Pinterest dont Sinterest
Home / May 18, 2012

Pinterest, don’t ‘Sin’terest!

Pinterest is the biggest new social media phenomenon on the block. It’s a social photo sharing website which lets users share images on virtual pinboards. You can create boards for any theme that catches your fancy – a friend has been gathering images of posters of his favourite noir films and another has a board which is dedicated to great nature images.

But what about that ever-fraught topic when it comes to the digital space: copyright? First of all, Pinterest clearly states in its Terms Of Use that it is not responsible for the consequences you might face if you wrongfully share copyrighted material on Pinterest. This seems harsh considering that Pinterest users are not making money off their boards and it can be argued that being pinned actually serves as publicity. But, be that as it may, the applicable laws are on the side of anyone who chooses to take a dim view of their content being freely pinned.

So what can you do avoid committing copyright sins on Pinterest?

1. Share your own content only; use your own photos and art. This way, you won’t have to face copyright violation notices. But you might also find that you have tacitly agreed to Pinterest owning the rights to your work, so consider that option and look into a Creative Commons license for your work.

2. Look for open-source or free-to-use images. Creative Commons and Corbis Images have extensive collections of these, and you can use the search tool Compfight, selecting the Creative Commons option, to find such images.

3. When in doubt, don’t. No matter how obscure and harmless you might think your use of someone else’s copyrighted image is, should they find out and choose to make an issue of it, you won’t have a lot of legal protection.

This seems to take half the fun out of Pinterest, but in fact with a little creativity and lateral thinking it can make using the site even more fun and rewarding. Speaking of creativity and lateral thinking, these are qualities that are virtually mandatory for members of the i-Vista Digital Marketing team. If that sounds like a good fit for driving your social media strategy – whether that includes Pinterest or not – get in touch!

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