It can be very tempting to use a beautiful image that we found on Pinterest on our blog post, after all if we add the magical word (source) under the photo and we link to the original site where the image was posted then it's all fine, isn't it?
Well, not exactly. Things are not that easy.
Here's a decalogue of things you need to know about Pinterest images before using them on your blog post. And in my opinion they're all important, after all you can get in trouble for using images from Pinterest. It's not an urban legend, it can happen! So better be safe than sorry, don't you think?
DECALOGUE FOR USING PINTEREST IMAGES ON YOUR BLOG POSTS
- You can get sued for using images you found on Pinterest on your blog. That's the first thing you need to keep in mind, because it certainly can happen.
- If you have never read the Pinterest Terms of Service and the Pinterest Copyright Policy, go ahead and do it now. This is specially important if you've been using Pinterest images on your blog.
- Linking to the original image source is not a magical pass that gives you access to all the images that are out there on the Internet for your free use and benefit. As I already stated once, doing that is exactly the same as going to a shoe shop, stealing a pair of sandals, and then go around with a t-shirt that says "I took my shoes from the shop at the corner of the street".
- Before using a photo from Pinterest on your blog, there's different steps you need to follow: click on the image, make sure it links to the original source, and when you've found the original source try to find on the website if there's any image policy section where they inform about their image use. If there is, and it says you can take them with credit, then you're free to use it. If you can't find that kind of information, and you still want to use the photo, then you'll have to contact the owner of the website.
- Consider the fact that readers usually don't give much credit to a blog that constantly use images from Pinterest. If we wanted to see Scandinavian house decoration (to say something) would be easier and faster to go on Pinterest and search for them than actually following your blog because sometimes you post a compillation of them.
- There's something even worse than using Pinterest images without checking first with the creator of the image, and that's modifying it. It happens often that I see blogs with an image that doesn't belong to them and that they use for a banner of a blog post, adding a huge title on top of it that covers part of the image. Again, check with the owner of the image first to make sure that they're okay with it, not everybody is happy with that.
- And something even worse: posting the image you took from Pinterest on other social sites (for example twitter or Instagram) to use them as a way to attract people to your blog post. After all if your raders click to the link and visit your blog post they'll find the other link that will direct them to the original site, right? No way. Not only it's fake publicity, but again it's stealing.
- If you can't find the original source of an image (and because of it you can't really check if it's okay or not to use that certain photo) then forget about it. It doesn't matter how pretty or cool the image is, or if it's the perfect one to match your post, you'll find another. Don't get in trouble!
- Be fair with people who work hard to create content. Yes, you can get sued, and yes, you have to stay away from legal problems and copyright issues, but do it also for those who create beautiful content that we all enjoy to watch.
- Take your own blog photos if you can. Be original.
If you're interested in reading more about image use on your blog posts (and not only about Pinterest), I made a blog post a while ago about it. You can find it here.