Pinterest Boards filled with Copyright Holes

May 4, 2012 Published by

Are you considering using Pinterest as part of your company’s social media strategy?

Does your Pinterest board pin someone else’s photographs?

If so, you are probably interested to know the potential dangers and liabilities of using the site.

The person who takes a photograph usually becomes the owner and has copyright over that photo. A person who publishes or reproduces the work and communicates it to the public without permission infringes the copyright. So arguably (there have been no cases on this issue so far) if you’re taking someone else’s images and putting them up on your board, you’re infringing their copyright!

So what if your company is only posting pictures that belong to them – are you liability free?

Potentially not. On 6 April 2012 Pinterest updated its Terms of Service. These stated that Pinterest may be used for “personal, non-commercial use” and its Acceptable Use Policy includes a list of prohibited activities, including using “the Service for any commercial purpose or the benefit of any third party…” Yet despite this, Pinterest’s Terms of Service allows a person to open an account on behalf of a company and moreover it does not appear to be shutting down branded commercial pages already existing on the site.

So step carefully and keep an eye out for developments that no doubt Pinterest will make on its Terms of Service!

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