Categories
Archives Social Media

It’s Not Just Pinterest RE: Copyright & Legal Issues

Because Pinterest is the hot topic of social media, it has come under a lot of scrutiny. First about the use of affiliate links, and now about copyright issues in relation to items saved (or “pinned”) by users. Essentially, people are freaking out and removing their Pinterest content because they fear the legal repercussions. But is Pinterest the first to do this? Not by a long shot.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. I’m not even really that good at reading Terms of Service agreements. Please don’t sue me if I don’t explain things correctly or if your image happens to be in one of my screenshots. 🙂

Why Pinterest is Getting Flack?

Pinterest Boards

From what I can tell, it can be summarized like this. When you add an image to a pin board on Pinterest, Pinterest stores a full-resolution image on their own server. In their Terms of Service, although you or the original source of the image still maintains ownership of it, Pinterest can still use it any way they please.

Because Pinterest is the hot topic of social media, it has come under a lot of scrutiny. First about the use of affiliate links, and now about copyright issues in relation to items saved (or “pinned”) by users. Essentially, people are freaking out and removing their Pinterest content because they fear the repercussions based on the legal translation of their terms of service. But is Pinterest the first to do this? Not by a long shot.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. I’m not even really that good at reading Terms of Service agreements. Please don’t sue me if I don’t explain things correctly or if your image happens to be in one of my screenshots. 🙂

Why Pinterest is Getting Flack?

Pinterest Boards

From what I can tell, it can be summarized like this. When you add an image to a pin board on Pinterest, Pinterest stores a full-resolution image on their own server. In their Terms of Service, although you or the original source of the image still maintains ownership of it, Pinterest can still use it any way they please.

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

As far as network usage, you agree not to…

Post, upload, publish, submit, provide access to or transmit any Content that: (i) infringes, misappropriates or violates a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy;…

Because if you do…

YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU.

What About Delicious?

Delicious Stacks

Delicious is one of my favorite all time social bookmarking sites. They recently added a new feature called Stacks where you can put a bunch of bookmarks together on one page. Unlike their regular bookmarks, these come with the option of including a larger image or video from the page. While the videos are embedded via their YouTube or other video network code, the full sized images from these pages are saved to Delicious’ servers. And in their Terms of Service, you will find the following.

Your Member Content is yours; AVOS does not claim any ownership rights in your Member Content. By posting, submitting or transmitting any Member Content on or through the Service, you grant us and our third party service providers and partners a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, adapt, modify, distribute, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, broadcast, access, view and otherwise exploit such Member Content in any and all media or distribution channels (now known or hereafter created).

If anything legal should arise from content you put on their network…

YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, NEITHER AVOS NOR ANY OTHER PARTY INVOLVED IN CREATING, PRODUCING, OR DELIVERING THE SERVICE OR SERVICE CONTENT WILL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES,…

What About Quora?

Quora Boards

Quora, one of my favorite Q&A networks, has also added a new feature that allows you to add content to boards. When you add a website page to your board, Quora lets you choose an image to go with it. Quora stores that image, in full resolution, on their servers. Then, in their Terms of Service, you will find.

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Service, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

And then…

You also represent, warrant and agree that you have not and will not contribute any Content that (a) infringes, violates or otherwise interferes with any copyright or trademark of another party, (b) reveals any trade secret, unless the trade secret belongs to you or you have the owner’s permission to disclose it, (c) infringes any intellectual property right of another or the privacy or publicity rights of another,…

And finally…

TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, QUORA AND ITS AFFILIATES, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, PARTNERS AND LICENSORS WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF PROFITS, DATA, USE, GOOD-WILL, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES, RESULTING FROM (i) YOUR ACCESS TO OR USE OF OR INABILITY TO ACCESS OR USE THE SERVICE;…

What About (Insert Network Name Here)?

I would guess that just about every social network has similar coverage in their terms of service that you or the original source content still owns it, but they can use it and you will be held responsible. It’s not just Pinterest. Pinterest is just on the hot seat right now.

What Can You Do?

For starters, start reading the terms of service for every social network you share content upon. Pinterest is not the only network with these kinds of terms. Or you can wait and see if anyone does get into legal trouble for content they post on Pinterest or similar networks. As far as your own content, you can enjoy the traffic benefits or opt-out.

How are you responding to the possible legal implications of using Pinterest or similar networks? How do you feel about your content being added to these networks? Please share in the comments!

By Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and ghostwriter who specializes in business and marketing topics.