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Saturday, February 21, 2015

I have found a new love... Pinterest

Yes, it's true. Facebook... Twitter... you have your place in my heart but I am afraid a perky, newcomer has stolen my heart. I have discovered Pinterest.

Now you might think that I have just found a new and fascinating way to procrastinate and you would not be wrong.  I could happily spend hours flicking through the Boards and repinning fantastical pictures. It is the 21st century equivalent of going through magazines and cutting out pictures to stick in a scrap book.

My problem is that I am a visual person so something like Pinterest is of immediate interest to me. I like maps, and pictures of all sorts of things. to help me visualise my work. 

I had a brief flirtation with Pinterest when it first started but the lawyer in me tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out that what I was doing was quite possibly a breach of someone's copyright and you know that probably (read, definitely) rings true. If you google Pinterest and Copyright there are slews of articles warning of lawsuits and damnation both for Pinterest and users of Pinterest. 

And this sensible advice comes from a lawyer - Mr. Pink... who wrote in a Wall Street article journal (How to use Pinterest without breaking the Law...
For the most conservative of Pinterest users, lawyers say following a few simple rules will avoid potential legal trouble.
“The best and easiest way to avoid trouble is to put up your own content, the content you created,” Jonathan Pink, a California-based intellectual property lawyer with Bryan Cave LLP told the Law Blog.
For example, Mr. Pink said that if a Pinterest user sees a piece of furniture that he or she likes, or a tasty-looking cookie, they’ll be safe taking out their smart phone, snapping a photo, and pinning it.
“Own the content you are publishing,” Mr. Pink said.
On the flip side, Mr. Pink said, “if you are going to play it conservative and safe, you should never pin an image on Pinterest for which you don’t own the copyright interest or for which you have not obtained a license from the copyright owner.”
There are some exceptions: Old photos that pre-date 1923 can be “safely posted” under copyright law, he said.
One area that might be somewhat less risky is recipes.
“You can post a recipe as long as you are creating the text of the recipe yourself, according to Mr. Pink.
(Hmm... I have to take issue with Mr. Pink, simply taking your own photograph of anything does not necessarily make it yours either... you are still infringing on the rights of the owner of the chair or the building. But, hey, I'm not a lawyer any more so this is not legal advice!)
Back to my rediscovery of Pinterest. Like all forms of social media since my initial flirtation, followed by a dose of panic, I ventured back on to it - with my own content in hand. Interesting photographs I have taken for research purposes in my travels, my needlework and, of course, my cats.
What I discovered was a realm of possibilities. The whole world had discovered Pinterest (and were happily posting up pictures regardless of possible copyright violation). What if I posted up all those images I captured for use with my books (currently stored on Scrivener and Evernote)? What if each book had its very own board?  Would that help bring it to life for the readers? (see the Pinterest Board for By The Sword - above)
So yes, all my books, including the WIPs in progress now have their own Pinterest Boards.
But best of all, for me, were the costume resources! 
One thing you probably don't know about me is that I am a costume fiend. I love historical costume and in my adolescence dreamed of becoming a stage costume designer. I can't get enough of galleries with decent costume displays (The Bath Costume Museum for example) and I am hoping to get to the V&A on my next trip to London. This is why (if you follow me on FB) you FREQUENTLY see me in dress ups... from Medieval costume in Shrewsbury to Roman Armour in Wales. Being the visual and historical person I am, nothing gets me into a time and place faster than costume. 
I am addicted to costume and Pinterest just feeds my addiction.
So come and visit me on Pinterest and I will happily share my addiction with you!