21.02.2012

Pinterest: don´t wanna be pinned? (UPDATE)

Pinterest Logo


With all the fuzz this newcomer into the "social game" has gotten, it was just a question of time until some issues were brought onto the table: IP - Copyright & Co. Pinterest lives of the continuous pins their members post on the boards. It´s a visual communication between their members and it´s actually fun to surf around. Alltough I am a bit overwhelmed by the disorganized masses of images I get to see when I visit them, I can see the potential behind the system. Fast & easy visual communication. By giving us the "Pin-It"-Button and installing it into the browser the members just surf around the web, find something visually interesting and they just click on the button... *voila*... it´s on your Board in Pinterest and everybody can see it. Cool.

But... what about visual content that the creator does not want to share? What about Copyright? The TOS of Pinterest are actually strict about this: you are not allowed to pin things you don´t own the right to pin (check it here under "member content"). This is important because some sentences above it states that YOU, by pinning some content, are actually granting THEM a license for the use (and even sale!) of the content you pin. In simple words: by pinning a picture that does not belong to you, you are granting them a usage license. Well, I don´t have to explain that you cannot grant something you don´t have.

Right now there is a big, bis discussion going on about this topic, specially regarding Photographers. Pinterest is full, really, reaaaally full of fantastic images and photographies pinned by their members... but I guess the minority of them have been actually created by the members. So, they are using the pictures without the direct permission of the photographer. Ok, you may say... hey, the photographer is getting  lots of marketing cause everybody on Pinterest is watching his image! Well, you would be right if the image would be linked to him (which is sometimes the case, but if the member is lazy this link is broken)... or at least have a watermark stating the name of the Photographer.

So Pinterest has reacted pro-active and now offers the possibility of opting-out of beeing pinned:

Opting out of Pinterest
Allthough I find it a good move of them to offer it... isn´t it funny that in order to protect your content YOU have to insert something into your homepage??? Shound´t be it the other way around???

Don´t get me wrong... I like Pinterest and I think it´s here to stay. But I also do think that they are taking advantage of some "gray area" of the whole internet-copyright-content-law-infringement-yadda-yadda...

Let´s see what happens in the next weeks. Till then I can only recommend photographers to WATERMARK their images. As I always have preached :-)

*UPDATE*
If you´re in G+ then check out this threat where photographers discuss this issue:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/105237212888595777019/posts/UAvbc2oT3tB

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