What are people saying about copyright infringement, spam and Pinterest?

Are your images on Pinterest without your permission?

Are your images being used by spammers to direct people to spam sites?

Does Pinterest infringe the copyright of photographers and other visual artists?

Are you trying to keep track of everything that's being said about Pinterest, its terms and conditions and the copyright and spam issues re photography, art and crafts?

See below for more details
30th April 2012 NEW Pinterest Statement about Proper Attribution - see Pinterest module
1 May 2012 - Pinterest and major third party image sites announce a new partnership between Pinterest and Flickr, Behance, Vimeo and YouTube to ensure all images sourced from these sites have copyright information detailed and proper attributions identified and embedded

This site comes in SIX parts. These are:

1) TIPS AND TUTORIALS for protecting your artwork
- provides details about how to find images which have been stolen, how to get your images removed quickly from Pinterest and how to prevent images from being pinned and/or taken without your permission in future

2) PINTEREST - THE COMPANY - it starts with a review of statements by Pinterest and then provides links to the updated terms of service and comment thereon

3) COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE - THE LAW provides an overview of the relevant parts of copyright law and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act - which underpins the use of DMCA Notices to remove copyrighted material from a website

4) COMMENTARY ON PINTEREST AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT aims to provide a categorised listing of all articles which will be edited to produce a resource which will be kept updated as the debate progresses - and any changes to the terms and conditions emerge

5) WHAT PINTEREST NEEDS TO DO - sets out the changes which need to be made to stop the confusion and poor practices relating to copyright infringement

6) SPAM ON PINTEREST what the problems are, what Pinterest is doing and what it wants you to do - and how effective Pinterest is in reducing spam (not very!)

Note: I'm not a lawyer and you should not rely on any assertions I make as legal advice. I'm just an ordinary artist and writer who is trying to make sense of the current furore over Pinterest and the infringement of copyright of various individuals including artists and photographers. What I'm doing is collecting and organising links to various relevant websites which seem to have some relevance to the issues which are being debated on the Internet.

You can find out about...

...just click a link and go straight to that topic

  2. How to do a reverse image search
  3. Ways to find your images on Pinterest or online
  4. How to get your images removed from Pinterest
  5. How to block Pinterest from pinning images from Blogs
  6. How to block Pinterest from pinning images from Flickr
  7. Tips and Tutorials on Watermarking Images
  9. What Pinterest has to say (BEFORE the revision of the TOS)
  10. "You can't build a business on stolen content"
  14. Copyright and Design Rights - The Basics
  15. Copyright for Artists
  16. Fair Use
  17. The Public Domain
  18. Derivative works
  19. Contributory Infringement
  20. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act
  21. Copyright Offices
  23. The Issue of the Images
  24. The Issue about Printing the Images
  25. Copyright protected images on Pinterest
  26. What the Professional Bodies have to say
  27. What the Artists Bill of Rights people have to say
  28. What the Copyright/Plagiarism people have to say
  29. What Making A Mark has to say
  30. What the Lawyers have to say
  31. What Flickr has to say
  32. What the Tech Geeks have to say
  33. What the social media marketers have to say
  34. What the Librarians have to say
  35. What the Newspapers are saying
  36. What the Business Magazines are saying
  37. What Art Business People have to say
  38. What Art Bloggers have to say
  39. What the Photographers have to say
  40. What the Textile and Fibre Artists have to say
  41. What the Craft Artists are saying
  42. What the Design Bloggers are saying
  43. What Female Homemaker Bloggers are saying
  45. What Pinterest Needs To Do
  47. Changes introduced by Pinterest
  49. Pinterest on the Spam Problem
  50. Commentary on the Pinterest Spam Problem
  51. Comments and Feedback

Woe to you! You thieves and imitators of other people's labour and talents.
Beware of laying your audacious hand on this artwork.

Albrecht Dürer 1511


How to do a reverse image search

My website "How to do a reverse image search" provides the answers to a number of practical issues to do with finding your artwork online

It identifies:
* what is a reverse image search
* why do a reverse image search
* how Google Reverse Image Search works
* how Tin Eye works
* which produces the best results


Ways to find your images on Pinterest or online

If you want to find which of your images have been pinned on Pintetest this is what you need to do

start with this URL http://pinterest.com/source/
then add on to the end of it the URL of your site minus the http://
eg http://pinterest.com/source/makingamark.blogspot.com/

put this search term into the top line of your browser and a page will be produced of all pins of images from your site
The pins identify who pinned the image and which of their boards is hosting it.

Otherwise try these services if you want to find your images online.

How to Find Plagiarism
What plagiarists don't realize is that the same tools that make it easy for them to find works to steal also make it easy for you, the copyright holder, to retrace their steps and catch them. Because, even though the Internet is vast, it's so well indexed that finding plagiarism is a very easy task.
Copyscape Plagiarism Checker - Duplicate Content Detection Software
Copyscape is a free plagiarism checker. The software lets you detect duplicate content and check if your articles are original.
TinEye Reverse Image Search
TinEye is a reverse image search engine built by Idee currently in beta. Give it an image and it will tell you where the image appears on the web.
Google Alerts - Monitor the Web for interesting new content
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.

How to get your images removed from Pinterest

Most of mine were removed within 24 hours

I found that Pinterest had a lot of images on the site without my permission. This is what I did

* I implemented the meta tag in Blogger (see module below)

* changed my settings in Flickr so my images cannot be shared with Pinterest (see module below) and

* served Pinterest with a site-wide takedown notices for six separate domain URLs.

Most of my images were off the site in minutes and they had all been removed within 24 hours. The links below explain how to do what I did.

MAKING A MARK: How Pinterest removed all my pinned images in minutes (#1)
This two-part post is about remedies to the problem of images appearing on Pinterest without permission
Part 1:
* how I discovered just how many images from my websites and blogs had been pinned - without my permission - on Pinterest
* why it's wrong to pin without permission
* how I started to comment on the images in question
MAKING A MARK: Takedown: How Pinterest moved fast to remove my pinned images (#2)
Do you want to get your images removed from Pinterest quickly and easily? If you do read on.
This is Part 2 of my post about remedies to the problem of images appearing on Pinterest without permission.

"Copies of content shared with others may remain even after you delete the content from your account."
Pinterest TOS (explanation)

Note: This only applies to people who have uploaded their images to Pinterest - and NOT to people who have had images pinned without their permission!

How to block Pinterest from pinning images from Blogs

This post provides specific instructions for how to install the meta tag on Blogger if you want to prevent your images being pinned

MAKING A MARK: Pinterest: How to prevent your Blogger images from being pinned
This post explains how to stop images on your Blogger blog from being pinned to a Pinterest site - by inserting a meta tag in your Blogger template
WordPress › Block Pinterest | WordPress Plugins
Block Pinterest is a simple wordpress plugin to disallow pinterest using your blogs pictures or contents on the pinterest site.

How to block Pinterest from pinning images from Flickr

You can change your site preferences on Flickr which will help to prevent your images on Flickr from being pinned

MAKING A MARK: Pinterest: How to prevent your Flickr images from being pinned
This post explains how to prevent your Flickr images from being pinned - by changing your site preferences

Tips and Tutorials on Watermarking Images

Watermarking photographs is one of the best ways of ensuring that copyright is asserted even when the image is taken without your permission

How to Add Copyright Watermark to Your Image Using picnik | IndieCreatives
For all those who don't know how to add a watermark
Copyright issues with Pinterest & watermarking photographs
Copyright issues with Pinterest & watermarking photographs
Marketing Your Digital Art: To Watermark or Not? - Lori McNee Artist
A clear list of the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision if you are considering adding a watermark to your images.
Three Online Watermarking Tools | Plagiarism Today
Professional photographers and artists have a wide variety of applications to apply watermarks on their images, most of which all them to batch process dozens or hundreds of images at once. These applications allow them to add logos and text to an image, while controlling location, transparency and color, all with a click.
Watermark tool is a free online watermark utility that lets you quickly and easily generate watermarks for your images.
Free Watermark. Add Custom Watermark. Protect Your Photos and Images - PicMarkr
Free watermarking software. Add text watermark to any image or photo. Protect your copyright, add comments, timestamps, your logo to images. Prevent unauthorized use of images. Free online service with batch images processing and Flickr, Facbook, Picasa integration.
What is a Watermark? How Do I Watermark my Digital Images?
Adding a visible watermark is a common way of identifying images and protecting them from unauthorized use online. Learn how to create an effective watermark and apply it to your digital photos or art work.
Adding watermarks to photos - Picasa and Picasa Web Albums Help
You can help protect your images by adding a watermark to your photos. A watermark in Picasa is white text that's added to the lower-right corner of photos during the export or upload process. To add a watermark to a photo, please use the following steps:


We respect copyrights. You should, too.
What Pinterest now says!
Terms of Service - explanation comment)

What Pinterest has to say (BEFORE the revision of the TOS)

the issue of your liability

View the new terms of service here

View all links to relevant pages on Pinterest website and relevant comments from others here

Subsequently - the company acted to remove from view all evidence of their admission that things were not as they should be. You won't find any evidence on their blog of the turmoil which existed in Spring 2012 - or any of the posts they'd made earlier suggesting that better behaviour was required. However this website preserves the original location of those posts - for posterity!

Have you heard there's concern about Pinterest's Terms of Service (TOS)?
Maybe you're not too sure what all the fuss is about and/or whether you should be concerned?

It looks like Ben Silbermann - the founder of Pinterest is somewhat concerned - as he's DELETED all his boards! (see http://pinterest.com/ben/).

Could it be that Ben has not been observing the terms of service and the requirements for all members to seek the permission of the copyright owner before posting an image to the site?

READ ON to find out
* what the TOS says and
* what it means for YOU if you're already a member

It's always worth paying close attention to the Terms of Service - when we sign up to any site - but people often skip that bit if they're keen to get an account set up and start using the service.

In the case of Pinterest
* Most members seem to be completely unaware of what they have agreed.
* Most don't have a clue what it says about their LIABILITY FOR COSTS AND DAMAGES in the event of a lawsuit.
* Many members that have sat down and reread the TOS are now revising, editing and pruning their boards of all images which do not permit sharing.
* PLUS None of us yet know what Pinterest will do to monetize the site (ie the content uploaded by members) but this will undoubtedly happen in due course - and what happens depends on what the TOS says


Pinterest states "You will not remove, alter or obscure any copyright, trademark, service mark or other proprietary rights notices incorporated in or accompanying the Site, Application, Services or Site Content."
HOWEVER it's understood that Pinterest strips the meta data relating to copyright details from images uploaded to the site

Pinterest says "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."
HOWEVER most people do not realise that this includes the word 'sell'

Pinterest says "You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs' use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party's patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.
You agree not to do any of the following: 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;
HOWEVER most people do NOT understand that this means that they may ONLY upload images which are
* either owned by the member
* or the member has permission or a licence to use - and share


Pinterest says "Indemnity
You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Cold Brew Labs, its officers, directors, employees and agents, harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Site, Application, Services or Site Content, (ii) your Member Content, or (iii) your violation of these Terms.

HOWEVER most people do not realise that in agreeing to become members they agreed to pay Pinterest's legal bills as well as their own in the event of any court case


We can assess Pinterest's concern to get things right by what it does and what it says. To date it has:
* introduced a "meta tag" so that people can prevent images on their sites from being pinned.
* responded promptly to takedown notices from the owners of copyrighted images - including my own where virtually all were removed within minutes of the service of a site-wide takedown notice for six domains

However it has NOT changed its terms of services, has NOT developed a policy for repeat infringers and has NOT amended the confusing and contradictory messages on the site which suggest contributory (secondary indirect) infringement on their part and doubt over whether they will be able to argue that their site enjots "safe harbor" status

READ ON to find out what others have to say about Pinterest's behaviour to date

Pinterest / Home
Pinterest Home Page
Pinterest - Terms of Use
Terms of Use Last Updated Date: March 29, 2011. (I've made a pdf copy for my own records - ie this is what I signed up to - and for the purposes of educating myself about how they have changed the terms of use as and when they finally get round to it)
Pinterest Blog | Blogging pins with credit TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2010
A big problem on blogs is tracking down the original source of an image. Most blogging products weren't designed with proper attribution in mind. Failing to give credit to original sources isn't fair to the original artist or business that provided an image, nor is it good for readers who want to get more information.
The footnote gives kudos to the person who pinned the image.(!)
Pinterest - Copyright
Copyright How to Report a Copyright Infringement
Pinterest Blog | Growing Up MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2012
After two years in existence, the company finally got round to issuing this statement on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2012
As a company, we care about respecting the rights of copyright holders. We work hard to follow the DMCA procedure for acting quickly when we receive notices of claimed copyright infringement.
Pinterest / Getting Started
This now (Feb 2012) includes a section "What if I don't want images from my site to be pinned?"
Pinterest / Copyright Form
Copyright Infringement Notification

"You can't build a business on stolen content"

Fine Art America


as from 6th April 2012

As a result of the very significant and serious concerns expressed by me and a very large number of other professional artists and photographers Pinterest has REVISED ITS TERMS OF SERVICE to address those concerns AS FROM 6TH APRIL 2012

This demonstrates that Pinterest has both recognised and is seeking to address the serious concerns that have been raised.

Subsequently - the TOS was further updated so it now has a 'plain English' commentary running alongside which explains - in much simpler terms - what each part of the TOS actually means

These changes will also help to protect Pinterest's business and assets from the invoices and legal notices which have doubtless been served on it.

You can contact Pinterest to tell them what is not working or is a problem - get in touch via help@pinterest.com.

In addition, Pinterest has banned all content explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse


At the end of April 2012, Pinterest developed a new statement about how attribution needs to be recorded - see link below. On 1 May, a new agreement with third party sources of images was announced which ensures that attribution is embedded into images pinned on Pinterest.

Pinterest / REVISED Terms of Service
These proposed Terms of Service are effective from April 6, 2012.
Pinterest / Terms of Service
Original Terms of Service
Pinterest Blog | Updated Pinterest Terms
Over the last few weeks, we've been working on an update to our Terms.
Pinterest / Etiquette
These etiquette guidelines are based on collective input from people using Pinterest. These suggestions aim to keep our community positive and to ensure that every pin is useful to other people
Pinterest / Acceptable Use Policy
To keep Pinterest running smoothly for all Users, members agree that they will use the Service only in a manner consistent with the Acceptable Use Policy.
Pinterest HELP - Documentation: Attribution Statements - FAQs
Documentation: Attribution Statements. Site/Content Owners. Sites, Brands & Businesses
Aaron posted this on Apr 30 16:54 (listed as Hagan April 30, 2012)

Attribution statements appear below the pin's description and link to the work, its author, and the hosting provider. Currently, an attribution statement will appear when a user pins from Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo or Behance.

In addition to attributing images pinned directly from these sources, Pinterest also recognizes when content pinned from other sites is embedded from these sources. Resulting pins will have both a link to where it was discovered, and an attribution statement. Users can edit links, but they cannot edit attribution.
Pinterest HELP - Pins or sites blocked on Pinterest
Pins or sites blocked on Pinterest. Content/Website Owners. Businesses & Websites
Posted by Hagan May 11, 2012
MAKING A MARK: Pinterest revises TOS and addresses copyright issues: a Primer
My blog post seeks to identify what's changes and what's new following the announcement about the new terms of service
Pinterest Terms Of Service Get Updated | Huffington Post
Pinterest is making some changes to its controversial usage policies. Ben Silbermann, CEO of the popular social bookmarking site, announced on March 23 that Pinterest will update its Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy so that they are "easier to understand and better re
In Shift, Pinterest Says to Pin Your Own Stuff - WSJ.com
Pinterest tells users that self-promotion isn't shameful after all as it tacitly admits that it may have encouraged users to pin content that didn't belong to them.
Pinterest's New Terms of Use Came Out. But, I'm Still Waiting :( | DDKPortraits DDK Portraits
Pinterest's New Terms of Use Came Out. But, I'm Still Waiting :(
From Kirsten Kowalski whose original post went viral
Pinterest announces new terms of service & that private boards are coming soon. | LL Social
Pinterest makes it easier to report copyright violations, provides clarity to terms of service, and announces private boards are coming soon.
Pinterest Updates Privacy Policy, Terms of Service
The world's 12 million pinning addicts have some changes headed their way.

Pinterest users will be held to new terms of service and have to follow updated acceptable use and privacy policies beginning April 6.
Pinterest';s New Terms Expand Indemnity, Ban Commercial Use, Prevent Users Suing Cold Brew Labs | Read all about IT
On Saturday, March 24, 2012, Pinterest emailed users to say it was updating its Terms of Service. Make no mistake - this is a pretty significant re-write, and kudos to Pinterest for making both sets readily available so we can compare and contrast them. The "proposed" terms come into effect on April 6, 2012 and while they attempt to bring clarity, there are areas that will concern Users, particularly if they are artists themselves.
Pinterest Changes Terms of Service In A Pro-Consumer Way | WebProNews
Pinterest Changes Terms of Service In A Pro-Consumer Way They can no longer sell your content
Pinterest - Instant Answers
FAQs about what you can and cannot do on Pinterest
Pinterest 'Thinspiration' Content Banned According To New Acceptable Use Policy
Following Tumblr's lead, Pinterest has banned all content explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse, namely "thinspo" pinboards.


"An attribution statement will appear when a user pins from one of the following sources: Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Behance, 500px, Etsy, Kickstarter, SlideShare, and SoundCloud."
HELP STATEMENT: Crediting pins on Pinterest
Hagan April 30, 2012


Copyright and Design Rights - The Basics

Below you can find some links to the basics on copyright law and "fair use"

The section which follows deals specifically with "fair use"

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Copyright Basics FAQ
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center
Copyright and Fair Use Overview > Copyright FAQs > Copyright Basics FAQ
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Copyright FAQs
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center Copyright FAQs
Copyright Basics - US Copyright Office
pdf file explains copyright basics
U.S. Copyright Office - Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. Copyright Office is an office of public record for copyright registration and deposit of copyright material.
Intellectual property: Copyright, trademarks and patents | UK Copyright Service
Summary of intellectual property: Copyright, trademarks and patents explained.
Designs and design rights | UK Copyright Service
Designs may be subject to three types of protection, copyright, unregistered design rights and may also be registered nationally as registered designs.
FAQ about Copyright -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
PINTEREST references this site for explanations of the FAQs about Copyright. These FAQs are comprehensive and accessible to those who know little about copyright
10 Big Myths about copyright explained | Brad Templeton
Brad Templeton identifies 10 misconceptions about copyright rights
Responses to the Copyright Crisis | Brad Templeton
Brad Templeton comments on some of the current problems connected to copyright

...some system needs to be found, some way to assure that creators can make money from their efforts, the public's freedoms are not restricted and incentives can be provided to develop and invest in the development of important creative works. I call this The problem of the Creative Economy.
Chapter 5: Copyright Infringement and Remedies (USA)
Complete version of the U.S. Copyright Law, December 2011 - Chapter 5: Copyright Infringement and Remedies
Copyright Alliance Education Foundation
Copyright in the Classroom
The Copyright Alliance Education Foundation and Young Minds Inspired have developed a free video to provide a quick explanation of copyright & useful classroom materials.

Copyright for Artists

Plus tips for those looking for copyright-free artwork


Fair Use

"Fair Use" defines how copyrighted material can be used without permission or licence from the rights holder for the purposes of commentary or criticism.

There is a notion that "fair use" covers the use of images on Pinterest
There are others who note that there is precious little commentary

"Fair use" is based on free speech rights provided by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. United States trademark law also incorporates a "fair use" defense. The terms originated in the USA and the concept is sometimes referred to as "fair dealing" elsewhere.

Defined "fair uses" are strictly limited and are defined by four factors as follows:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Each of these factors need to be weighed in each case in order to determine whether a use qualifies as a fair use.

If the copyright holder disagrees with the "fair use" the matter may be resolved in court. There is a significant amount of case law which is relevant.

BELOW you can find expert comment from authoritative sources about what is "fair use" and how it can be measured.

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Fair Use
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center Home
This covers the following topics - the headings in the index are reproduced below

What Is Fair Use?
* Comment and Criticism
* Parody
Measuring Fair Use: The Four Factors
* The Transformative Factor: The Purpose and Character of Your Use
* The Nature of the Copyrighted Work
* The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Taken
* The Effect of the Use Upon the Potential Market
* The "Fifth" Fair Use Factor: Are You Good or Bad?
Summaries of Fair Use Cases
* Cases Involving Text
* Artwork and Audiovisual Cases
* Internet Cases
* Music Cases
* Parody Cases
Disagreements Over Fair Use: When Are You Likely to Get Sued?
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Copyright & Fair Use Articles
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Centre
Copyright & Fair Use Articles
The UK Copyright Service | P-09: Copyright Law | Fair Use conditions
Explaining the copyright law concept of fair use, which sets out actions which may be allowable under certain circumstance. Also known as fair dealing,free use or fair practice.
Fair Use Checklist — Columbia Copyright Advisory Office
A checklist to help evaluate whether a specific use of a copyrighted work is a fair use.
FAQ about Copyright and Fair Use -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Copyright and Fair Use
Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images | Social Media Examiner
Copyright of images: What you need to know about publishing photos, images and videos online to make good decisions on fair use and avoid legal actions.

The Public Domain

what it really means - not what people think it means

There are a lot of people who don't know much about copyright and the law who think that everything on the Internet is in the public domain - because it's on the Internet

They are WRONG

This section covers what the public domain is

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - The Public Domain
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center
CHAPTER 8. The Public Domain
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Welcome to the Public Domain
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center
Copyright and Fair Use Overview > The Public Domain > Welcome to the Public Domain
This section looks at each of the four common ways that works arrive in the public domain:
* the copyright has expired
* the copyright owner failed to follow copyright renewal rules
* the copyright owner deliberately places it in the public domain, known as "dedication," or
* copyright law does not protect this type of work.
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use - Public Domain Trouble Spots
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center Copyright and Fair Use Overview > The Public Domain > Public Domain Trouble Spots
While it's true that no strings are attached to using public domain materials, you should be aware of certain potholes on the public domain highway

Derivative works

Derivative work does not enjoy copyright protection - unless the original artist/author says so

In summary - when you transfer a copyrighted work into a new medium you create a derivative work. For copyright protection to attach to a later, allegedly derivative work, it must display some originality of its own

Only the original copyright holder can authorise the creation of derivative works otherwise the new work does not enjoy copyright status

A derivative work is defined as follows according to the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, Section 101

"A 'derivative work' is a work based upon one or more pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a 'derivative work"

FAQ about Derivative Works -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
derivative works
Derivative work - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In United States copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work (the underlying work).
Commons:Derivative works - Wikimedia Commons
This page is considered an official guideline on Wikimedia Commons.
Many creative works are a derivative work of something, but in most cases, copyright can't be claimed on them because of varying factors. For photographs for example, exceptions include it not being a creative work, having utilitarian functions, freedom of panorama exemptions, and so on. However, in all other cases, only the copyright holder has the right to authorize derivative works.

Contributory Infringement

otherwise known as secondary or indirect infringement

Contributory infringement is what happens when the infringement is indirect or secondary to the primary infringement. This requires
(1) knowledge of the infringing activity and
(2) a material contribution -- actual assistance or inducement -- to the alleged piracy.

In the USA:
* statute provides the parameters for indirect / secondary / contributory infringement in relation to patents and trademarks
* case law rather than statute is currently deciding the scope of secondary infringement in relation to copyright - and in particular in relation to the role of IPs and account holders

Current court cases relate to those who have posted links to pirate sites knowing what their role to be

What is contributory infringement? -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
What is contributory infringement?
Secondary liability - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Secondary liability From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Contributory copyright infringement) Jump to: navigation,
search Secondary liability, or indirect infringement, arises when a party materially contributes to, facilitates, induces, or is otherwise responsible
ISP liability for secondary trademark infringement | Secondary Trademark Infringement by Jane Coleman
Comprehensive legal analysis of the law concerning the liability of Internet Service Providers for secondary or derivative trademark infringement
8.5 Indirect Infringement | Ladas and Parry Intellectual Property Law
Two possible types of indirect infringement are known in the United states: induced infringement and contributory infringement.

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act

and the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is the Act which, in the USA, relates to requirements to remove content from websites. The European Union has the Copyright Directive and the Electronic Commerce Directive.

The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act seeks to limit the liability of online service providers (OSPs) for the stupid and criminal things which their users do from time to time. However to enjoy that reduction in liability the OSP also has to follow certain rules.

The Online Service Provider (OSP - in this case Pinterest) must "adopt and reasonably implement a policy"[2] of addressing and terminating accounts of users who are found to be "repeat infringers." In other words unless Pinterest identifies and implements a policy of dealing with people who repeatedly commit copyright infringement, Pinterest may not enjoy the benefits of the "safe harbour" provisions.

Given the extent of repeat infringement of copyright by huge numbers of members it's probably safe to say Pinterest has NOT yet (as at March 2012) got on top of this side of things

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (pdf file)
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (pdf file)
Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.
Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA) is United States federal law that creates a conditional safe harbor for online service providers (OSP) (a group which includes internet service providers (ISP)) and other Internet intermediaries by shielding them for their own acts of direct copyright infringement (when they make unauthorized copies) as well as shielding them from potential secondary liability for the infringing acts of others.
Copyright Directive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Copyright Directive is a directive of the European Union enacted to implement the WIPO Copyright Treaty, to which the European Union is a party.
Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 incorporates the EU Electronic Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC into the law of the United Kingdom.[1] They apply to contracts concluded by electronic means over distance whereby the buyer is a consumer.

Copyright Offices

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Home page of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's main web site.
Intellectual Property Office - Welcome to the Intellectual Property Office (UK)
Intellectual Property Office Home Page - UK
The European Patent Office
The European Patent Organisation is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up on 7 October 1977 on the basis of the European Patent Convention (EPC) signed in Munich in 1973. It has two bodies, the European Patent Office and the Administrative Council, which supervises the Office's activities.
Irish Patents Office - Home
Irish Patents Office


The Issue of the Images

concerns over the protection for copyright

The terms of service (TOS) stipulate that all images which are uploaded to Pinterest MUST
* either be owned by the person doing the uploading
* or that the Pinterest member must have permission or a licence to post the image
* if there is a court case the Pinterest member must pay Pinterest's legal costs as well as his or her own

Normally websites are protected by "safe harbor" laws. These ensure that the websites are not liable for copyright violations by their users. In order to preserve this legal shield, the site owners MUST
* respond to take-down notices by copyright owners
* ensure they are not directly controlling the infringement
* ensure they do not profit from the infringement
* have a policy which details what they do in relation to repeat infringers

Should a company fail to deliver the aspects assigned to a "safe harbor" entity, then this status will be forfeit.

It appears that the servers which host all the images on Pinterest belong to Amazon. Hence all the safe harbor provisions apply equally to Amazon - and Amazon has indicated a willingness to be served with DMCA notices

Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations?
How Pinterest is a hotbed for copyright violations, and how these violations cause harm for photographers and artists.
Pinterest: Is It A Facebook Or A Grokster? | paidContent: The Economics of Digital Content
Copyright clouds are gathering around Pinterest. And that could make the dreamy image site an unlikely successor to other innovators-from Grokster to the Beastie Boys-who walked a fine legal line between sharing and theft.
Standing at the crossroads of what's yours is mine - crafthaus
I have been talking for some time about the idea that the image of a piece of work is more valuable to the artist than the work itself. This is a fairly radical concept for many in the arts, but it's an accepted fact for most people in media, technology and marketing. This idea is the result of convergence, the merger of previously distinct technologies or fields into a new form, requiring new practices.
Forums - Discussion - Watermarked iStock images on Pinterest.com | iStock
Royalty Free Stock photography and photos

If you read through the rest of their TOS, you'll see they try to shirk responsibility for content copyrights by passing the buck to end users. Nowhere on the site (except deep in the TOS) is it made clear that end-users are strictly required to "pin" content they have rights to, while the toolbar clearly encourages users to browse around and "pin" whatever content they find out there.

When I called the number listed for copyright complaints, a recording said the mailbox was full.
Pinterest Might Be Enabling Massive Copyright Theft - Business Insider
Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing web sites in history. Launched about two years ago, the site already has more than 10 million monthly visitors and, among social networks, is ranked below
How your business could get sued for using Pinterest - Boston Business Journal
Believe it or not, Pinterest's service agreement gives it the right to sell images that users upload. Exceptions for publishers of user-generated content protect Pinterest, but they don't protect you.
Pinterest is blowing up with cries of copyright infringement
Read Pinterest is blowing up - with cries of copyright infringement ' on Digital Trends. Pinterest's potential is huge - but does the platform pave the...
How Pinterest Violates Your Copyright | IndieCreatives
This article very neatly demonstrates the problems with Pinterest compared to Google Images
Is Pinterest Illegal? - BusinessInsider.com
Is Pinterest the next Megaupload?
Pinterest versus Ethics and the Law - Part 1 | Artists Bill of Rights
Artists Bill of Rights - Pinterest versus Ethics and the Law - Part 1
We want to rebut the many stories in the media which say that Pinterest is not infringing any the content copied to it, that it is merely providing links to the original source of the content.
Pinterest is storing all the images copied to it on its own servers, except that they are not Pinterest's servers - they are Amazon's!
A Flaw in Pinterest's Potential Fair Use Argument
With Fair Use as the rallying cry of copyright infringement, impact on the artist's potential market may be a deciding factor.
A One Word Fix To Pinterest's Legal Problem - Forbes
Image via Wikipedia In the past few weeks, many have weighed in on the legal problems faced by Pinterest, the increasingly popular social networking site that lets you "pin" images from across the Web to create virtual bulletin boards. The trouble with%uFFFD"pinning" is that&nbs
Copyright & Fair Use Resources - a board on Pinterest
Copyright & Fair Use Resources - a board on Pinterest by Nikki Robertson (ahsl library)

The Issue about Printing the Images

One of the aspects that causes people concern are the companies which are springing up to print Pinterest Boards and/or Pinned items. Particularly where this involves making money off artists' and photographers' images behind their backs and without their permission

This is what Pinterest has to say on the topic of printing Pinterest content

We have recently received a number of questions about whether we plan to sell printed boards and pins. Pinterest does not, and has no plans to, offer printing of content. Any service claiming to print Pinterest's content is not affiliated with Pinterest, and is in violation of our terms. Pinterest respects copyrights - if you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Will Pinterest offer Printed Boards and Pins?
Will Pinterest offer Printed Boards and Pins?. Other. The Basics

Aaron defines the company's position (as set out above)
Printerest - Print your Pinterest Pinboards.
Turn your Pinterest Pinboards into posters and books. Printed on high quality recycled paper and delivered anywhere in the world.
Daily Dot | Print-erest unphased by Pinterest call-out
In an unprecedented move, Pinterest took to its Facebook page to publicly denounce a Pinterest-inspired service-Print-erest. Now, that service is speaking back.

"We dont plan to allow people to print copyrighted images," Print-erest's organizer told the Daily Dot on Facebook. "Obviously that would get us into serious trouble."
Pinned Monthly Magazine - Print and digital magazine for Pinterest / Pinned Monthly Magazine
Pinned Monthly is a print and digital magazine containing all kinds of pinteresting things. A collection of popular items from Pinterest, available in print as well as a digital version in PDF, MOBI and ePub versions for your Kindle, iPad, phone and PC.

Copyright protected images on Pinterest

check out the domain names with copyright protected images stored on Pinterest servers and published on the Pinterest website

Istock photos on Pinterest
Istock is a stock photography website which generates its income for itself and the photographers by selling rights to use and publish photos
Gurney Journey images on Pinterest
The art blog of popular artist and author James Gurney
Lines and Colors images on Pinterest
The very popular art and illustration blog of Charley Parker

What the Professional Bodies have to say

The Association of Photographers in the UK have their say below


Negotiating Licences
Under the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 copyright in images is vested with the author who licences the work to their client to enable them to publish the work for the purposes of the commission. When approaching a photographer with a possible commission, it is important that you have a clear idea of the media, countries and length of time for which you want to use the images. The photographer's fee usually includes the first use of the image/s, but extended duration of use, media and territories can affect this fee

What the Artists Bill of Rights people have to say

This includes posts from the organisations Artists Bill of Rights. This is their....

Advice to Pinterest Members

It's safer to avoid using Pinterest altogether, however, if you must use it, please accept our advice before copying anything to Pinterest -

1. Always contact the copyright owner of the work before copying it to Pinterest, and,

2. Tell the owner that Pinterest will remove their copyright notice metadata and reserves the right to sell the owners work, refer them to this series of articles, then -

3. Do not copy unless you get written permission from the copyright owner. It must be in writing, failing to do this can have serious legal and financial consequences for you personally. Pinterest will not defend you, they have made sure in their terms of use that you, and you alone, will be solely responsible for breaking the law.

Pinterest - three reasons for not using it | Bill of Rights for Creative People
There has been a vast amount of internet chatter about Pinterest of late in which both those in favour of and against this latest user driven content website have given their views. We have been asked recently for our own opinions. While our posts on social media should have made clear that we have a considerable number of concerns about this site we have decided to publish three specific reasons for not using it, and for blocking its access to your own website
Pinterest versus Ethics and the Law - Part 1 | Artists Bill of Rights
In this new series of articles we explore the Pinterest business model more deeply and their response to our complaints. We consider what the law, and the spirit of the law, expects of a company that claims to respect the intellectual property rights of others. We consider how you, as a member of Pinterest, by following the activities Pinterest encourage you to undertake, could find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

What the Copyright/Plagiarism people have to say

particularly in relation to photographs which normally attract a fee

What happens to those who plagiarise....

It may come as news to some Pinterest members that many of the stock photo companies - notably Getty images choose to send out demand notices demanding payment for use of an image rather than issuing takedown notices or cease and desist letters. Infringers may be told they have to pay as much as $1,000 or more per image.

If an image on Pinterest comes from a photographer who normally charges a fee for their work, Pinterest members could find they end up receiving invoices for the use of the image on the Pinterest site

A Word of Caution for Pinterest Users | Plagiarism Today
it's important to remember when you're pinning that you're doing so with your real name, that many copyright holders of images have been very zealous and litigious in the past and Pinterest makes it easy for copyright holders to find out who pinned their work.
The Stock Photo Industry's Massive Copyright Campaign
Here's a seemingly simple question: Which of the following activities is most likely to get you a threatening letter for copyright infringement? Pirating a movie? Sharing a song? Or Posting a stock photo to your site?
Gettyimages.co / Pinterest
These are all the Getty Images on Pinterest. Note the copyright overprinting of many of the images
The Great Pinterest Divide: To Opt Out or Not | Plagiarism Today
it's that process of pinning itself that is creating much of the controversy. Most of the pinning being done is without the explicit permission of the copyright holder and, according to several photographers, it involves the copying of the full-size image to Pinterst's server.
WhatToPin.com: Copyright and the Pinterest Cottage Industry | Plagiarism Today
Pinterest's rise to fame has helped create a cottage industry of sites around it. But do they share in Pinterest's copyright woes?

What Making A Mark has to say

I've been following the debate about Pinterest and Copyright.


1) The owner professes not to know much about copyright and left it all to his lawyers

2) Pinterest has terms and conditions which say that you can't pin images unless you own them or you have permission to pin or a licence to use them.

3) The Pinterest system for uploading images when they are pinned does nothing to reinforce the conditions that members have agreed to. People are not asked to confirm they own the image or have permission to use it

4) Pinterest has NOT explained copyright anywhere on the site - except in legalese.

5) My guess is that a very high percentage (90%+) of the images on the site do not comply with the condition that members sign up for

6) Pinterest exempts itself from liability under safe harbour rules and that condition which members signed up to. It offloads all the liability and its legal costs to Pinterest members who have done something they shouldn't. Those members are liable for copyright infringement and the associated legal costs for themselves AND Pinterest - as per the membership agreement

7) The Pinterest business model assumes money is going to be made off the content which has been assembled by people who don't know too much about copyright or don't read terms and conditions too carefully.

7) People who create visual images and then sell them are bound to be upset (hence the recent viral storm re copyright and Pinterest) with this sort of approach to the "stock in trade". I am absolutely convinced that people will issue lawsuits over this. I rather suspect the photographers might organise to get a class action. We already know that many of the stock photography sites issue invoices rather than cease and desist letters to those who infringe copyright.

My personal view is that the situation is a complete mess and the TOS is a joke. I've got an account on there and I'm monitoring my domains. I think it has the potential to do well - but they need to change the terms and conditions and clean up their act.

MAKING A MARK: Pinterest revises TOS and addresses copyright issues: a Primer
The Pinterest team has decided to try and address the very real copyright concerns of visual artists, photographers and others.

NEW Terms of Service are to be implemented as from 6th April 2012.

This post highlights the changes and what it means for artists and photographers and other designers who have been at risk of losing income streams due to the previous TOS and member behaviour.

What the Lawyers have to say

Note I am NOT a lawyer. If you need one you need to employ one for their professional advice. But go armed with a few references which can be found online!

The key issue seems to revolve around the discrepancy between what the terms and conditions say and the way in which Pinterest is allowing the site to operate. Thus members are required to own or have permission or a licence to post the image - however some estimates suggest virtually all the images fail this test

There is also at least one suggestion that Pinterest may find itself in trouble in court because its TOS could be used against the company to prove it is a website devoted to inducing, encouraging, facilitating, fostering ... infringement! This is the contributory liability argument

The company does not have a policy for how it tackles people who infringe copyright again and again.

Changes Needed to Pinterest's DMCA Policy | ALL ABOUT THE DMCA , SOPA & ACTA
Changes Needed to Pinterest's DMCA Policy
by Connie Mableson on February 24, 2012
I took a look at Pinterest's DMCA Policy and related terms and found lots of things they need to fix immediately.
Why I Tearfully Deleted My Pinterest Inspiration Boards - DDKPortraits Kirsten Kowalski
From a legal perspective, my concern was for my own potential liability. From an artist's perspective, my concern was that I was arguably engaging in activity that is morally, ethically and professionally wrong.

(Alpharetta and Milton photographer Kirsten Kowalski offers services to clients in the metro Atlanta and Southe
My Date with Ben Silbermann - Following Up and Drying My Tears | DDK Portraits Kirsten Kowalski
We talked about ways his lawyers (who ARE experts in copyright law) can re-draft Pinterest's Terms of Use to clear up any current confusion regarding how to use the site. We discussed concerns that many photographers have with their work being shared in such a manner.
Passion for Pinterest and a Call for Input from Photogs | DDK Portraits Kirsten Kowalski
As I previously blogged, Pinterest understands that it needs to modify its terms of use. After all, Pinterest's own terms currently prohibit you from using the site for its intended purpose. The first rule of use is don't pin anything that you don't own or that you don't have "all rights" or license to use. This flies in the face of the purpose of the site, which is to pin from all over the web and contradicts its first rule of etiquette which is to not self promote. Understandably, people are confused.
Pinterest: Fair Use of Images, Building Communities, Fan Pages, Copyright | Citizen Media Law Project
Pinterest: Fair Use of Images, Building Communities, Fan Pages, Copyright Posted October 22nd, 2012 by Andrew Mirsky in United States

THIS IS A RECOMMENDED READ - lots of clarity around the "fair use" argument and plain speaking about what you cannot do
The Perils Of Pinterest | Craft Test Dummies
"Earlier this year I wrote an article called Pinterest and Why Crafters Love It! Since then, Pinterests' shiny image has gotten a little tarnished."

This is a RECOMMENDED READ - really very scary!
The Copyright Question: How to Protect Yourself on Pinterest
This rush to join Pinterest has been somewhat tempered by concerns over the social network's terms of use. Namely, people are questioning "who owns what" content.

Some have incorrectly concluded that Pinterest owns everything posted on the site. And others have correctly pointed out that posting other people's pictures without permission could be problematic.

Before a company - or a user, for that matter - joins Pinterest, it's important to separate the myths from the realities.
'Pinterest' Wades In Murky Copyright Waters : NPR
The popular website Pinterest allows millions of users to "pin" digital images and share virtual bulletin boards. But it's raising suspicions about potential copyright infringement. Audie Cornish talks to attorney Jonathan Pink - who heads the Internet and New Media Team at the law firm
Pinterest’s New Terms Expand Indemnity, Ban Commercial Use, Prevent Users Suing Cold Brew Labs | Read all about IT
Key points.
* The controversial Indemnity language has been expanded, not limited.
* Commercial use of the Site is now banned completely.
* Users must forfeit their rights to fair use of Pinterest Content, but User Content is fair game.
* Users cannot sue Pinterest, either individually or as part of a class action.
* There are some hints at the future innovations.
Stahle Law | E is for 'Pinterest and Exclusive Licenses'
one aspect of Pinterest that I haven't seen widely discussed, is the impact that Pinterest could have on artists who exclusively license their work
Creators Against Pinterest: And Now For The Lawsuits
Not by a lawyer - but commenting on an interesting development and some key weaknesses in any safe harbor defence
Make Sure You Are Taking These 3 Precautions or Delete Your Pinterest | The Laws of Fashion
The Laws of Fashion What to wear. How to wear it.
The problem with Pinterest is that most people are just randomly "pinning" something that they like, want, dream about. Following someone else's pins. Pinterest may be a great way to get ideas on decorating, crafts, clothing and more. But is it worth it?
The legal penalties for copyright infringement are:
Pinterest: Fair Use of Images, Building Communities, Fan Pages, Copyright | Citizen Media Law Project
A hypothetical "Company" has plans for its Pinterest "community", and in particular, wonders about these situations:
* Using Images of Identifiable People
* Fair Use and Images
* Trademarks: When is a "Fair Use" Argument Strongest?
* Why Attribution and Linking to Original Sources is Important

What Flickr has to say

Flickr has been identified as being the seventh most popular source of content on Pinterest. This is despite the fact that Flickr implemented Pinterest's do-not-pin code on pages with copyrighted or protected images.

On 1 May 2012, Flickr announced a new partnership with Pinterest to ensure that all Flickr photos pinned to Pinterest will be correctly attributed and linked back to Pinterest.

Flickr members have the option of refusing to allow sharing by Pinterest

There are a variety of views being expressed about the new arrangement and you can read these in the various articles listed under other headings for "who said what"

Attributed sharing from Flickr to Pinterest | Flickr Blog
We made sure that every image shared from Flickr will be clearly attributed with the name of the photographer, the title, as well as a link to the photo page. Because the attribution cannot be edited, photographers can rest assured that pins and repins of their images will be credited and linked back as well

What the Tech Geeks have to say

For the most part, the geeks who write the tech sites are now pointing in the direction of the articles being written by the lawyers!

However they've also been highlighting the skimlinks aspect of the site - which effectively monetizes content without telling any of the members how it does so

Is Pinterest the new Napster? | LL Social
Pinterest popularity is similar to Napster's. More troubling, this popularity is coming with similar violations of Pinterest own TOS & the law.
Macworld Australia | Pinterest, copyright and what you should know
Pinterest, copyright and what you should know
29 February, 2012 by Angela West
Pinterest does not ask users to consider permissions before each "pin," aiming to make the user experience seamless. While having your content shared arguably helps popularise it, many artists and photographers may want to be asked or paid first.
ReadWriteWeb | Attorney Says Pinterest Needs To Change Its Digital Copyright Policy
Questions continue to mount about Pinterest's uneasy relationship with copyright law, with one attorney (and avid Pinterest user) saying the company needs to upgrade its Digital Millenium Copyright Act policies or risk being shut down. Connie Mableson, an attorney in Phoenix, offers a point-by-point
ReadWriteWeb | How You Could Get Sued For Using Pinterest By Dave Copeland / February 17, 2012
The Boston Business Journal stopped using Pinterest one day after setting up its account after realizing it could be sued for images it uploaded to the site. Web editor Galen Moore started playing around with the rapidly-growing social network on Thursday as a possible way to share the visual images
Pinterest Copyright Policy vs Pinterest Terms | WebProNews
If you pin only your own material, you are self-promoting, and thus violating pin etiquette. While you may not be booted for this, it is clearly discouraged. So, what does that leave? Pinning other things you find. This is the very intended purpose of Pinterest: pin things you find.
Pinterest is blowing up - with cries of copyright infringement | Digital Trends
while we're all trying to wrap our heads around what exactly this stunning new platform is and does, it's becoming fairly clear it's toeing a dangerous line concerning copyright infringement. Even users benefitting from the site are concerned about the ethics of the Repin button. Is Pinterest priming itself for a lawsuit or is it just one step ahead in the evolution of the Internet image citation?
Pinterest: copyright-abusing image piracy or Fair Use? | ITworld
Hot social media site Pinterest allows users to "pin" images to their page. But are those images copyright violations?
Pinterest is quietly generating revenue by modifying user submitted pins. | LL Social
Breaking news that Pinterest is changing user submitted pins to make money. Are they now one of the biggest affiliates on the Internet?
What was learned from the Pinterest link modification story. | LL Social
New insights on Pinterest's practice of modifying some user submitted links to add affiliate codes. Follow-up to 35,000 reader original article.
Pinterest is profiting off your "pinspired" purchases without a disclosure | Digital Trends
Turns out Pinterest is more than just your personal pinboard. The site is using an affiliate linking program to track and get a piece of your e-shopping.
Pinterest: Covert Affiliate Link Scheme Exposed | Search Engine Journal
According to a recent discovery, which was made public by digital marketer and blogger Josh Davis, Pinterest is modifying links to ecommerce sites to include their own affiliate tracking links. Now, when a Pinterest user clicks through a "pin" on Pinterest and makes a purchase at an ecommerce site, Pinterest receives a percentage of the sale. Pinterest has been using the skimlinks service, which automatically adds affiliate links to any products that may be associated with an affiliate program, to quietly modify the links.
It's not a secret. We do monetize social discovery, and it's great. | Blog | skimlinks.com
There have been a few articles popping up discussing Pinterest's use of Skimlinks, so we wanted to dive in and talk about what they are doing, as it's not a secret or sneaky or covert, but a very popular, mainstream, and valuable approach to content monetization.

First off, Pinterest's use of Skimlinks technology is nothing new, nor is it secretive.
Skimlinks Is The Real Story Behind Pinterest’s Success | TechCrunch
Skimlinks, originally from London but now with a growing US base, has been revealed as powering the affiliate links behind Pinterest, one of the hottest startups on the map right now. For some that appears to be a little bit of scandal, at least for Pinterest, though not for Skimlinks.
Pinterest Copyright Issues Could Spur Changes To Terms Of Use And ‘Pin Etiquette’ | TechCrunch
Pinterest, the hugely popular website that lets people share photos and images on a virtual pinboard, has had trouble brewing for a while over what some people say are frequent copyright violations that happen when users 'pin' photos on the site without permission. But one woman recently discovered that the copyright issue at Pinterest is a little more complicated than that: Pinterest's own rules of etiquette make it very difficult for regular people to use the site at all without being liable in the event of a copyright lawsuit.
For Pinterest, Revenue Will Turn Copyright Questions Into Real Problems | TechCrunch
This article suggests Pinterest has a major legal problem in ever generating income streams from the content it has collected. If it tries to generate income this is the point at which the copyright owners will start to invoice.
Pinterest Founder Nukes His Own Account
The site's new terms of service will help protect it from lawsuits and probably make the site a nicer place. But Pinterest as we know it was built on a looser culture of sharing and reposting, and the transition is going to be rocky. For Silbermann, it may even have been impossible. His account, which had nearly a million followers and almost 4000 pins, was quietly pulled offline a few weeks ago. A modest replacement has been started from scratch.
What Does Pinterest Look Like Without Copyrighted Content?
What Does Pinterest Look Like Without Copyrighted Content?: Pinterest
Technorati | Travel's Problem With Pinterest
Will Pinterest's shift away from "self promotion" hurt the site, and how can the travel industry best use it.
Techcrunch | Flickr Adds Pinterest Buttons To Photo Sharing; All Images Will Be Pinned With Attributions | TechCrunch
Flickr is announcing a partnership with Pinterest to add Pin It buttons to sharing options on the photo sharing platform. Flickr also assures that all pinned images will be properly attributed, regardless where they are pinned from.

If a photographer does not want their content to be shared, the share menu will be disabled making the Pinterest option unavailable as well.
Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations?
Learn how Pinterest encourages unintentional copyright violations that have real, harmful consequences for artists and photographers.

What the social media marketers have to say

Most of the social media marketers are keen to show what Pinterest is and/or can do

Amy (first link below) reflects on the furore over copyright and provides a set of guidelines for how she is going to operate on Pinterest in future

Pinterest and Copyright: What I'm Doing | Blogging with Amy
So there's a lot of talk about Pinterest and copyright lately. Many of you have asked me what I think about this issue, so I'm going to tell you what I've learned and what I have decided to do (at this point anyway). Before I start, though, I just want to say I'm not a lawyer and none of this is meant to be legal advice.
Pinterest: US vs. UK users / We Are Social
A great infographic from visual.ly showing very clearly that from a brand perpscective, for the moment at least, Pinterest is only of real interest if your target audience consists of 25-54 year old women in the US.
The Marketer's Guide to Pinterest
This infographic explains some Pinterest basics, such as explaining what a Pin, Repin and Board are, and provides five tips.
Marketing on Pinterest | A Marketer's Guide to Promoting Content on Pinterest [Infographic]
Pinterest tips so you can Pin It To Win It. MDG Advertising's infographic focuses on practical uses for Pinterest to catalyze your social media marketing.
It’s Not Just Pinterest RE: Copyright & Legal Issues
If you're worried about violating copyrights and the possible legal ramifications of doing so, then Pinterest isn't the only site you have to worry about sharing content upon.
Amazon.com Takes an Interest in Pinterest's Copyright Woes | Mashable / Daily Dot
Amazon.com has reportedly gotten involved. Pinterest, like many web startups from Foursquare to Path and Zynga, uses Amazon Web Services for Web hosting so it doesn't have to buy its own servers.
Digital Media Update: Pinterest -- Pulling a YouTube & Building Billions on the Backs of Copyright Owners?
Pinterest, of course, is the tech industry's darling right now. Millions are flocking to it -- and collecting, posting and sharing still images meaningful to them. The only problem with this is that a significant YouTube-ian copyright issue is lurking.
The Copyright Question: How to Protect Yourself on Pinterest
This rush to join Pinterest has been somewhat tempered by concerns over the social network's terms of use. Namely, people are questioning "who owns what" content.

Some have incorrectly concluded that Pinterest owns everything posted on the site. And others have correctly pointed out that posting other people's pictures without permission could be problematic.
MediaPost Publications Why I've Resisted Pinterest 04/16/2012
Why I've Resisted Pinterest - 04/16/2012 - raises some very interesting new points
Mashable | Flickr and Pinterest Partner to Make Photo Attribution Easier
Flickr announced on Tuesday that it's partnering with social networking site Pinterest to make sure images posted from the popular photo-sharing site are always properly attributed.
Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations?
Learn how Pinterest encourages unintentional copyright violations that have real, harmful consequences for artists and photographers.

What the Librarians have to say

The first article below thinks there's a fair amount of hysteria around. She thinks the issues raised though are not that different from those raised by a number of social sharing sites

Pinterest, copyright, and Terms of Service - Copyright Librarian
Copyright Librarian - News and discussion focusing on copyright law, scholarship, communication and higher education issues.
Pinterest, copyright, and Terms of Service By nasims on March 8, 2012 4:15 PM
Pinterest, Copyright and the Library - Brookline, MA Patch
The library's approach to Pinterest, which you can view here, has been to create curated pinboards of book covers on a variety of topics. In an attempt to honor the rights of the copyright-holder, we strive to find cover images that originate at the author's or publisher's website.

What the Newspapers are saying

The newspapers by and large are looking at Pinterest from a macro level - as a new social media business and the monetisation aspects - rather than getting into the detail. However some have picked up on the copyright concerns

What Pinterest means for the arts | Culture professionals network | Guardian Professional
What's the point of Pinterest? Matthew Caines takes a closer look and weighs up the benefits for arts organisations
Toronto Star | Pinterest's copyright concern (or how pinning a favourite photo can lead to lawsuits)
Pinterest relies heavily on copyrighted images. Will the social media site be able to navigate the line between sharing and theft?
What's This Pinterest Website? - WSJ.com
Traffic to online scrapbooking site Pinterest has skyrocketed -- women are flocking to it. But the start-up still isn't sure how it's going to make money.
13 Fun Facts About Pinterest Users (INFOGRAPHIC) | Huffington Post
Though it launched nearly two years ago, Pinterest has recently taken the internet by storm with its clean, image-heavy interface and fresh take on social networking.
Pinterest's copyright concern (or how pinning a favourite photo can lead to lawsuits) | The Star
Pinterest relies heavily on copyrighted images. Will the social media site be able to navigate the line between sharing and theft?
Pinterest addresses copyright concerns - The Washington Post
The company said that it believes that it is protected under the safe harbor of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Pinterest Terms Of Service Get Updated
Pinterest is making some changes to its controversial usage policies.
Q&A: Pinterest a company to watch on IP issues, expert says - The Washington Post
A review by the Washington Post of the changes to the Terms Of Services made by Pinterest. Includes an edited version of an interview between Geri Haight, a partner in the IP section of law firm Mintz Levin and The Post about her take on some of the legal discussion around Pinterest.
Copyright doubts still pinned to Pinterest despite changes - BostonHerald.com
Pinterest announced it is introducing a new feature to credit photographers, artists and creators of other content its users "pin" on the virtual scrapbook, but legal experts were divided yesterday about whether that is enough to protect the website from liability.
How your business could get sued for using Pinterest - Boston Business Journal
Believe it or not, Pinterest's service agreement gives it the right to sell images that users upload. Exceptions for publishers of user-generated content protect Pinterest, but they don't protect you.
Is Pinterest Already Making Money, Quietly? - NYTimes.com
Pinterest, a buzzed-about young start-up that lets people create collections of their favorite items on the Web, may be adding affiliate links to its users's posts, without notifying the users, to generate revenue from purchases made through the site.

What the Business Magazines are saying

Forbes Magazine has been giving a pretty high profile to Pinterest and the concerns raised over copyright

Pinterest and the Hype Factor - Forbes
I think the social sector should pause before donating its images and brands to this (admittedly handsome and fascinating) private enterprise. And this doesn't even address the burgeoning copyright issues that Pinterest clearly faces, its use of Facebook sign-in to essentially spam all your friends, or its practice of swapping out Amazon links to create a revenue stream on referral fees.
Pinterest Introduces "NOPIN" to Counter Copyright Concerns - Forbes
Pinterest is (p)insanely, (p)incredibly hot, right now. Currently, the online pinboard has over 10 million registered users. In January 2011, Pinterest attracted over 11 million unique visitors, compared to just 4.9 million in November 2011. The growth is probably partly fueled by Pinterest's integr
Why Pinterest Trumps Facebook at Social Commerce, For Now - Forbes
Just as retailers are losing faith in Facebook as platform for e-commerce, it seems, they're warming up to Pinterest, another social site that's much smaller than Mark Zuckerberg's $100 billion behemoth but faster-growing and more targeted.
Pinterest's Ramp Up: Genius or Sleazy? - Forbes
Pinterest. Pinterest. Pinterest. Yikes, the noise is deafening. But will the latest social sharing site have legs? In yesterday's fawning review in The New York Times, David Pogue cites Pinterest's claim to be: "...the fastest Web site in history to break the 10-million-visitors-a-month thresh
Pinterest's Cofounder: We're Still Trying To Figure Out Copyright Laws
Quotes Kirsten Kowalski's post "My Date with Ben Silbermann - Following Up and Drying My Tears"

She wrote that Silbermann told her he was "basically a guy with a computer who had a vision" who "knows there are issues with Pinterest and the fear of claims of copyright infringement."
Silbermann asked her for suggestions on how to clarify the terms of service for Pinterest, she wrote.
"He wants to figure out a way to make "his little web page" (which he said his Dad calls it - I thought that was cute) work within the confines of the law AND in a way where photographers and every user feels comfortable," she wrote.
Could Pinterest become the next Napster? - MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Kirsten Kowalski, a lawyer and photographer in the Atlanta area, has had much more than 15 minutes of fame since she wrote a blog post late last month
.......users should read the terms and conditions, because they indemnify the company from any problems that might arise in connection with the items its users pin. "Their lawyers say you can't pin anything that you don't own ... but the site is saying you can. It's very confusing to users," Kowalski said.
Wait A Minute%u2014Pinterest's Sign Up Process Is Downright Sketchy - Business Insider
Earlier we wrote about the "brilliant sign-up process of Pinterest." But the "brilliant" sign-up process is kind of sketchy. If you've joined the social photo sharing site, then you've started to

What Art Business People have to say

It's worth reading the comments on these interactive posts as well as the content of the posts

This comment by Fine Art America neatly sums up the situation with respect to the difference between Google Images and Pinterest

How is Pinterest different that Google Images? Good question. First of all, Google Images doesn't make copies of the images that they're showing you. When you do a Google Image search, you have to actually go to the photographer's website in order to view the image. The photographer's website registers the visit, and all of the potential benefits of the Google search go to the photographer. When you search for an image on Pinterest, however, you never have to leave Pinterest. The photographer's website never registers a visit, and the photographer loses out on the traffic and revenue potential. In fact, the photographer has no idea that the image search even occurred! Pinterest reaps 100% of the benefits.
Fine Art America: Pinterest - Enabling Copyright Theft on a Global Scale

FineArtAmerica.com - Pinterest Enables Copyright Theft on a Global Scale
Pinterest is enabling copyright theft on a global scale and doing untold damage to artists, photographers, and copyright holders all over the world.
Artists upset with Pinterest over copyright issues and alleged copyright infringement? | FineArtViews Blog by FASO
READ THE COMMENTS as well as the body of this post
Is the Pinterest Problem Really a Problem? - Art Biz Blog
Pinterest's Terms of Service and pinning practices leave artists scrambling for answers.
How Artists Can Harness the Power of Pinterest - Art Biz Blog
Pinterest can be used by artists to showcase their best work to a targeted audience of other artists, galleries, and potential customers. HOWEVER READ THE COMMENTS!
Pinterest - three reasons for not using it | Bill of Rights for all Creative People
While our posts on social media should have made clear that we have a considerable number of concerns about this site we have decided to publish three specific reasons for not using it, and for blocking its access to your own website.
Copyright is Not the Problem, You Are! - Skinny Artist
People are sharing your images online without your permission, but that's not the point. Instead of trying to stop them, maybe we should be helping them...
The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online - The Abundant Artist
Here's the thing, there are no best practices for selling art on Pinterest right now. Everyone's doing their own thing. Pinterest is still figuring out a business model - and they are also dealing with some very real challenges in regards to copyright.
Gwenn Seemel on Art Careers Without Copyright Law - The Abundant Artist
One of the thing I love about working with artists is that the very best ones are unafraid to speak their minds, not only in person, but in writing and (most importantly), through their work.
Pinterest Hot Topics & Copyright Infringement - Ask Harriete
One of the problems with Pinterest is that people look around the Internet to find images for posting on their pinboards. This "pick up and post" images is not unique to Pinterest. There are plenty of blogs that look for...
An Opinion about Pinterest - "What's Yours Is Mine"? - Ask Harriete
Much discussion is going on about Pinterest. The opinions are widely mixed. While Pinterest is a delightfully engaging web site, I am very concerned about a number of surrounding issues. These include but are not limited to: The fine print...
FineArtAmerica.com - Pinterest Enables Copyright Theft on a Global Scale
Pinterest is enabling copyright theft on a global scale and doing untold damage to artists, photographers, and copyright holders all over the world.

What Art Bloggers have to say

Art bloggers have typically been enthusiastic to start with and are now becoming increasingly concerned. Here's a couple of posts which reflect this perspective.

Some have (previously) offered an alternative perspective

Notes From the Voodoo Cafe: Pinterest, O, Pinterest
I read a comment last week by some guy who referred to Pinterest as "Napster for your aunt"--not so much Hip & Cutting Edge as Totally Geared to Women Who Love to Shop.
Not pining for pinning. - [i] LoveLife
I've deleted my Pinterest account. SAY WHAT??#%@? Oh, don't worry. I'm not asking you to delete your accounts or your collections of cute kitty pictures or uber important hot body workout motivations. But let me tell you why I've opted out...
I'm not partaking in Pinterest | Carolyn A Pappas Fine Art
I have been seeing countless articles online about how bad their TOS is regarding copyright issues and I was disheartened when I read it for myself. I am a great respecter of copyright and don't want to associate myself with any service that facilitates theft.
How I feel about Pinterest. | Sarah Regan Snavely :: Artist Sculptor Greyhound Enthusiast
No secret that I enjoy me some Pinterest. But Whoo-Boy! is the arts community all aflutter about its Terms of Use.
Pros and Cons of Pinterest | Rochester Artisans
....something was buzzing in the back of my brain about this but I couldn't put my finger on it. It had something to do with pinning without permission.
Gwenn Seemel | A business model for an artist who does not use copyright
The number one complaint of artists who believe in copyright is that without it their work will be stolen and they will have a very hard time making a living. Disregarding for the moment the fact that it's no walk in the park to make a living with copyright, let's look at a business model that doesn't involve copyrigh
Gwenn Seemel Art that's worth copying / L'art qui vaut le coup
Being copied is good for a person's creative health.
Dear Pinterest : Traci Bunkers: Welcome to My World
I've known since Pinterest's early days that people have been "pinning" my work to their visual bulletin boards on the Pinterest site. I thought that was nice, and was happy that they were inspired by my work. It was only recently, when I started hearing all of the hubbub, that I started looking into exactly what Pinterest was, and if perhaps it's something I should use.
Creators Against Pinterest: "No Copyright Infringement Intended"
Googling site:pinterest.com "no copyright infringement intended" yields 1230 results. This means that more than a thousand "pinners" believe that this disclaimer protects them from claims of copyright infringement, as the infringement was not intended.
A Painter's Resources: Pinterest Pins Steal Your Art

This is an illegal process when users take your work without permission--ILLEGAL!
Color of Happy: Pinterest Theft/Rant
(Pinterest) is also a hotbed of thievery of unwatermarked digital and stamped images.
Since this has been going on for as long as Pinterest has been up and running and now is become more pervasive as Pinterest gains in popularity, it appears the administration at Pinterest is unable or unwilling at this time to control it.

What the Photographers have to say

As you would expect, the photographers by and large are not happy bunnies. Pinterest strips the metadata from their photographs so if the link to their site is lost their images effectively become orphan works.

They've been fighting for their rights to be taken seriously for years and are now extremely well organised on the Internet.

These people make money from their pictures and they are going to be very serious about any copyright infringements perpetrated on Pinterest

They also have recommendations for how to place your images on the Internet in a way which says "these are mine/do not steal"

Flickr has introduced an opt-out meta tag for Pinterest - however this only affects photos that are non-public, non-safe, or have sharing disabled. This sharing also applies to ALL sites, not just Pinterest.

Pinterest and copyright infringement, what you need to know | incamerastock - stock photography agency
Why Pinterest is dangerous for users who do not understand copyright.
How Long Until Pinterest Is Sued Into Oblivion Like Napster?
Pinterest, the hot new social sharing platform has a serious problem when it comes to the medium it’s designed to share. Despite careful wording on their about page that you agree not to post, upload, publish, submit, provide access to
Hey Photographers! Pinterest is Not for You | PhotoShelter Blog
the Pinterest audience isn't so charmed by your photography because they are too busy pinning clothing, crafts and interior design items. Pinterest is an aspirational pin board for women. The "Likes" and "Repinning" help to validate a user's curatorial skills. And like every social media site in the world, the service is a tool of self-expression. Let the people express themselves, it's therapeutic.
Pinterest is Still Not for Photographers: Round 2 ‹ PhotoShelter Blog
Whew. People got riled up by my first post entitled "Hey Photographers! Pinterest is Not for You" and the feedback on the blog, Facebook and Twitter provided some great discussion points worth commenting on.......

If you're getting lots of repins, but people are only using your images for "inspiration" (and not hiring you), then it has dubious business value.
If you're getting referral traffic, but that's not translating into bookings or sales, then it has dubious business value.
Will Pinterest sell your images? I don't think so! - farbspiel photography
There has been lots of controversy among photographers over Pinterest's TOS lately. Will they sell your images when they are pinned? I think this is unlikely. Read on to see why.
What Every Photographer Should Know about Pinterest
So, what's the big deal? Why are some creatives charismatically calling Pinterest "potentially damaging to the photography industry?"
When one of my photos is posted on a blog, it is generally always done with my specific permission, watermark and is appropriately credited and linked back to my site. Clearly the blogger does not own the rights to the image, and are not able to resell the image, they are simply able to use the photographs for their site. This is where the red flags begin to go up around Pinterest.
Recently here at the Studio, we made the decision that all photos that get released over the web will have a watermark on them
Pinterest.com and Copyright | seanlockephotography.com
I'm not a lawyer, but I have a feeling that eventually Pinterest is going to run into some sort of legal trouble for their business plan.
Pinterest and copyright concerns | Funcrunch Photo
Pinterest and copyright concerns: San Francisco Event Photography by Julie Bernstein
Pinterest and copyright: Preserving metadata, and setting the facts straight | Funcrunch Photo
I posted last week about the concerns that the popular site Pinterest may be encouraging copyright violation by hosting photos (not just thumbnails) on their servers. Since then I have also learned, and verified for myself, that Pinterest strips metadata information from pinned images, regardless of the originating source.
Copyright Watch: The Liability-Proof World of Pinterest
Learn how the popular social media site has made sure that liability for copyright infringement rests with its users.
Pinterest has done little in the way of making substantive changes to its business model, except to find new ways to protect itself.
PDN Pulse | Blog Archive | New Pinterest Credit Feature Does Little to Protect Pinterest Users
Several days ago, Pinterest announced a new feature that automatically credits and links back to content that Pinterest users re-post from Vimeo, YouTube, Behance and Flickr. The announcement was part of Pinterest's campaign to counter perceptions that copyright infringement is part of its corporate DNA. But the announcement amounted to little more than window dressing, and could give Pinterest users a false sense of security.
Pinterest %u2013 Copyright Infringement Made Cool?
Despite the positive aspects of Pinterest, however, I believe there are some real issues with its business model, specifically related to copyright violations.
Paris Parfait: Pinning Pinterest: Copyright protection for photographers
In 2009, I took the above photograph in my Paris apartment, using my Sony A900. I posted the photograph on my blog Paris Parfait. But the image you see on today's post didn't come from my photo files; instead I...

What the Textile and Fibre Artists have to say

Why I ask people not to pin this site on%uFFFDPinterest - Pin Tangle - Pin Tangle
Ok there is quite a few comments about my request yesterday, Please do not to Pin. I have been looking further into this issue and I am sure the textile community do not understand some of the implications of using Pinterest.
I Have A Notion: Pinterest- Now we can't say we didn't know
I posted previously, HERE, about Pinterest and was not fully informed. I'm not saying I"m completely informed but I'm informed enough that I have removed my Pinterest account, boards and pins.
The Gazebo House: Why I’m currently NOT using PINTEREST!
I don't want MY photographs printed & sold to other people, without my permission or compensation!!

Do YOU??

What the Craft Artists are saying

The Perils Of Pinterest | Craft Test Dummies
Earlier this year I wrote an article called " Pinterest and Why Crafters Love It!" Since then, Pinterests' shiny image has gotten a little tarnished. Unclear and contradictory Terms of Service, the hijacking of affiliate marketing links, and the fear of intellectual property infringement are now causing artists and crafters to delete their pinboards and install the "No Pin" meta tag.
Standing at the crossroads of what's yours is mine - crafthaus
All this being said, we're not particularly anti-Pinterest. They are simply one example among many in a trend that foreshadows much larger problems for artists. The trend is that a system, indeed an entire industry has developed for acquisition, distribution and monetization of private data. In this particular case "data" means "images of your work". The problem is no system has been developed to ensure control, individual rights, privacy and revenue sharing from the use of that data. If you think copyright law will protect you, you are woefully mistaken. Look at the music industry.
Pinterest terms of service change and how to insert a no pin code - Pin Tangle - Pin Tangle
I still do not want material from this site pinned as Pinterest do not make it clear enough that re-publishing images online, that are not your own is an infringement of copyright unless you seek permission from the owner. Note I said "clear enough" as they do say content must be your own or republished with permission but it is not spelled out in an absolutely crystal clear manner. So for now I still ask people not to pin material form this site or any of my sites.

What the Design Bloggers are saying

why I'm saying goodbye to pinterest (for now) . blog better - Shrimp Salad Circus
Read on for all the details why, in the next couple weeks, after I've had a chance to save elsewhere any links I want to keep for future inspiration, I'm deleting my Pinterest account. I am sharing information, not my opinion, so that everyone can make an informed decision regarding their Pinterest use. I love Pinterest and will be back if some precautions and changes are implemented.
Greeting Card Designer: Artists Leaving Pinterest: Copyright Infringement and Unathorized Print Reproductions
Some artists are becoming more concerned about copyright issues and legal liability when posting and sharing images on the Pinterest social networking website, particularly because of Pinterests vague legal agreement that says they have rights to reproduce any images you post.
Pinterest - How Could Something So Right Be So Wrong? - Surface Pattern Design Guild
I've had to stay away lately. And I've taken down all of my boards.
Yes. I loved my boards. I loved looking at all of those images. They were such delicious eye candy!!! So much inspiration! But I had to take them down. Ever since I started pinning I've had this little voice in the back of my head whispering "copyright.... copyright.... copyright." Yes, that's a little creepy, but that's the truth of it.

What Female Homemaker Bloggers are saying

Oh Pinterest, Must I Leave You?!
Pinterest and its Term of Use. Were you like me and automatically agreed without reading a single word of the document? Honestly, just seeing paragraph after


What Pinterest Needs To Do

Revise its terms of service and guidance to and prompts for members

Pinterest has the potential to do well – and will suit certain markets very well indeed. Here’s what I’d like to see it do:

The TOS needs to reflect exactly the way the site SHOULD operate so that it complies with all relevant legislation and FTC rules.

Pinterest also needs to be mindful of contributory infringement. The TOS and Pinterest’s suggestions about how people use the site should be in perfect agreement – there should be no contradictions or scope to confuse people

* PROMPT PEOPLE BEFORE THEY PIN AN IMAGE to confirm that they have complied with the terms of the member agreement

For example Members could be required to tick a box to indicate how they obtained the image:
(1) I created the image and am the copyright owner;
(2) I have permission or a licence to use this image from the copyright owner;
(3) this image came from a page which invites me to pin it;
(4) this image comes from a page which allows this image to be shared (eg a retail site). I could see art ecommerce sites and/or galleries as having the status of being sites which are “approved” for the purposes of pinning.

Pinterest need to consider how it deals with matters and compensation related to pinned images that are already the subject of a contractual arrangement on another site
(I’m thinking here of the images which relate to affiliate agreements for specific sites which are effectively being ripped to shreds by Pinterest members who pin images which they do not own and do not have permission to post!).


Changes introduced by Pinterest

after April 2012

Besides the changes to the terms and conditions highlighted in the introduction, Pinterest is developing further controls - listed below.
* blocking - the abuse reporting mechanism now includes entire accounts rather than single photos or pins. This enables you to block another user which means they will be unable to follow your boards, as well as like, repin, or comment on each your pins.
* reporting - you can report someone and specify whether they are spreading spam, nudity, graphic violence, hateful speech, promoting self-harm, or attacking a group or individual
* website verification - makes it easier for users to find out more about who they are following.
* secret boards - enables you to pin in private (and there are some pluses and minuses to this one)

However it still hasn't found a detectable way of making money from its 23 million users - so watch this space!

Oh, How Pinteresting!, Announcing Blocking & More Controls
Today, we're adding a couple of new features people have requested to give you more control, including the ability to block and report a user and more granular email settings.
Oh, How Pinteresting!, Announcing Secret Boards for the Holidays!
It seems to me that these secret boards are essentially places where people can pin images with impunity - since the rest of the world cannot see.
Oh, How Pinteresting!, Verifying Your Website
Today, we're launching a new feature called website verification! This feature lets you verify that you own the website on your Pinterest profile.
Pinterest Adds Facebook-Style Blocking | TechNewsDaily.com
Pinterest expands reporting options and now lets users block one another. But because nothing is really private on Pinterest, blocking is incomplete.
How To Block on Pinterest - The Feature We've All Been Waiting For
Finally, there's a Feature to let you Report or Block someone on Pinterest, and it's going to change the way Businesses Think about Pinterest Marketing.
Creators Against Pinterest: Infringe In Private
Today, Pinterest announced Secret Boards. Now, pinners can infringe in private.


Why you should be very concerned if you have a Pinterest Account.

* Popular sites attract spam - and popular sites without good systems will soon be overrun by spam - as Pinterest is

* Fake accounts abound - and links to images are being changed to send people to the site of the spammer's choice

Pinterest on the Spam Problem

Friday 13th April 2012 (how ironic!), Pinterest acknowledged it has a spam problem. Others had been advising it has a spam problem for some weeks. As ever Pinterest is a bit slow to act.

Pinterest Blog Addressing Spam on Pinterest
As Pinterest grows, spammers have also grown within our community. While the technology we use to detect spam becomes more advanced each day, we want Pinners to know what to do in case you come across suspicious content or links while browsing Pinterest.
Members comments on "Pinterest Blog Addressing Spam on Pinterest"
Read the comments on the above blog post from Pinterest users - which identify that the problem is maybe far bigger than Pinterest realise

Comments include:
"unless something is done to give me more control over getting these idiots to leave me alone, then I will be forced to leave."
"It's getting to the point I think a lot of people, including myself, are going to stop using pinterest soon if the spam thing doesn't get better... "
"Many of my pins have been "liked" and re-pinned by people who are clearly spammer sock puppets with escorts' cleavage shots as their profile pics"

Commentary on the Pinterest Spam Problem

From commenting on Pinterest as a home of people who steal other's people's content, commentators are now turning to commenting on the exploding problem of spam on Pinterest - and the ineffectual way Pinterest is tackling this.
* there are a lot of fake accounts
* spammers have taken up residence in large numbers
* the URLs linked to specific images are being changed to a URL of the spammer's choice
* the business of artists and crafts people are in jeopardy as their images are becoming associated with spam sites

Suddely the golden goose is looking rather tarnished

Pinterest's Spam Problems Are Getting Worse - Technology - The Atlantic Wire
After making a public announcement a couple weeks ago about its spam problem, Pinterest has only seen more money-making schemes develop around its potentially lucrative set-up.
Mashable - How Pinterest Spammers Hurt This Small Business Owner
when Michelle DiFilippo-Espinoza began using Pinterest to support her one-person jewellery company, business actually suffered. Pinterest spammers stole and repurposed images of her products to promote scams and computer viruses.
Daily Dot | A Pinterest spammer tells all
Last week, the Daily Dot taught you how to spot a Pinterest spammer. Now that same spammer has spotted us.
Pinterest diet spam - is the site doing enough to stop it? | Naked Security
As Pinterest's popularity increases, so do the reports of spam on the fast-growing photo-sharing network. Is the website doing enough to counter the threat?
Pinterest spam promotes Acai Berry diet | Naked Security
Acai Berry diet spammers are hawking miracle diets on Pinterest. Don't be duped into clicking on the links!
Attention Pinterest power users: New anti-spam measures could punish your pinning addiction
As Pinterest tries to address its spam problem, some of its most active users could find themselves unable to pin or comment to their hearts' desire. One of the problems plaguing Pinterest is spam. The site's viral nature, emphasis on images, and lack of human interaction (or filters like friends lists) make it a very inviting space for spammers.
Inside the underground Pinterest spam rings turning your clicks into cash
Pinterest isn't just full of DIY inspiration or home makeover ideas - it's also riddled with spam bots that want to profit on your pinning. Here's a closer look at their operations and what Pinterest can do about it.
Pinterest Spam: Site Seeing Influx Of Fake Accounts | WebProNews
users are finding more spam accounts than even Pinterest realized existed
Pinterest Spammers
Spammers on Pinterest post images on their bulletin boards, just like any other user. But they then will deliberately change the url link to the image to the site of their choice.

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  • KellyAnne4Peace Jun 05, 2014 @ 10:00 pm
    I am not having the same experience as you did at all with Pinterest. When I first contacted them, they did respond promptly and they took down all but one image. I let them know about it but there was no response. That was May 19th. I kept working on finding more of my images and when I sent the second batch, I included that image they left on their site. That was June 1st. I waited until the 3rd and when I still hadn't heard from them, I sent a duplicate. The first, on June 1st, was sent from my digital signature site. I sent the one on the 3rd from my email. No response.
    I read everything you wrote about what to write and I again sent them another duplicate list of copyright infringements, this time using much of your wording. That was about 15 hours ago and I still have no response from them at all.
    I've checked the email address I sent the messages to and it is correct, I did include all of the links on their site I could find for each of my images, as well as the page and image URL on my site. I sent all of the required contact information and included the two "legal" sentences they ask for. I have sent both digitally signed and a typed signature.
    I am at a loss as to why they are not responding at all to me.
  • d-artist Apr 24, 2014 @ 8:59 pm
    I'm a bit confused...when you say they used your images, did you mean they pinned your lens or just an image? Since Squidoo allows pining of lenses there, not much we can do about it. I found one of my lenses screen shot and used in many pages on this site and several other sites....I also saw one of your lenses screen shot there http://ebooks.stopsnoring-help.com/best-art-painting-books/
  • makingamark Apr 24, 2014 @ 10:29 pm
    Pinning is not the same as scrapping. If you pin a site the most that should appear on Pinterest is the intro image.

    Many thanks for the heads up. The offending site has now received a takedown notice from me. I also note that this site has been scraping quite a few sites of late.
  • Leslie Hawes Aug 16, 2012 @ 6:29 pm
    Katherine...Here's another well thought out point of view about Pinterest from the owner of FineArtAmerica, Sean Broihier.
  • makingamark Aug 16, 2012 @ 8:34 pm
    Thanks Leslie - I already have it listed in the section titled "What Art Business People have to say"
  • EtsySpamSucks Aug 14, 2012 @ 10:51 am
    None of this was even remotely an issue until Etsy raped Pinterest, and Pinterest developed Stockholm Syndrome, and let Etsy run rampant all over the old, better, rules of Pinterest.

    Now Pinterest just looks cheap and tacky, full of nothing but Etsy spam.

    Etsy ruins everything fun on the internet.
  • makingamark Aug 14, 2012 @ 1:10 pm
    I think you'll find that rather a lot of people had a problem with Pinterest irrespective of whatever Etsy got up to.

    It was always very clear that this was a business model which was going to be targeted at large retail sites - and that includes Etsy.
  • cmadden Jul 11, 2012 @ 1:34 pm
    This is a great lens and resource - and it helps to know I'm not the only one who is unPinterested.
  • bloomingrose May 24, 2012 @ 11:17 am
    Excellent lens - this is a lot of discussion in the Internet world about Pinterest - you helped a lot. Squidoo Angel Blessed and pinned to my board "Just for Squids and Internet Marketers."
  • KathyMcGraw Apr 01, 2012 @ 6:21 pm
    Your work on explaining Pineterest and all the copyright issues is so impressive. I learned a lot from some of your explanations, and I hope that more people read this and really understand the issues.
  • Pastiche Mar 19, 2012 @ 7:19 am
    I have conflicted feelings about Pinterest but can fully understand the issues and concerns. AJ and you have created a wealth of important information regarding the site and its issues with copyrights. I also find sites like ShareAPic troublesome ... they use a blanket "it must be your own work" statement to skirt copyrights but most of what's on there is just that: someone else's work.
  • makingamark Mar 19, 2012 @ 9:31 am
    Thanks Pastiche

    If Pinterest only did and behaved as it is supposed to work there wouldn't be a problem.
  • CDT Mar 15, 2012 @ 5:53 am
    ...and I've just headed here via a link from AJ's lens! Kudos to both of you for raising awareness of the pitfalls of Pinterest. This lens is an incredible resource that will be of enormous help to anyone who wants to really understand the implications of indiscrminate image sharing :)
  • Mar 14, 2012 @ 3:28 pm
    Excellent resource for Artists and Writers wanting to protect themselves from Illicit Pinning on Pinterest. I too loathe the site and I have featured this page on my page about why I am not Pinterested!
  • makingamark Mar 14, 2012 @ 6:42 pm
    Thanks AJ - I'm having a lot of success with people who've written to tell me they've had their images removed after following the process that I used

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