Perils of the Pinterest “Pin It” Button

Are you putting yourself at risk by using Pinterest?

The Pin It Button is a feature that enables users to pin images from any website and attach it to one of their pinboards. This ability to acquire any image, however, has led to some copyright issues arising and Pinterest having to re-design the “grab anything” nature of the button.

Pinterest currently has a “safe harbor” status from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This effectively protects Pinterest against copyright infringement liability, provided they meet specific requirements. Importantly, however, Pinterest users are not granted this safe harbor status, so are liable to prosecution for posting copyrighted images.

This potential legal time bomb threatened to undermine the very ethos of Pinterest – allowing users to create dynamic and unique pinboards compiled from a whole host of sources.

Pinterest have made some changes to mitigate the risk of any damaging copyright lawsuits. Pinterest now state on their website that “when you pin from a website, we automatically grab the source link so we can credit the original creator.” In February 2012, Pinterest also released a “nopin” HTML metatag permitting websites to block their images from being pinned. This code has since been implemented by Flickr, previously a major source of images which were pinned without the permission of the original owner.

These adjustments to the Pin It Button have protected Pinterest and its users from lawsuits over copyright infringement thus far, though it remains to be seen what is being done, and indeed what can be done, about users who simply re-upload work that is not their property.

Photo by net_efekt


Pinterest: 3 Alternative Uses That Will Surprise You

Though at first Pinterest appears just to be a place to collect and display nice images of interesting pictures, new breeds of account are emerging.

Social-media savvy businesses are recognising the potential in Pinterest and are creating pages to advertise their goods, whilst others are hoping to entertain and educate with theirs.

1. (Fictitious) Travel Journal

Though Pinterest can definitely be used to advertise and earn money, it can also effectively be used to entertain. The adventures of the fearless Mr Sans-Peur is a board highlighting the adventures of the fictitious Mr Sans-Peur. This page has attracted almost 100,000 followers, despite comprising just travel pictures from around the world that Pinterest is inundated with.

Perhaps the appeal of this page is the caption that accompanies each page, detailing another piece of Mr Sans-Peur’s story. These short accounts add an emotive nature to the pictures and creates continuity between the images, allowing for a story to unfold.

2. Celebrity Rhyming Slang

Pinterest can also be used to educate. Eamon’s Agency Rhyming Slang declares that “anyone’s welcome” to be taught through the images on this board. The visual nature of Pinterest aids in comprehension here – with a picture of Clark Gable accompanying the note that this translates as “White Label”. Though trivial, this board highlights the potential that Pinterest has to visually educate the masses on a broad range of topics.

3. Marketing Through Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Republic, a Canadian company, is tapping into the Pinterest craze. The company offers an online cash registry where couples list the gifts that they’d love to receive at their wedding. This list is then transformed into a page which is circulated to guests, allowing for them to choose which gift to purchase for the couple.

Wedding Republic’s Pinterest, however, is more than just a simple advertisement of their services. With boards titled “Yummy Treats!” and “Location, Location, Location”, the page is cleverly designed to encompass all features of a wedding package. This maximises the range of searches that may lead to the page, in turn introducing more people to their company who perhaps hadn’t even thought about such a service.

How Will Pinterest be Used Next?

These are just a handful of the many imaginative ways in which Pinterest is currently being used. It remains to be seen whether Pinterest is truly an effective advertising technique for businesses. It is undisputed, however, that this medium opens up new opportunities for education and entertainment.

Photo by shelleyp