After recent propulsion to social media stardom, Pinterest is updating their Terms of Service to address growing concerns from users and critics. Some of the areas affected include the hotbed issues of image ownership and copyright violation reporting.
Per an announcement in their official blog and sent to users via email, Pinterest no longer claims the right to sell pinned images.
Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann states:
Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for us to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
For a number of outspoken users, many of them professional photographers, this had been a major sticking point. In fact, lawyer and professional photographer Kirsten Kowalski recently deleted all her boards containing pinned images to which she did not own the rights, because of the perceived potential for a lawsuit. The post explaining her decision went viral faster than a mommy-blogger trainwreck.
In his statement, Silbermann also announced the release of tools to simplify the reporting of copyright and trademark infringement. Previously, reporting those violations had to be handled in the form of DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take-down notices. A policy which attorney Connie Mableson of DMCA Handbook says “creates confusion and is technically incorrect.”
Users can now report violations via a “Report Pin” button located next to pinned images, or by submitting Pinterest’s Copyright Infringement Notification form on the website.
Whether these updates to the TOS will be enough for Pinterest to maintain their status as an inspiration haven and social media darling remains to be seen.
This article was written by Jenny Motley. Jenny has been blogging at CrashTestMommy.net since 2006. She is currently transitioning the site from a “mommyblog” to an informational and how-to site for all things blogging. Jenny is a wife and mother, WordPress fanatic, and cherry pie baker, and has probably seen the movie Grease more times than you. You can connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.