Does Pinterest Violate Copyrights?
Pinterest is currently the third most popular social media platform on the web, behind Facebook and Twitter. It is popular with female users and is a niche social network. However, this site has to ensure that copyrighted content doesn’t show up on its site.
Pinterest is different than Twitter and Facebook because it doesn’t ask its users to consider permission before each pin, making it an ideal user experience. While having your content shared can help make it popular, many artists and photographers may want to be asked or paid first.
According to the Pinterest terms of service:
“Pinterest allows you to post content, including photos, comments, and other materials. Anything that you post or otherwise make available on our Products is referred to as “User Content.” You retain all rights in, and are solely responsible for, the User Content you post to Pinterest.”
In essence, Pinterest puts the burden on the user, rather than on itself, which asks users to take responsibility for copyrighted content. Pinterest runs the risk of losing users out of fear, and of getting sued. It also encourages sites to block the social network, making the whole system a lot less useful because if you can’t pin, why would you bother turning to Pinterest as a social network?
All of this depends on how much the copyright holder cares about their content being pinned. Individual photographers, might care, but as of yet, retailers have not complained. In fact, many of them work with Pinterest and add pin widgets to their sites. Currently, they see no reason to complain about copyright because these pins bring exposure to their products.
Pinterest still hasn’t enabled third party social media management tools. Hopefully this will happen soon so Pinterest can drive their business successes even further.