Pinterest is the new social sensation – but many users are concerned about the service’s legal implications.
So what is Pinterest – and should you be worried?
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a new social platform that aims to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they love.” In essence Pinterest offers a way for users to ‘pin’ their favourite photos or videos to a series of virtual pinboards, which are organised by theme. They can then follow other users’ boards. For example, if you are particularly interested in widgets, you might choose to follow boards that are dedicated to widgets. You can then re-pin photographs or videos to your own boards. This is similar to Tumblr’s ‘reblog’ functionality.
Why are people worried?
Pinterest has become very popular very quickly. The service is very much in its infancy, and yet it reportedly already receives over a billion pageviews a month.
There have been murmurs of concern about the potential copyright implications of Pinterest. The most significant worry is that the platform allows (even encourages) users to add content to their boards without providing a credit or linking back to the original source. Photographers and other ‘content producers’ were initially angry about this – but the concern has now spread to the users themselves.
• Ownership claims. By pinning something, you are asserting that you are the “sole and exclusive owner” of that content, or that you are in a legal position to grant Pinterest the right to use it.
• Pinterest’s right of use. By pinning something, you agree to give Pinterest’s parent company the right to use that content in virtually any way it pleases. This includes selling that content on, royalty free.
What should I do?