I suppose this is a good tool for online sellers. After all, even the bookshopblog has a spot where you can ‘pin’ what you see. ABE sent another one of their cool little articles, and I thought I’d be seeing a nice ditty on holiday books, the why, wherefores, etc. No- after I clicked-a Pinterest board popped up filled with sunny sideways and front covers of Christmas titles.When you click on Santa, a page full of the edition displayed and the various booksellers who have it for your buying convenience, appears. Why should this bother me? It shouldn’t–and it doesn’t when booksellers are touting their wares. It seems odd, but then so does the entire internet, but I’ve gotten used to it the way an old person gets used to new fangled ideas.
What drives me to distraction, is once an image is ‘pinned’ it is there for eternity. No matter what you may do, say, remove the book from sale, or in my case, make my entire flickr account private–tons and tons of my personal images that I worked on to restore, are pinned and re-pinned and re-pinned for the next millennium, and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it. Ask for them to be taken down, you say? Yeah, that’l happen–they could care less about public domain images taken without permission from a public site, even if it isn’t public anymore. Apparently once it is pinned, that generates an entirely new self reliant image–that’s the best way I can describe it, having no understanding of these things. So although a ‘link’ is supplied back to the source–(a tiny lip balm for a monstrous gash)–doesn’t matter if the link no longer works and the image now private–it’s still up on a person’s board. And will be taken and re-pinned again and again.
Ok, so I’m being a petty person who shouldn’t have made my images public to begin with. Granted. But on flickr–we had rules, and we tried to abide by them–until flickr allowed pinterest to come in and do their stuff–without any understanding for the people on flickr of what pinterest were doing and how it was being done. Now pinterest has a little caveat–just supply a sort of ‘don’t pin’ label to your image-and no on can pin you. OK, I’ll go through 16, 000 plus images and do them one by one. Sure.
My complaint is the smallest out there. For current artists, illustrators, photographers, whose work is displayed, anyone can take their work and stick it up on some virtual board–even if the ‘don’t pin me’ clause is there–because you can download it to your desktop, and upload it as a pin–sidestepping the
permission issue. An entire generation of humans are being taught that any thing, any thing on the internet is theirs for the taking–no restrictions, no responsibilities. So. Do I advocate more copyrights? God no. That would make life a miserable hell. No, I advocate that mega things such as pinterest take responsibility, if the person whose piece it is that was pinned decides to destroy or make the content private, then all copies must disappear too–which means–pinterest should not create a copy of images pinned–the mechanism should remain linked to the original, so when that goes, so does the copy. That is fair. How it works now is terrible for those whose art is is a commodity, their content is being utilized in every manner out there, without permission, or most of the time, knowledge. I had no idea a photo of mine was pinned until I came across it accidentally. In that case, it didn’t bother me, but If I were a professional photog, and a prize winning photo had been pinned indiscriminately everywhere, I’d be livid. How does that benefit the artist, except to give them visibility that perhaps isn’t wanted?
Back to books—people want to SEE the product–I remember when eBay didn’t have scans or photos of things people were trying to sell–ridiculous–knowing what something looks like is essential for the used and rare book trade. So, pinterest may be helpful-maybe–but if this one picture links to an entire page of copies of said book, which dealer has the image up? You can’t be certain that the book pictured will be the one you eventually buy. The image may belong to dealer number 3, and you bought your book from dealer number 10. If you are assuming the book will look exactly the same, you may be highly disappointed. There is no denying that eye candy such as dust jacket art, and beautiful boards on books, grabs the attention and may well inform a customer of something they didn’t knew existed, and didn’t know they wanted, until the sight of it up on a pinterest board. So, i’d have to conclude that for booksellers, pinterest would be a boon, a great selling took that’s absolutely free–at least to pin–I’ve no idea if the dealer has to pay ABE something extra to have their listing pinned to a particular board. I don’t know if there are a billions boards worth of books out there, or just this holiday one. I’ll enjoy finding out. Meanwhile, I even have a pinterest board, but rest assured, nothing of mine will ever go up on the internet publicly again, unless I am fine with it be viewed forever and a day by total strangers. Guess the nude photo from Woodstock better stay on my computer’s desktop.