are 100% my design and original creations, they’re popular and have certainly been used as “inspiration” (read: attempted to copy) by a number of others.

    HOWEVER.

    I hand make lots of other things for personal use or gifts. I have a very large pinterest board of “things to make” and I repin other original works that have originally come from etsy or similar. I don’t have the time to trawl through etsy myself.

    I think with rise of online sharing it’s going to push the creative world to be more creative. It also gives hand makers / creatives access to a wide audience through very free and effective marketing, making it possible now to connect with people, develop a fan base and ultimately make a living.

    Isn’t that what we want? More creativity and for creatives to get paid to be creative!

  • http://cjohannesen.etsy.com Jessica Alvarado

    I find this topic very interesting.

    First let me clearly state that pinning with the intent to copy & sell is not right.

    That being said I think that Pinterest is just making public a habit that many people have had for a while. Before Pinterest I would save photos of stuff i liked to a folder on my computer. Now, i just pin them.

    The availability of pinning has only made my organization better (and freed up some harddrive space) – but has not changed what i save only where i save it. And honestly, most of the time I don’t even consider that my pins are public. I just pin.

    I guess my feeling is that people who want to copy, are going to copy. Regardless of whether they pin my item under DIY or under AWESOME ETSY STUFF.

    Overall, making this more of an issue is good – it brings attention to the work we do as artists and anything we can do to stop some plagiarism is a good thing.

  • Cinders

    Interesting topic. I do always site my pins when I pin, but nit when I repin. Also, If I find something I really like, I will click back to the source if I can. Often they really are DIY instructions.

    I do think that your source should be cited. That’s only fair and you have agreed to it when you joined Pinterest.

    I would also like to point out that there is a whole genre of artists that refer to their craft as DIY. So pinning their work with DIY is not an insult. The product is mostly clothing, but also accessories. In this case it refers to handmade as opposed to factory made.

    I’m not really sure how I feel, but I do think that If I have something of mine pinned, I’d be happy

  • http://www.janetmurphy.ca Janet Murphy

    I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with people pinning stuff as DIY. I think if someone looks at an idea and thinks “Oh, I could do that” they were never going to be your customer anyway.

    I know I pin a lot of ideas I love that I will never get around to, so pinning stuff regardless of what the category is, is always good exposure for the artists.

    I do have issues with people copying and selling the exact same idea as someone else but being inspired by each other is more a grey area.

    Sometimes having people copy you can lead to more success than not. Look at Martha Stewart, her success came from wanting people to copy her. Yet she still is runs VERY successful product lines.

    And let’s be honest, those who are happily pinning, are not necessarily doing. Who has the time for all those awesome inspiring ideas!!! I have purchased more on etsy from seeing pins then I had before. And I can’t tell you whether some were or were not in someone’s DIY folder.

    :)

    • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

      So many great perspectives & viewpoints in the comments already! Thank you everyone for visiting to share your thoughts on this-I love seeing what others think: )

  • http://www.knittingcontessa.com Tina

    SUPER interesting topic. I work at a studio in my “day life” where copyright is always an issue. And perhaps the Pinterest pinners are sort of like that? It’s maybe all about the education, letting people KNOW about their behavior and how it impacts others? Sometimes we find that people copy or share when they shouldn’t have because they JUST DIDN”T THINK. Deadly combo there! A DIY folder may mean very different things between us—– semantics? I sincerely hope that when we all talk about pinning and the hows and why’s and wherefore’s that we will not only build a better community of pinners but of those that appreciate handcrafted items of all varieties.

  • http://omiyage.ca Marisa

    I agree with Janet – a devout DIY’er is never going to be your customer. There are simply some people who will always do it for themselves – and there are other who will never be bothered to take the time to make.

    Personally, I try really hard not to pin something without checking into the original source first – but I’m sure I slip up from time to time. I also try not to pin a handmade artist’s work into my DIY folder – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t take inspiration from the work of others. But that’s how I look on it – as inspiration. I’m not interested in knocking-off someone else’s work – if I want the exact item, I’ll buy it. But if it strikes a chord with me for some reason, I might use it to make my own version.

    I often hear bloggers & artists complain about their work being pinned. I think it’s great! While the handmade community can be quite insular, Pinterest exposes your work / products / tutorials to a much broader section of people. People who might never have come across your blog / shop otherwise. I often come across new-to-me makers on Pinterest who I might have never found in the maze that is etsy.

    I also think that being pinned is a compliment – check out the source feature of Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/source/yoursitehere) and you can see which products / projects have caught the interest of others. Even if they are labeled “DIY”, it means you are doing something right and you’re striking a chord with potential customers. This feature can be a great resource for you.

  • Shelly

    Aside from what everyone else has said above, I have to say some things I’ve pinned from Etsy are people who sell things that ARE DIY, or there are already tutorials on how to do it – the Etsy seller chooses to make and sell them. So it kind of goes both ways.

    I know one thing that REALLY annoys me on Pinterest is when someone blogs about a tutorial, and links to their blog, which then links to the original source. I hate that. It makes me feel a bit slimy when I repin something and find out you have to go through two or three different sites to get to the actual original. (I pin quite often without viewing it first. Mainly because I have really busy pints that crop up in my day, so I’ll pin something so I can go back and look at it later.) I just wish “pinners” would just link the original source, instead of their own blog post that links to a post that links to the original source. That’s like bad SEO tactics or something, and seems underhanded.

  • http://cinderellenspot.blogspot.com/ ellen

    I pin a lot of projects that are beyond what I will ever attempt myself, mostly as a way of remembering where I saw them. I also pin things I think I might make myself if I ever have the time or learn the skill. It’s very fluid for me. Is pinning an image of an item you will probably not buy but might make really any different from visiting high end stores and recreating a version of an item for yourself?

    • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

      Hi Ellen thanks for you comment and for sharing your thoughts, I think it is different since in the high end store there is very rarely another person on the other end who will be affected by your decision. Also, would you go back into the high street store and leave a little note on the piece you were checking out saying you were going to make it? One is totally harmless & completely in line with the DIY ethos but the other does leave the original artist often feeling devalued.

  • http://www.proyect-me.com/ Pamela Domínguez

    I believe there´s no right or wrong in this matter. It´s all about reciprocity. If you buy, someone will buy. If you pin, someone will pin. Or karma, if you prefer. And that´s life… I guess.

  • http://Thecozyprojectblog.blogspot.com Jenny P

    I am a maker. I am inspired by other makers and artists and crafters. I sell my items on Etsy and I have found my items on Pinterest. I have had the experience of feeling flattered by the pin… Someone liked my work and posted a photo of my item and linked back to my listing on Etsy. I have also had the experience of felling uneasy or put off by someone posting one of my products and saying they were going to copy it or make it themselves. I recognize I didn’t invent yarn or crochet and cozies themselves weren’t even my idea… But I DESIGN each one of my pieces and deserve credit and respect for the artist portion of my work. I recognize that we are all inspired by each other and in fact I think that is actually super cool! However, posting someones product or art or creation in a public place and blatantly admitting you plan to plagiarize their work is not okay with me regardless of whether or not they were ever going to be my customer. I expect that people can make what I make… and I expect that they will… and regardless of whether

  • http://Thecozyprojectblog.blogspot.com Jenny P

    Sorry for my iPhone ineptitude and early post…

    My point is… I know people might copy what I make and make it for themselves … I am not overly bothered by that… But I do feel it is incredibly disrespectful to be blatant about it…

  • anna

    thank you for posting !!
    Pinned the Image to my new “Pintethics” board; with a copy of the pledge …Link: http://pinterest.com/pin/257044357/

  • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Fiona you have given me a lot to think about.

    We’ve had some great conversations here on copycats/plagiarism and ethics but I never thought about offering free downloads/templates as contributing to the problem. I would be very interested to know if you have any suggestions for alternatives-instead of free possibly by donation? I pin printables to a board called oh my! printables but these are being offered by the creators of the image for OMHG readers, I have also designed and offered these to readers also. I always see it as a gift that I am comfortable being used and reproduced I have never considered it in this way! If you are interested I would welcome a guest post from you about this topic since I know we have many designers here who offer free downloads & templates and would be interested in your knowledgable perspective.

    I also firmly agree with not ripping off big companies by creating DIY versions of their products just as I disagree with the reverse. It feels unethical either way. Big companies and designers should be given the same respect and consideration as small or micro-business + emerging artists.

    Hopefully by offering places for the handmade community to come and talk honestly/respectfully we can counteract the culture of copycatting/discounting/cheapening our work by finding solutions and supporting creativity.

  • http://www.angieallen.com Angie Allen

    I’m a maker who’s works has been copied verbatim and listed for sales on Etsy. I am aware of copyright and piracy issues and strongly support enforcement and education of said issues. I’m conscientious to “walk the walk”, for instance, I only purchase fonts from font foundries and never download “free fonts” because I want to know the artisan behind that font is properly compensated.

    That being said, just because a Pinterest member has pinned a link under a board labeled “DIY” doesn’t mean they intend to reproduce that item exactly as is or even close to as is. I use Pinterest as a place to store ideas and inspiration. I may pin something that has an element I want to remember such as color, texture, function or style without having any intention of recreating the item itself. I find it presumptuous to assume pinning equates to the intent to copy (no matter how I’ve chosen to label that pin- ie, “clever”, “so simple” or “I could do this” – these are phrases people use loosely). It’s unfair to accuse someone of doing something unethical simply because they pinned an item or project. We don’t know if they actually stole the idea; they just marked it. There are a few unscrupulous people out there, but for the most part PInterest is used as a pin board of ideas. That’s its purpose right? The majority of pinners are not out to steal the secret Crabby Patty Formula and rule the world.

    Also, I’d like to say, it’s never ok copy works from a high end store. Often those items are the creations of independent artisans like you or me. The artisan’s work may be white-labeled through the terms of a contract agreement but it does not undo the fact that it was someone else’s original idea and creation. Copying does affect someone on the other end… even when copying big brand companies.

  • http://www.alamodestuffblog.com Linda @alamodestuff

    I completely agree with Angie. Individuals need to take responsibility for their online behavior/business ethics and remember that what goes around comes around.

    If someone wants to steal an idea, nothing will stop them. If they are blatant enough to announce they are stealing someone’s idea, they’ll do so with the online community nipping at their heels. That is punishment alone.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/theopenheartproject rebecca

    This is one thing that has bothered me about repining on Pinterest from the start, so many pins that don’t link back to an original site. With a few rare exceptions, I don’t repin if I can’t get to the source. If I want to pin it badly enough I’ll try googling to find the original and then pin that.

    On the topic of recreating something made by someone else, I’m not bothered by that. As a designer I know that inspiration can be found anywhere anytime, and we each have our own unique way of rendering those inspirations. Even if a tutorial is followed to a T the product will not replicate the original, it will have the flare & style of the person who created that one piece.

    Ideas can not be stolen. If another person took the physical product of the idea, then that is steeling. Ideas are nebulous, free floating and can’t be owned but the product of the idea can be. Yet, when inspired by another’s work attribution is always a good idea, in the case of Pinterest that attribution can be made in the form of a link to the original. site.

  • alli

    my issue is copyright, if everyone is pinning? are the owners, usually corp and companies giving pin freedom and when you pin their photo on your blog outside pinterest isnt that the same as stealing the photo. I know it takes a lot to go to the original photo and see if the photographer gives permission this drugry makes it almost not worth it who wants to ask a bizzillon people if you can use a their picture of a cupcake. If the owner grants license for anyone to use their photos that’s different, but etsy sellers and small owners have no control which becomes the issue. i use a photo i have permission to use but once its public on pinterest you repin maybe not caring and who knows what happens i guess thats the risk in allow your photos to be used freely, i usually alert ppl.

  • Ivette

    Honestly I think if the person does not intent to produce and sell the items, I don’t see the harm. There are many items I love on Etsy, but I would never be able to buy them, because we are on a very tight budget. But if I can use etsy for inspiration to make something for my home, myself, or my child for less money, I will do it. I mean before Pinterest, I saved photos from webpages to my computer so that I had for inspiration, isn’t that the same concept?

  • Sherrie

    I have to agree with so many others who said that pinning something to make it yourself for yourself (not to sell) is fine. I frequently do this because I an make many things. However, there are many other things that I cannot make and am willing to purchase. So, while I can sew, others cannot or are not willing to take the time and will purchase. Again, as long as you are not selling, I don’t have a problem with it. I do think it is important mention the shop name though in the pin if it is an etsy (or etsy-type) shop.

  • http://pinterest.com/pin/248656282/ Ninotchka

    I just double checked and backtracked my D.I.Yuss board – and yes I have mostly pinned tutorials. Other things I’ve pinned because I like the fabric or the interplay of elements – and I’ve said that not ‘note to self – must rip this off’.

    Interestingly I’ve just noted two of my pins are exactly the same….and one backtracks to the site selling it as a pattern, the other to a person who offered it as her original design to be put on a cushion, tea towel, apron, etc. Interesting, non?

  • http://www.westmamadesigns.com Kimberly

    I have seen my stuff pinned as DIY or “I can’t to make this for my kid”… I took it as exposure and hopefully that people would realize that it would be easier to just buy it.

    I will do better on verifying my DIY repins.

    p.s. I just pinned this article :-)

  • http://www.munromakes.blogspot.com Joanne Munro

    Your post is very well timed as I’ve just written a review of Pinterest!

    I love the site but I think the problem is that when you Repin an image you don’t know where it originated from.

    I often clip craft images that inspire me (using Evernote or my snipping tool) with the intention of recreating it or something similar – it would not occur to me that I was stealing the item from the maker.

    Inspiration comes from many places and it would be a shame to censor it although I do understand and sympathise with Etsy makers. I have an Etsy store myself and am fully aware that someone could recreate my idea.

    And I say good luck to them and I hope they enjoy making it.

    Joanne Munro
    http://www.munromakes.blogspot.com

  • http://www.westmamadesigns.com Kimberly

    @ivette, I do agree with you… but just don’t label it as DIY… pins are shared and viewed by your followers… I feel like enters gray area.

    oh and I see a typo in my above post…I’ve seen my designs described as “I can’t wait to make this for my kid”… just left out a word.

  • Caroline

    I don’t have “DIY” folder on my Pinterest. I am also a SAHM to a full-time grad student and am living on student loans. We have no. money. So when the “Chasing Fireflies” magazine comes to my door I take it, look at gorgeous $60-$120 dresses, cut out my favorites, and recreate them for my daughter at a FRACTION of the cost. Pinterest is the same thing for me. I cannot afford to go to Etsy and pay for their costs, but I can afford to look at their things, change it up to how *I* would like it, and then dig around in my scrap box and make it. In fact, a lot of the clothes that I’ve pinned have already made it into my kids’ closets. I’m not going to go and sell the things I make that are inspired by another’s hard work, but for my situation in life it makes more sense for me to make it than to buy it.
    Now, I have an Etsy shop. And what I sell would be super simple for someone with sewing skills to make! So if they wanted to use my idea for inspiration for their own I have absolutely no problems with it. Why not? I’d rather not pay Pottery Barn or Target for some of their things when I KNOW I can make it for less.
    I can understand where some people would be upset, and how it could possibly “rob” the original creator, but there are enough people out there who can’t or won’t make it themselves that would be willing to pay the inspired seller that I think it balances out those of us who CAN’T afford to pay them and HAVE to make it ourselves.

  • Caroline

    Correction – I’m a SAHM AND WIFE to a full-time grad student.

  • http://craftzeefactory.blogspot.com Marina

    Very interesting subject and I love all the comments you received. It’s great to read so much various point of views.

    I would agree with those that say there is nothing wrong in pinning something as DIY. Pinterest is a wonderful place because of the possibility that we don’t need to credit someone photo, the source is already linked. And if I mark something as DIY it usually means that it’s something I would like to make for myself, not to sell…
    People who wants to copy something, will do it, pinning it or not… but by pinning it, they also bring free advertising to those who see the photo… DIY boards are very popular and most searched for, but not everyone have the same skill, nor time to do everything, so it is easily possible that xy person sees something in someones DIY board and decides to buy it – just because he likes it, but has no time or skill to DIY that particular piece…
    DIYers gone DIY, HATErs gone hate, COPYers gone copy… we need to look on positive side of pinterest, not the negative… otherwise we might as well lock up ourselves in our little world and never publish anything online…

  • Lucy

    I don’t get it. If you are posting your pictures on the internet, the whole purpose is for exposure. You can’t assume that just because someone pinned something that they are trying to rip you off or discredit you. If someone posted a picture from Etsy and credited themselves as making it, I can see a problem, but the whole “you need to cite the original maker” thing is silly. Its no different than bookmarking a picture you like on your internet browser. Do you want people to feel guilty about that too? I’m sorry, but this is a silly conversation. If you don’t want people sharing pictures of your stuff, don’t post it on the internet. Sell it privately.

  • Lauren

    I would bet that for every person who actually *makes* something on Pinterest from an etsy site, 10 people bought the item because of the free marketing. :-) I can totally understand not wanting your items ripped off, but think the phrase “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” applies here. I would be ecstatic if I got tons more exposure to my site, even if a few people made the item instead of buying it.

  • Lauren

    Also, how is this different than a pin that goes to a blog post? That’s an original work too, even if they aren’t trying to make money on it. As long as you say, “I got this great idea from -here-” I don’t see the problem.

  • Theresa

    Hrm… see…. I can’t say that I stand firmly on either side of this argument.

    On the one hand: If I see something that I can make, then I will make it, not buy it. I have a real issue with buying something that is totally do-able on my own. This goes for crafty stuff as well as home stuff. For example, you don’t see the makers of Tide whining over pinners making their own laundry soap. I post things on my boards that I want to make if I see something I like. It doesn’t mean that my intention is to rip off an exact copy, just “Hey, I bet I could do something like that.” It also doesn’t mean that my intention is to sell it. It ALSO doesn’t mean that I won’t give credit where credit is due for the idea or inspiration, but bottom line is that I’m a chronic DIY-er. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed items in the store that I went home and made myself and I don’t feel the need to apologize for it at all.

    On the other hand: I’m a a maker who also sells handmade items and I understand the sting of being ripped off.

    The way I have come to see it, is that there is no way to own an idea unless you don’t plan on sharing it with anyone. If you share it, it will be copied and reinvented. Having my items re-made by others has only boosted my customer base and certainly hasn’t hurt my business enough that I’m not still making a pretty good contribution to our budget. If you’re going to be a crafty seller then you need to grow a thicker skin and understand that sometimes things like that just happen.

  • Marisa

    I agree all pins should give credit when credit is due, but it’s not a marketplace. Don’t put your stuff on Pinterest not thinking people won’t copy it – especially if it’s easy to reproduce. It is the risk any crafter who shares their work faces. Deal with it. :)

  • http://www.cookieandclaire.blogspot.com becca

    Let’s be honest – all those people pinning those “DIY” projects… it will never happen. They are too busy playing on pinterest to actually stop and make something! :)

  • Kate

    I am a graphic designer. My husband owns a pro photographic lab.

    I think if all the crafing people want us to never try to make the same stuff ourselves, then they need to also be just as ethical and hire a professional graphic designer to do their websites and design work, and a professional photographer to do all their photography.

    Fair?

    The photographic industry has had the biggest recession of it’s time in the last 15 years. People don’t care about that. They print their crappy home photos at their chemist and think they are as good as a pro.

    People design their own logos in Corel Draw and their own websites. Designers can’t do anything about that either.

    Sorry ladies! Welcome to the creative industries. You all can’t ask to be singled out. There will always be people who want to do it themselves. You all are! You aren’t hiring professionals for all the stuff you should either!

    YOU have to find a way and a reason for people to buy from you and not want to do it themselves. YOU have to make products people want to buy! It’s bloody hard work. It’s what me and my husband do every day and it’s the only way to survive. If you’re clever you’ll water mark your photos (that you took yourself instead of using a pro) so that when people get sick of trying to make it they know where to go to buy it.

  • Eilish

    I agree with Kate. You can’t keep people from trying things themselves. This is not a violation of copy write laws. Looking for ideas on Etsy is no different than looking for ideas in a Pottery Barn catalog.

    Competition is created when people decide that they can make an improvement on an idea. Competition is what keeps the cost of things down, and what keeps innovation going. If you want to stall innovation and pay outrageous prices, then keep complaining about it.

    I for one will not take this pledge …. and I’m now inspired to go to Etsy and look for more ideas.

  • Jenny

    Interesting debate here – I have a flickr account, which I pay for and I also have my own blog. I do not advertise anything for sale, I do not promote anything, I do not make any money from flickr or my blog. However I do like to share what I have made but I have chosen to share that on flickr (the account that I pay for). I clearly state that I do not want people to pin my things on to Pinterest because a) not one person has ever asked if this is ok b)I like flickr – here people share things that they have done/made/do. I find that pinterest is where others share the work of others – regardless of whether they wanted it there or not. When I have made polite requests to ask first I have been met with a hostile response. When I have politely asked if people would change the incorrect description that they have added to my photos – they never have. I have ‘met’ wonderful people on flickr – like minded people who wish to reciprocate with ideas/creativity. Sometimes my photos are posted onto Pinterest within minutes of my posting them onto flickr. Pinterest appears to have a total lack of respect for where others might wish their photos to end up.
    Kind regards
    Me

  • Jenn

    I agree w/ Kate & Eilish. People will always try to DIY. In fact, my whole life I have heard that if you want to be good at something, find someone else who is good and use them as your inspiration. Not all of those etsy listings were original thoughts and designs. And Jenny, you’re slamming the Pinterest community when it’s actually your Flickr community disregarding your “no pinning” request. Your problem in this instance is where you are sharing your photos.

  • Jenny

    Mmm – jenn I am not sure what ‘slamming’ is but what I do know that there are members on flickr who have one (or no photos) listed but have pinned many of my photos on Pinterest. I am not sure why the problem lies with Flickr as you suggest – my photographs have been very happy there for several years. It is Pinterest members who have ignored the no pin request – Flickr just leaves them on Flickr which is where I wish them to be.

  • http://lifestooshorttoplaypossum.wordpress.com/ erica

    I found the pledge button on a blog I was reading and decided to investigate some. I don’t quite get the difference between someone showing a picture of a RETAIL store item (pottery barn seems to be quite popular) and then shows a DIY version..tutorial of how to make your own..
    OR
    sells a very close version in an etsy storefront.

    I get that storefront owners don’t want their ideas and items replicated to be SOLD..but..at the same time it’s a fine line.
    I have some skills…painting lettering isn’t one of them. Why can’t I commision someone to do the lettering on a project that I originally saw on Pinterest or in an etsy store? Is that the same thing?
    I very much think of crafting like recipes…and they cannot be copywrite protected.
    But I do get it.
    I would never go use someone elses plans to build a bunch of patio furniture then open a store and never give them credit (or a cut!)
    but that’s me.
    Some crafters are very generous in that they really don’t care what you do with the information.
    I just don’t know. It’s a difficult issue.

  • Laura

    I actually came across a great idea on pinterest and when I clicked on it was directed to Etsy. I was happy to pay the $4 for the pattern and tutorial and was grateful their was a link. If I can support another SAHM or small business I am happy to do it! If you get the idea great, but if you re-pin it, what harm is it to include the credit where credit is due.

  • Erin

    I haven’t read any of the comments on this post, and I know this is an older post. But my opinion (and it is just that, not saying it is right or wrong) is that in my situation, when I pin something that I want to make myself, regardless of if it is on etsy for sale or a tutorial, I pin it because I CAN make it myself. I am a knitter and crocheter and I would much rather make an item myself than buy it already made. Now, if they are selling the pattern, then I will certainly buy that. But if I see a general idea that I could make something similar, I would rather do that than buy something that is hand crafted in a way that I could simply do myself.
    Now, other things, I am not so crafty on (paintings, stuff that requires tools, lol) and I would happily buy it if offered for sale and it served the purpose I need it for.
    Love the blog, by the way!

  • Jane

    Thanks for bringing this to light. I have posted my creations on Pinterest and am flattered if someone repins, whether I get credit or not. Years ago I was a victim of shoplifting when I had a booth at a craft show, and still remember that sting. Somehow these do not feel the same to me at all. But going forward I will be more conscious of other creatives who do not share my view.