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March 09, 2012

Pinterest's New Requirements to Avoid Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

By Daniel Brecht, Contributing Writer

Pinterest is an online image-sharing network which acts like a virtual bulletin board (there is actually a virtual pinboard) or social networking site so people can organize, share and find digital images. It also offers information on planning weddings, DYI projects to help decorate a home, and design inspirations, accessories or recipes. 

In addition, Pinterest allows a person to also post comments on its site to individual boards and submit (pin) images to them. Users can upload images from their own computer and post them to Pinterest’s set of boards, all from an installed “Pin It” button.

However, in order to keep Pinterest’s fastest-growing web site active and avoiding copyright infringement--and potentially being sued by photographers for pinning what could be licensed photos or copyrighted images--or facing any lawsuits, users are now required to enter captions – a comment on the photo – for each pinned image. This enables some level of copyright protection for Pinterest. This new requirement is meant to protect intellectual property and give acknowledgement of the creator/photographers’ image rights.

With Pinterest, a person can also choose not to post images and information and settle for following individual boards. And if this person decides later to pin to specific boards, he or she can at any time. Again, if one chooses to pin an image, the creator must be credited. This helps to identify any copyrighted work. Essentially this is enough to use any freely distributed images. For more information on these new requirements, users should thoroughly read Pinterest’s Terms of Use section.

Those interested in what Pinterest offers can request an invite from them or secure an invitation from someone who is already a part of it. When one receives an invite, he/she must register via Facebook Connect or connect through Twitter (News - Alert). The Pinterest application works on both desktop and laptop computers (PC or Mac) and smartphones, like the Apple iPhone, or iPad, as long as the iTunes app has been installed.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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