Flaming Tortillas

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To Pin or Not to Pin?

Posted By Melissa Pitts

March 20, 2012 at 8:15am MST


A couple of weeks ago Chow.com published an article on the popularity of Pinterest among food bloggers--and the pitfalls, namely copyright problems. The article mentioned one food blogger in specific who complained that her recipes were being posted on the popular social media site without her permission. Her complaint: that people were posting her recipes thus causing her to lose clicks to her site. While she was okay with the picture posting, the recipe part- not so much. Her response? To start a petition urging Pinterest to embed a character limit (like Twitter) so full recipes couldn’t be posted. Pinterest then responded with a 500 character limit, but food bloggers remain a bit miffed about the whole problem.

Other issues plage Pinterest, from copyright laws to the responsibility ‘pinners’ inherit when they repin. The response from photographers to bloggers ranges from filing lawsuits to deleting accounts. As a food blogger myself I can only watch all this unfold with confusion. I put my recipes and pictures up on a public website- anyone, anywhere can access it- share and comment on my content. As a blogger, it’s a dream come true when people find my little site, repin recipes and comment. I put my product on the web, repost on Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and so forth hoping people will see it. Therefore, how can I complain if someone posts my recipes on the worldwide web? If I didn’t want my content out there for the world to see, I wouldn’t post it. Don’t get me going on the whole ‘original recipe’ thing- how many recipes can there be for omelettes? Throwing lawsuits, petitions, or deleting my accounts on these social media applications is completely counterproductive to my goals of getting my site noticed.

The same Chow article raised the question if sites like Pinterest would go the way of Napster because of copyright problems (the author believed it was highly unlikely). I sincerely hope not! Napster was run by a bunch of students--and the response from the music industry was to throw their hands up and toss expensive lawsuits. Apple then created iTunes, charges artists an obscene amount to have their music on the site and fundamentally changed the music industry (and most people I’ve spoken to, for the worst). So, I say to my fellow food bloggers: embrace it, love it, and ‘pin’ away because the more your website is picked up by the hottest social media platforms- the better, right?

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