Archive for Pinterest
Pinterest has been under fire for a while for their original Terms of Service, which stated, among other things, that by pinning content to your Pinterest boards you were agreeing to let them use that content in many ways, including selling it. There has been a lot of uproar, mostly by photographers and artists whose content is being pinned without their consent, who are worried their creations would be able to be used by Pinterest commercially without compensation to them. Pinterest has finally responded to these concerns, and they sent out this email this morning, explaining that the original TOS was a standard set of terms, and selling user content was never their intention.
But should you do it?
Pinterest, the wildly addictive social network that allows people to pin things they find online to virtual “boards”, has made some changes this week that will possibly make many website owners concerned about people “stealing” and pinning their content to their boards very happy. They have provided a bit of code that you can add to the head code of your site to stop people from pinning your stuff.
They made an addition to their help section that says, “What if I don’t want images from my site to be pinned?”:
People who try to pin from a site that has the code embedded will see a box like this:
Sample of Pinterest no pinning notice:
Lots of people have been going on about people “stealing” their content and pinning it, and how it’s copyright infringement or in some way harming them. Now they have this little box they can add, which would be awesome, except for one thing. It doesn’t stop people who really want to pin/save something and are determined to do it from just saving the image to their hard drive and uploading it directly themselves or taking a screenshot, and then maybe giving the original site a link back..and maybe not.
All using this code is going to do for some sites is strip away the link and possible huge boost in traffic they would have gotten from their content being allowed to be shared on Pinterest. Some website owners are reporting HUGE boosts in traffic from Pinterest. Last I checked, lots of traffic and people sharing your content on social sites was a good thing. Yes, there is the potential for things to get pinned wrong, or in the pinning and repinning your link could get lost in the shuffle and your content is just out there. It happens all the time on Pinterest, but it also happens pretty much anywhere people share content. Does that make it okay? No, of course not, but people are all freaking out about Pinterest in particular and how it’s evil and illegal and should be shut down. If that’s the case, then we should shut down Facebook, Google Plus, WeHeartIt, Tumblr, Piccsy, Clipboard, Snip.it, Imgur, Photobucket, Flickr, YouTube, and pretty much any social networking site where images are shared. The linking back systems on many of these sites is decidedly flawed. Tumblr, in particular, is a nightmare for trying to find the source of things. There is another huge issue about Pinterest possibly taking people’s images and selling them or licensing them, because their TOS says they can. This is a whole other huge post that I will address later, but again, most, if not all, of these sites I mentioned in some way profit from their user-uploaded content. Most of that content does not belong to the people who uploaded it. How about LOLcats and the whole slew of sites dedicated to nothing but uploaded pictures and videos? You think they’re not making their money? Do you think most of the pictures uploaded belong to the ones who uploaded them?
I’m not saying people shouldn’t be concerned about their images being used without permission and should just let people freely take whatever they like without payment or permission. That’s crazy. There are licensing issues for many people whose images are being used.There is huge potential for abuse and misuse on ANY site that allows people to upload and share things they find online, and people could definitely lose money and hurt their brand as an artist if they’re not careful. I just think that vilifying sites like Pinterest for the supposed evil TOS and for encouraging people to pilfer all the pretty pictures they find online and pin them, is a bit short-sighted, and placing the blame in the wrong place.Pin It