Sure Pinterest is all the rage right now, but did its’ founders and investors make sound legal decisions before deciding on a business model? You may have read the blog post of Kirsten Kowalski, a lawyer and photographer who “tearfully” deleted all of her pinboards from Pinterest. Kirsten and numerous others are deciding that the risks of re-posting copyrighted images outweigh the benefits of sharing and inspiration. Are you breaking the law when you use Pinterest?
While Pinterest has also been accused of not being 100% honest with it’s growing userbase, the copyright issue is a serious risk.
- Reposting of images without the owners permission
- Storing the images on Pinterest servers
- Redisplaying images (thumbnails and full-size) for profit without showing source/credit
- Non-direct linkage to original site
Pinterest supporters argue that re-posting images in Pinterest is not any different than a search engine that displays thumbnails of Web sites and content. However, there is a major difference in that Pinterest pulls full-size images from the remote sites, saves them to Pinterest servers, and then re-displays the images for profit. Often the source of the image is not identified, and the original image author/photographer gets no credit. While Pinterest does enable click-through to the original site, the original link is only accessible after several clicks.
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