Pinterest directly addressing copyright issues

February 20, 2012

pinterest copyrights Pinterest directly addressing copyright issues

Pinterest and copyright violations

Although Pinterest is a visual curation of bookmarking photos and websites, it is being considered publication, so content creators, photographers, news outlets and the like are seeing their copyrighted materials popping up on Pinterest and lawyers are itching around the collar. The wildly popular site has a very complex situation when it comes to copyrights, as encouraging consumers to only share images from their computer that they own the rights to will shrink their growth, so they won’t do that, nor should they – these same pictures are shared on Facebook a thousand times over next to links to a news story or photo source, with the industry not batting an eye that that equates to copyright violation.

In response to the swelling fears of copyrights being violated by users and publishers wondering the long term effect of ignoring what they feel is copyright violations, Pinterest will be taking steps to address the issue head on. According to, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, they will be offering a line of code for any website that does not want their content to be pinned. When a user attempts to pin content from the site, a message will tell them “This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”

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The code does not prohibit any user from downloading images from the sites and uploading them directly to Pinterest, nor does it disallow the ability to hack your way into a pin from the site.

“I question how many sites will use this code, given the popularity of Pinterest, but Pinterest is trying to address copyright issues in a proactive way,” wrote.

It appears that companies have a basic misunderstanding of the web, and that is completely common – the same pictures being shared on Pinterest with alarm are being shared on Facebook and Twitter with the only difference being a clear excerpt and title next to the photo, yet executives celebrate the same content shared on Facebook and panic when shared on Pinterest. This fear will not likely fade soon, so Pinterest is smart to give sites an opt-out feature.

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AGBeat Chief Operating Officer: Lani, named 100 Most Influential, as well as 12 Most Influential Women in Blogging, Bashh Founder, Out and about in Austin A Lister, is a business and tech writer and startup consultant hailing from the great state of Texas in the city of Austin. As a digital native, Lani is immersed not only in advanced technologies and new media, but is also a stats nerd often buried in piles of reports. Lani is a proven leader, thoughtful speaker, and vested partner at AGBeat.