Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Legal Issues With Pinterest

Some Pinterest users may be faced with legal issues pinning photos and recipes to their Pinterest page. When you pin photos or recipes, you are agreeing that you own these photos or recipes and have the right to post them online or you have the permission of the owner. 

Attorneys are now saying Pinterest users could be asking for trouble unless they own the photos, links, recipes and so on they are pinning or re-pinning. 

"At the moment, there is very little that can be done to avoid infringing copyright if you are a Pinterest user," she says. "The only way to pin pictures without violating the site's terms of service and the picture owner's copyright is to only pin pictures that you've taken yourself." 

Bruce Johnson, an attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine, agrees: "The website may have DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) protections for user-generated content. The users don't and could be exposing themselves to a significant legal risk." 

Another problem users are facing are you release your rights to the photos you pin.

"According to the Pinterest terms of service, you release all rights you have in a picture once you pin it," she says.
Specifically, here's what the terms say:
"By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services."
When you pin or re-pin an item you are breaking the law. Pinning without permission is violating copyright infringements. 


  1. I wondered how long it would be before there were problems with Pinterest. Do you go on there at all? I have an account, started using it but felt funny about the whole set up. Thinking of letting go of my account.

  2. I have one. But, I only use it for my lingerie site. I was kind of leery about using it for anything else. I did wonder how well it would actually take off.

  3. I actually ended up deleting mine finally. Going to stumble and tumblr....but most likely will stick with facebook and blogger. Seems like pinterest has somethings they need to work out.

  4. I haven't yet. I think I will stick to liking others other than re pinning.