Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinterest: How to prevent your Blogger images from being pinned

This post explains how to stop images on your Blogger blog from being pinned to a Pinterest site - by inserting a meta tag in your Blogger template. 

I discovered that Pinterest has responded to the very many howls of "theft!" by those concerned about copyright infringement.  I know I was very concerned when I saw how people were pinning with blatant disregard for the owner of the image and their copyright restrictions on use or publication on other sites.  (At the end of this post are references to several blog posts and articles which detail why it is a problem)

Pinterest has now introduced a piece of code which prevents images on your website or blog from being pinned.

This is what they now say in  NEW help item  What if I don't want images from my site to be pinned?
What if I don't want images from my site to be pinned?
We have a small piece of code you can add to the head of any page on your site:
<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />
When a user tries to pin from your site, they will see this message:
"This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!"
I tried it - and it works.

So this is what you have to do to install the code on Blogger.

1.  Old Blogger - Go to the "Design" Tab in Blogger.  In New Blogger, select the edit menu and then choose template.  Alternatively, while logged in, select the Design command - top right of page.  (Note that the template - in html - looks the same which ever route you get to it)
2.  Select the "Edit html" tab.  This is what it looks like (I'm using one from a 'dead' blog)

This is what you see when you want to edit Blogger Template html
3.  Before editing your template, you may want to SHOULD save a copy of it. Download Full Template.  
4.  Copy the code from Pinterest
5.  Insert the code in the head section of the blog - that's the bit above the ======== lines.  Below you can see an image of where I put it - just after the <head> code

6.  SAVE the template
7.  Now try to add an image from the blog to Pinterest (you'll need an account to be able to do this).
  • Select Add+
  • Insert the URL for a blog post into the Add+ window
  • You will then see this message! :)
Pinterest tells the pinner that pinning isn't allowed
It's simple and quick - so long as you have access to the html code of your website.

If you don't I suggest that you write and ask the webhost support team how best to implement the pinterest code for your website.

Can I also suggest you SHARE this post with your friends who have Blogger blogs.  They may not bothered - but there again they may prefer to protect their artwork and not have it taken from them for free and without asking.

Articles expressing concern about copyright and Pinterest

Why is this necessary?

Matthew Caines at the Guardian explains What Pinterest means for the arts - and then finishes by explaining the problem re copyright (my bold)
The final concern surrounds copyright, namely the legal ambiguity around what can and can't be shared. Josh Davis at LLsocial points out that 99% of pins are likely to be in violation of Pinterest's own terms of service, which state that when a user pins an image it means they have been granted access to do so or own the item personally
Read Josh Davies' post Is Pinterest the new Napster? on
Like Napster, most of the “content” is actually posted in violation of both the law as well as Pinterest’s own terms of service.

Here's one article from Forbes Magazine which tells you why and also highlights  other articles expressing concern - Pinterest Introduces "NOPIN" to Counter Copyright Concerns - Forbes
Pinterest’s blowout success has surfaced suggestion that its service is a facilitator of copyright infringement. Here are some news articles asking how legit is “Pin it”:
The last post is by Ellen Brundige (aka Greekgeek) who's a great source of expertise around all things web-related.  As her hubpage Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations? (and do read the comments!) indicates
Pinning Violates Image Licenses
Online bloggers, writers, artists and photographers have a simple, legal way of benefitting from their images posted on the web: licensing.

An image license means the copyright owner gives permission for a specific, limited use, in exchange for something in return.

  • With stock photos, the "something" is money: people pay to use good-quality photos to make their websites or publications look great.
  • With Creative Commons licensing, the "something" is credit and a link back.A backlink is a valuable commodity: it not only sends traffic to the artist or photographer's website; it also can help a site rank better in search engines.
  • With affiliate marketing programs like or, the affiliate may use small copyrighted images like movie posters or artwork in exchange for a link back to the store selling the poster or art.
Pinning a licensed photo cuts through these legal, mutually beneficial agreements like a machete through a spiderweb.
Benn Silbermann is the founder of Pinterest.  On Monday he wrote a post on the Pinterest blog "Oh, How Pinteresting!" about Growing Up which states their position on copyright - and how they respect it, help people to report it - and (this is NEW!) insert code into their websites to prevent images from being copied.
We decided to start today by talking about copyright.

As a company, we care about respecting the rights of copyright holders. We work hard to follow the DMCA procedure for acting quickly when we receive notices of claimed copyright infringement. We have a form for reporting claims of copyright violations on our site here. Every pin has a flag to make reporting easier. We also know that copyright is a complicated and nuanced issue and we have knowledgeable people who are providing lots of guidance.

At the same time, we understand and respect that sometimes site owners do not want any of their material pinned. For these folks, we provide a snippet of code that can be added to any website. You can find it in our help section.
PS  I know I'm supposed to be producing botanical art - but things are not going well due to eyes that don't work like they used to and a hand which can't grip like it used to!  Two pieces produced and two pieces rejected by me. I may end up not submitting any artwork next Monday!

PPS Thanks to Nicole Caulfield for spotting the Forbes Magazine article shared by somebody on Facebook.