Okay, so even before the Pinterest copyright changes, it’s highly unlikely any of us would have been locked up for pinning. To my knowledge, no pinner has been jailed, fined, tarred or feathered—at least not for pinning. But there has been tremendous concern over the social media giant’s potential to infringe on copyright holders. Lucky for the millions of “pinners” worldwide, however, much of that has changed.
Effective today, Pinterest no longer asserts the right to “sublicense” or “sell” pinned images. The company has also removed the word ‘irrevocable’ from the copy right license and updated their terms in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
What does this mean to Pinterest users? Here are the main points:
- We can now safely pin our own images and most images linked to original sources.
- If someone re-pins ours images without proper citation, we can report it by filing a copyright infringement notification. If the claim is deemed valid, pins in question will be removed.
- If we pin an image without proper linkage, we might get flagged. Pinterest can remove the image and notify us that we’ve overstepped bounds. We then have the option of contesting the claim.
- If we collect enough warnings, we can be removed from Pinterest and, potentially, face legal repercussions. (Similar results can stem from posting images we don’t hold rights to on our blogs.)
8 Tips for Safe Pinning:
1. Pin your own images or graphics, linked to your website. This not only helps ensure that your images are credited to you, but can increase traffic to your site. If you’re not handy with a camera, create text graphics like these.
2. If you find a random image you’d like to use on the web, seek permission from the owner. If credited properly, many photographers and artists appreciate the publicity. They may also share your link with their circle of friends.
3. Don’t pin personal images you don’t want re-pinned by others. This may seem obvious, but many of us post personal photos on social media sites without much thought. If a photo contains other people, asking their permission is a good idea.
4. If you notice that someone hasn’t linked a pin properly, tell them. It may take a while for people to get a hang of proper pinning. Most of us want our links shared. So if you notice that someone hasn’t given you credit, thank them then suggest adding a link. You can also direct them to the copyright terms.
5. Use credible websites. Google Images is not a valid source for books, food, fashion or other goods. If you dig a Banana Republic top, link the image to BananaRepublic.com, not Google or your blog. Use Mac.com for Mac products, Amazon.com for books you’ve found there, CookingLight.com for Cooking Light photos and so on.
6. Install and use the “Pin It” button. This allows you to pin images from websites to your boards, and links it appropriately—assuming the site owns the image. To nab the “Pin It” button, click here or visit the Goodies section on your Pinterest homepage.
7. Include the URL in pin descriptions. Though not required, this helps ensure that the original source gains credit. URLs appear as hyperlinks, which tend to invite more ‘clicks.’
8. If you’re unsure of an image source, seek it out. Google can help you determine the original source of a photo. For a step-by-stey tutorial, check out this post by The Graphics Fairy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you on Pinterest? How do you feel about the copyright changes? Any Pinterest topics you’re dying to learn more about? (I’m planning a series of Pinterest-themed posts, so feel free to make requests!)