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Is Pinterest Infringing Copyright?

A new social media site called Pinterest has become the flavour of the month. It is claimed to be the "fastest growing site on the internet", and has now got over 10 million unique users. It is basically a new take on the old family "scrapbook" - users create boards according to their style, preferences, hobbies etc. and then place image “pins” on their appropriate “pin boards.” The boards cover often homely themes like “Chocolate Cake Recipes,” “Christmas Ideas,” or Wedding Planning” and users can follow particular "pinners" as they do on Facebook and Twitter.

The difficulty for photography suppliers - photolibraries, photographers (not to mention artists and illustrators) is that Pinterest captures the images and puts them on its servers as part of the process. Although in its Terms and Conditions Pinterest expects users to own or have cleared copyright, this is clearly just a ploy to keep Pinterest out of legal proceedings and transfer the blame to the users. As readers of this site will know, taking peoples' images without clearing copyright is infringement; it was ruled that using "thumbnails" as Google does in its searches, was "fair dealing" but taking the main image was not.
There has been considerable discussion on internet forums and mailing lists about whether this was copyright infringement. It seems again that photographers are getting the short end of the stick, in that their work is used for financial gain for others, that is Pinterest in this case: it doesn't seem to use adverts but does gain income from modifying "affiliate links" to products so it gets a share of the revenue.

Below is a link to a couple of good articles about the issue from photographer Sean Locke.

Website: Sean Locke Photography

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Cinema Museum Under Threat!
The outstanding film and stills resource that is The Cinema Museum and Ronald Grant Archive in South London is under threat from developers. A petition to save it is on

EWA Digital Offer 15% off Scanning
Special Offer

Celebrate World Photo Day – August 19th
World Photo Day is intended to inspire people to create a positive impact in their communities through photography. By bringing together millions of photographers around the world, the idea is to connect people in a global celebration that invests into their local and global communities.

Visual Connections NY is Coming up in October
The regular expos run by Visual Connections are always instructive and valuable for visual media professionals. The next one is going to be at the iconic New Yorker hotel on Wednesday, October 25th 2017.

BAPLA FOCUS 2017 Early-bird Booking Now Open
BAPLA's annual conference and insight session has opened for registration. This year's topics include fake news, online storytelling, and simplifying rights. There are lots of opportunities to network and mingle with conference attendees during what should be an interesting day.

Mayfair Art Weekend from Gagosian Gallery
Gagosian Gallery is participating in Mayfair Art Weekend 2017, offering extended gallery hours on Saturday, July 1, 10AM–6PM, and Sunday, July 2, 11AM–5PM.

The Copyright Cortex Launches
The Copyright Cortex, developed by Queen’s University Belfast & CREATe, at the University of Glasgow, is a portal focussing on copyright, cultural heritage and digital humanities, providing introductions to basic copyright concepts as well as commentary and contextualisation on the hot topics facing archives, libraries and other memory institutions striving to make their collections accessible.

Mahtab Hussain: You Get Me?
You Get Me? Exhibition showing at Autograph ABP addresses the contested political terrain of race and representation, respect and cultural difference.

Photoshelter Blog - Blockchain Doesn’t Replace Copyright Registration
Photoshelter Blog has an interesting article on Blockchain. This is the technology behind Bitcoin. Essentially a blockchain is a distributed ledger, so that any transaction is recorded throughout all the computers using the technology. It therefore is theoretically impossible to commit fraud. Now companies are looking into the idea to protect image copyright.

Christopher Nunn – Photoworks – Ukraine Images
The photographer went back to his roots, his grandmother was from Ukraine and is exploring the area in photography, exhibiting in Photoworks. There are a wide selection of images, both domestic and on the periphery of the civil war in the region.

Selling Stock – Letter to CEPIC Attendees
Jim Pickerell, the writer behind Selling Stock, has written an open letter to CEPIC Congress attendees – The event takes place 15th – 17 June in Berlin - looking for information to quantify the state of the industry in 2017 which will be of use to both image creators and image suppliers if enough data can be contributed.

Gregory Crewdson Cathedral of the Pines Exhibition
Running at the Photographers' Gallery from 23rd June to 8th October 2017 is a new body of work by acclaimed American artist Gregory Crewdson, showing a series of strange images, redolent of Diane Arbus, Alfred Hitchcock, and Edward Hopper in uncanny forest settings.

Ravens – New Release for Photobook by Masahisa Fukase
Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase started obsessively photographing ravens in 1975. He published this book in 1986 and it has been seen as a modern, but rare, classic photobook. It has increased its fame since Fukase's sad death in 2012, after years in a coma.

Dana Lixenberg Wins The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2017
Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg has won the twentieth edition of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize at London’s Photographers’ Gallery, for her multifaceted portrait of the residents and community of the Imperial Courts housing project in Watts, Los Angeles.

Photo London Festival Opens
Photo London was created to give London an international photography event befitting the city’s status as a global cultural capital. Now in its third year, Photo London has established itself as a world-class photography fair and as a catalyst for London’s dynamic photography community. It is hosted by Somerset Housse, and runs from 18th to 21st May.

Felicity Hammond’s In Defence of Industry Show
Barrow-in-Furness is a small British town with a big reputation. The country’s largest centre for iron mining in the country in the industrial revolution, it turned to the nuclear industry after the Second World War and is now known as “the town that holds the UK’s nuclear submarines”, says the artist Felicity Hammond. “They build these submarines there,” she continues, “and somehow everyone in the town seems connected to the nuclear industries.” Her latest exhibition depicts these realities.

A Splash of Colour Exhibition
Colour is one of the most powerful tools at a photographer’s disposal. Along with shape, texture, space, line and form, it is one of the six classic elements of design. It is an important compositional ingredient and it is often used by photographers to set the mood of an image.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains at the V&A
To mark 50 years since the band released their first single Arnold Layne, and over 200 million record sales later, this exhibition will be an immersive, multi-sensory and theatrical journey through Pink Floyd’s extraordinary world. A story of sound, design and performance, the exhibition will chronicle the music, iconic visuals and staging of the band, from the underground psychedelic scene in 1960s London to the present day, illustrating their ground-breaking use of special effects, sonic experimentation, powerful imagery and social commentary.

Pinhole Photography Course at Photofusion
Celebrated pinhole photographer Gina Glover is holding a pinhole photography course on May 20th to coincide with her exhibition. Gina will be on hand to show her work, talk about her pinhole practice and get the participants started working with paper negatives, paper positives, black and white film and ultimately colour film. This course comes with an Ilford Obscura 5x4 pinhole camera. This course is suitable for absolute beginners as well as experienced pinhole photographers.

Nat Geo Travel Photographer of the Year Competition Opens
Photographers have the opportunity to enter for a chance to be named the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year. Each year, photographers around the world send National Geographic Travel gorgeous images that captivate and astonish. Their judges are looking for photos that tell the story of a place and travel moments that inspire.

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