Friday, November 30, 2012

It All Started While I Was Wasting Time on Pinterest ...

Last week, I was surfing around on Pinterest, looking at some boards with interesting garden ideas.  As I scrolled through one board, I saw one of the photos from my online rose rooting tutorial.  It's neat to know that folks I have never met like my stuff well enough to save it for later and share it with their friends.

My amusement quickly faded as I realized that the link in the pin DIDN'T come from my Hartwood Roses web site ... and that it had hundreds of repins ... who knows how far this has spread?
The link on the Pin led to a reputable web site that publishes independent articles ... in this case, an article on rooting roses that contained the stolen content.  I submitted a report to the site, telling them that the article used my photos without permission or attribution.  Yesterday, I received a response ... the article has been taken down. 
The damage is done, though.  I wrote that rose rooting tutorial a long time ago, when I was a more trusting soul and before I knew the importance of watermarking all of my online photos.  The hundreds of people who pinned and repinned this now have a dead link ... it never led them to my tutorial anyway, which is a shame.  (I have rooted a LOT of roses using this method, and so have many other people.)
For now, I have asked The Husband (my genius computer guy) to temporarily remove the tutorial from my web site.  It's not done as well as I would like, so this gives me the incentive to rework it a bit, to add some steps and photos (watermarked this time) to the process, and put up a better product.  Until I get this done, anyone who wants to learn to root roses using my method will be disappointed.  It's a shame ... but I don't think I have a choice.
Do you watermark the photos you publish online?  I use Photoshop 6.0 to edit and format photos and add my watermark.  I will be happy to work up a quick tutorial, if we have enough interest.  If you watermark your photos with a different program, I'd love for you to tell us about it.  It's WAY too easy for photos to lose their connection to their original creator, and I have a feeling that there's a need give bloggers the knowledge and tools to protect their intellectual property.
Let me finish by saying this ... I welcome ANYONE to pin my images and ideas ... just make sure that your pins are linked to original source.  Let this apply to ANYTHING you pin, and this corner of the Internet of ours will be a much more honest place to hang out.


  1. What a shame Connie! I have been on Pinterest and found something I wanted to pin and learn from and it leads no where! Frustrating. So glad you will repost and watermark your photo!!
    hugs, Linda

  2. I'm so sorry that this happened to you. It appears that there are a lot Pinterest users who pin without ever checking that the links go to the source. I don't repin dead links, personally.

    I'd be interested in a tutorial on watermarking. :)

  3. I'm starting to see a lot more spam on pinterest. Really cool photos, that link to a non related site, or worse a virus download. It's the nature of the internet, but it's still sad.

    A lot of pinners never even know they're propagating the spam, because they're repining an idea without clicking on the link.

    I hate you're having problems :(

  4. Bummer! I've only marked a few photos. (using annotate)

  5. Connie, I’m sorry this happened to you. What a shame is right. You were my mentor to start pinning in the first place. It is rotten it happened to a blogger that enhances our enjoyment on the internet. I rarely pin how-to other than food. Since Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams enlightened me go to the source now I take that extra effort so as not to disappoint someone looking for a quick meal idea. I didn’t know they were real meals. I was just putting up pretty pictures ~ duh!

  6. Terrible, Connie. Just terrible. I do fear that it's the sign of the times, though. Pretty darn sad. Makes you wonder how these people live with themselves, doesn't it? I have always watermarked my photos as a precaution.

    xoxo laurie

  7. I am glad you got such a prompt response. Needing no other reason to stay on the computer, I have not explored pinterest, but I know some of my photos are there. At least the few I checked linked back to my blog. I should watermark my photos, but I don't like the what it does to the image. I run almost all my blog photos through Flickr where I have it set to make it difficult for anyone to copy my photos.

  8. I would value more information on watermarking of photos. I can see where this becomes an appreciated step, as have you. I enjoy your blogs on roses.

  9. Hi Connie, it was so good to "see" you this morning. I went through Fredericksburg this past week on my way to PA. Was reading thru your blog. Your country home and property are beautiful. I laughed when you mentioned your next door neighbors and how far away they actually are because it's the same way here. 40 acres or more can separate us who live in the country. Question here: Why do you start your rose seedlings in the house (basement) in the plastic liter and milk bottles (brilliant idea by the way) instead of the greenhouse? My "neighbor" has a new greenhouse that I will be taking care of while she is away this winter. We are just learning how to root things....mostly working on azaleas right now. I loved reading your blog. xoxo

  10. P.S. I forgot to say that yes, I watermark all my photos. With the way things are evolving on the internet I think it's important. So sorry about what happened to your article. It should have brought tons of people to your website and blog.

  11. Connie...I just started watermarking my photos...though it's alot of extra work, I do it. I use Picasa, and maybe I'm doing it in a round about way, but it is a technical hassle. I'd be interested in a tutorial in watermarking when you get around to it.
    Thanks for the informative post!

  12. I think that very turtorial is how I found your site the first time. I will go and try to find it so I will check the link. If it is not to you I will take it down. So sorry that happened on such a popular piece. Maybe when you get the new post back up you can write that site and ask them to repost and maybe you will get many of those 360 repins redirected to the right blog, yours.
    peace n abundance,
    your roses ARE incredible

  13. Oh, pintrest. I just don't know about the whole thing yet.
    Pintrest OWNS anything put on their site, not YOU. People don't give credit where it is due--even claiming it for their work. Their are apparently ways to "remove/erase" watermarks in the effort of that theft.
    It's all so disappointing. So I haven't joined yet, but I monitor my own things that get pinned, through my blog stats. And I've seen a few of my things being "credited" to others. But I'm holding on to the optimism that all will be made right!


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