Credit Where Credit Is Due

Pinterest and Flickr Debut New Auto-Attribution System

No more excuses for improper credit.
flickrpinterest Pinterest and Flickr Debut New Auto Attribution System

The new look. (Screencap)

One of Pinterest’s problems: the overpowering temptation to post without proper attribution or regard for copyright. Rather than bet against social media users’ laziness, the social network is partnering with Flickr to ensure attribution is automatic and impossible to edit. By God, you will credit photographers correctly.

Images pinned from Flickr will now include the photographer’s name, the photo’s title, and a link to the original photo page. That holds true regardless whether it’s been pinned via link or bookmarklet. Even Flickr photos pinned from other websites–as long as they are still hosted on Flickr–will be tagged. Pinterest has also retroactively applied the change to older pins. Perhaps they’d prefer not to have a repeat of February’s little incident, where Flickr disabled pinning for all copyrighted images? UPDATE: It’s only fair to point out that Pinterest actually provided the code that enabled the disabling, which Flickr then quickly implemented. 

The photo sharing site has also added Pinterest to the share menu on individual photo pages.

Flickr head of product Markus Spiering told Betabeat, “We are all for photosharing, but we also want to make sure that the people who create this content actually get [credit].”

“We think Pinterest is a great way to discover content on the Internet,” Mr. Spiering said, adding that Flickr photos are among the most popular items on Pinterest and that the site drives quite a lot of traffic. That said, “You could have your photo pinned, and it’s just repinned and repinned and your name is not attached to it.”

Photographers who aren’t convinced of Pinterest’s awesomeness, however, can still disable pinning. This isn’t new, though–the current “share infrastructure” is about a year old, and content creators have always had the option to disable it. But Mr. Spiering says the percentage of those who’ve taken advantage of the setting is “very low.”

Mr. Spiering also denied that the move stems from community pressure. “We wanted to implement it, and I think the community is going to like it,” he told Betabeat. He added, “It’s definitely something we heard from the community, that there was an interest,” but “it’s not that we were pushed to do it. Both of us, Flickr and Pinterest, believe it was the right thing to do.”


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