Pinterest Changes Policies to Move Copyright Onus Onto You

I just got this notice in my inbox on Saturday from Pinterest:

You agree not to post User Content that:

  • infringes any third party’s Intellectual Property Rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other personal or proprietary rights;
  • contains any information or content that you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships
  • To third parties.  Pinterest values and respects the rights of third party creators and content owners, and expects you to do the same.  You therefore agree that any User Content that you post to the Service does not and will not violate any law or infringe the rights of any third party, including without limitation any Intellectual Property Rights (defined below), publicity rights or rights of privacy.  We reserve the right, but are not obligated, to remove User Content from the Service for any reason, including User Content that we believe violates these Terms or the Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy.  It is important that you understand that you are in the best position to know if the materials you post are legally allowed.  We therefore ask that you please be careful when deciding whether to make User Content available on our Service, including whether you can pin or re-pin User Content on your boards.  To learn more about copyright and fair use, please click here for some links to useful third party resources.

With every image you find on a website, or for that matter anywhere on the web, having some kind of copyright, you are potentially infringing on a copyright when you right click any image and stick it to your Pinterest board. With the concerns appearing on the web that Pinterest may go the way of Napster, it appears that Pinterest is taking action to mitigate potential copyright problems aggressively by moving the onus of infringement issues directly onto you the user.

Only you the website owner really knows where you have gotten their images. Even if you buy them from iStockPhoto, did you buy a one time use image or a multi-use image? If someone grabs your one-time use image and puts it on their Pinterest board pointing to you, it creates a copyright issue and potentially could have ramifications further down the road. Remember how Getty images sued website owners about their images being in website templates created by third parties?

Be careful with Pinterest, it may be a great place to get noticed but maybe a ticking time bomb.

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