Pinterest Users Need to Read the Fine Print

Author: Carole Di Tosti.
Published: February 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm


You love Pinterest. It's the latest trend driving traffic to your blog - more than Google, Facebook and other social media sites. You've jumped on the Pinterest band wagon and use it to upload your images and pin other images that you think are funny or brilliant. Well, be careful. You may get into trouble if you didn't read the user agreement, says Boston Business Journal's Galen Moore.

Haven't your parents told you to read the fine print and obscure clauses at the bottom of pages? Of course they have and if you listened and practiced their wisdom, you won't be surprised at what Moore found out after he began implementing Pinterest, setting up an account and establishing some pinboards for visual appeal.

The following day, he took the pinboards down

Moore says, "Believe it or not, Pinterest's service agreement gives it the right to sell images that users upload." Now, I hear you saying so what? Well, it's trickier than so what.

Pinterest operator's terms of service, as presented by Cold Brew Labs begin to seem fuzzy when it comes to "Member Content." This is what is written.

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.

You're still not concerned. You have pictures that you post and publish on Pinterest. You still own the rights to those pictures. Yes. But you've just gone into a free partnership with Pinterest FOREVER, THAT MEANS into perpetuity! They are able to SELL, transfer, stream, sublicense, use, adapt, modify, LICENSE and otherwise EXPLOIT your member content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

OK. I get it. You are thrilled that you are being presented to the world. All that free publicity with your name posted on your stuff (not necessarily). You tell yourself that for their exploitation, you will eventually be able to sell as users become familiar with your art/work, linking back to your own websites (not always). And you'll make a bundle, so they can help themselves. And yes, Pinterest's presentation is awesome, attractive and you're gobsmacked by it as my Aussie cousins would say.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Carole Di Tosti.

Carole Di Tosti, Ph.D. is a published writer, novelist and poet. She writes for Blogcritics. She authors three blogs: 1) 2) 3) …

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