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February 21, 2012

Pinterest Stops Copyright Infringement With New Code

By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

The latest new social site, Pinterest, has responded to concerns of copyright conscious website owners by offering a way for sites to block pinning directly from their websites. To counter the barrage of copyright concern, Pinterest introduced a solution. reported that Pinterest now offers an option for website owners to disable pinning to Pinterest website by placing the code: <meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" /> in their site's header. Websites that don't want users pinning their images can now place code on their sites and Pinterest's users will no longer be able to pin images from that site in one click.

Currently, the online pinboard has over 10 million registered users in January 2011. Pinterest attracted over 11 million unique visitors compared to just 4.9 million in November 2011. The number of Facebook (News - Alert) users visiting Pinterest every day has increased by more than 60 percent since the integration and the monthly Facebook-connected Pinterest users now total at more than 10.1 million. The integration with Facebook Open Graph in January 2012 has partly fueled Pinterest’s extreme rise in popularity. Pinterest can now publish richer, application-relevant verbs on Facebook like Pin and Follow (in addition to “Like”), and also displays the aggregation of active boards and boards/pinners followed within users’ timelines.

However, the popular social site’s blowout success has surfaced suggestions that its service is a facilitator of copyright infringement.

Pinterest users can still save any image from any website, and upload it to Pinterest where it can then be repinned, but Pinterest also still puts all of the responsibility and liability for that copyright violation on its users. If a copyright holder decides to get litigious with Pinterest, Pinterest would likely turn around and sue the user for any damages or costs associated with that lawsuit. If you are the copyright holder of that image you pinned, you just granted Pinterest a worldwide, royalty-free license, with the right to use and distribute your member content.

Pinterest’s new copyright infringement solution is similar to the way Google (News - Alert) allows its users to control how its search engine index web pages using meta tags functions like noindex, noarchive, nofollow, and nosnippet. Websites like tumblr, and Posterous (News - Alert) may want to consider a similar improvement.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca
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