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Client use of Pinterest

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I know that people have differing opinions of social networking sites in general, but esp, relating to their use of imagery.  Personally, in the past I have always had any of my images removed from Facebook, Pinterest, etc. when I have found them by filing a DMCA notice online.  Now that I have begun to license images through a third party (Alamy) which appear online, things are getting a little more tricky...


OK. Alamy (or another agency) license one of your images for online use and the purchaser has an account with Pinterest.  The article in which your image is included is (doubtless automatically) posted to their Pinterest page(s).  That image is then available to be pinned by the world and his dog, and available from there to passed on to all the dog's friends.  What do you do?


In the first instance, I don't like the idea that the licensee has entered into an agreement with a third party (in this particular case, Pinterest) to display 'their' content, when that is clearly outside of the licensing agreement.  The image is no longer being used purely for editorial use (to illustrate an article) - it is being used for marketing and promotion.  Does the licensing acknowledge or reflect this?  I sincerely doubt it.


Secondly, it now makes my life much more difficult when tracing unauthorised use of my images.  If I find my images being used on Pinterest (or any other, similar site), how do I know if the user is someone who has made a genuine license purchase of one of my pictures?


Thirdly, those images posted online to social networking sites (or whatever else may appear in the future) are now subject to the vagaries of the T&Cs of those sites, which go way beyond any agreement that either I have made with Alamy or that Alamy have made with the licensee.


Lastly, (and the point I wish to ask) is what would (do) you do?  If you raise a DCMA against the licensee (intentionally or otherwise), you are likely to upset them and potentially damage the three-way relationship between them, Alamy (or other agency) and yourself.  If you leave it, then you leave yourself open to the possibility, no, certainty, of your images being used by multiple unlicensed third parties and the social networking sites attempts at copyright-grabbing etc.


<sigh>Am I stuck in the dark ages here?!  Should I just sit back and accept that if I I want to make a few bucks, then I should accept all this as par for the course?  Am I (in a business sense) being naive, i.e. are the social networking sites actually my friend and will they ultimately help me to license more images?</sigh>


I look forward to hearing your views.  Thanks

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I know it's wrong and it's frustrating but I think the cows already left the barn... 


If you, directly or through Alamy, want to sell on line it will be difficult to do so without using social media, and you will drive yourself crazy trying to control these sites. Your efforts are better spent shooting and uploading more images than filing countless DCMA notices that have little or no effect.


I also believe the majority of those that pin and share will never purchase prints or stock images and in turn they aren't selling your images for profit.  They do help you become better known as long as they give you credit and a link back.


There are some sites that do pirate and print/sell images.  For those I would vigorously pursue them with DCMA notices and legal remedies.   For the rest I would focus on getting them to give you credit and link backs to your portfolio.


This is just my opinion and I'm open to suggestions that don't require a full-time staff and lawyers to pursue violators.


Edit:  If it's a commercial site, send them a bill for use of your image!

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