I might be someone that uses social networking quite a bit, but one site in particular never really struck my fancy, and that site is Pinterest.
So many friends were commenting how much they loved the virtual pin board that, essentially, acted like a good ol’ fashioned cork board, except the Internet was your world from which to pull ideas and Pinterest held them there for you. It wasn’t a new concept to me, as I used Kaboodle to hold things that I wanted. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine pointed out that it wasn’t just a place to hold stuff you want to buy, it also held onto just about anything, from pretty pictures to recipe ideas.
I received an invite and started pinning things here and there, but really, it wasn’t as addicting as everyone claimed it was.
That is, of course, until I started planning my son’s first upcoming birthday.
Given that he already loves Sesame Street, I started perusing the Internet for Sesame Street ideas and lo and behold, there were links and blogs to so many wonderful and creative ideas that I started pinning like a fiend. Elmo cupcakes! Oscar the Grouch trash can game! Grover favor cookies! Pretty invitations with a DIY tutorial! I pinned everything that I could find that involved a Muppet and birthdays.
Sites like Pinterest are pretty nifty for people wanting to draw attention to their sites, ideas, wares, or whatever else. The good doesn’t come without the bad, however, and one lawyer turned photographer, Kirsten, found out some legal info in fine print behind Pinterest and completely shut down her boards without a second thought.
As per Pinterest:
“YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU.”
Basically, what you’re pinning is not exactly fair use. Repinning stuff on Pinterest does not in any way fall under the protected categories of criticism, education, or research for that matter.
Because Pinterest uses the entire image, not thumbnail images when it comes to pinning, it’s basically not okay.
As if this wasn’t enough to make pinners skeptical, Pinterest also writes:
“You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Cold Brew Labs, its officers, directors, employees and agents, harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Site, Application, Services or Site Content, (ii) your Member Content, or (iii) your violation of these Terms.”
In other words, you get caught, you pony up the dough.
Kirsten lends some more insight on the matter over on her personal site and it’s worth a read.
For now, those who can’t afford lawyer fees and some time in court over fair use litigations might want to go back to the old fashioned way of saving links and hit up your browser’s bookmark feature.
Edited by Rich Steeves