Know Before You “Pin” or Get “Pinned” on Pinterest.
Pinterest.com is a popular new social media site for visuals. Members “pin” images they like from websites or blogs to their public bulletin board to create a series of visual collections or galleries. Once an image is “pinned”, it can then be shared, embed or “re-pinned” throughout Pinterest’s 11.5 million member community.
Pinterest members like to create wish lists, compiling images of retail products they want for their new kitchen or spring wardrobe. Images are pinned from popular retail sites such as Amazon, Target, and Martha Stewart. Many of these retailers, including Etsy prominently display a “Pin It” button to encourage members to share their images within the Pinterest community. The example below is from Marthastewart.com.
Not all members pin products. Many pin images of artwork, graphics or photography they find on blogs, google images or stock image sites. This is where pinning becomes infringing. Members who pin watermarked, copyrighted or unlicensed images on a shared network without the artist’s consent or compensation can face serious legal action from the original artist, agency or site owner. In the example below, the Pinterest member failed to read the disclaimer located below the image on fineartnudeportraits.com.
Know Before You Pin
Just because you like an image doesn’t mean it’s free to use or share. Play it safe and consider the following before you pin:
- NEVER PIN images with a watermark, artist name, © or ™. These images are copyrighted and cannot be displayed, distributed or shared.
- AVOID PINNING images that are professional looking, such as artwork created by an illustrator or shot by a professional photographer. These images were likely either purchased from a stock image website or commissioned. The image was licensed for display on their site ONLY and cannot be shared.
- DO NOT PIN images that reside on an artist or photographer portfolio site. These images are copyrighted (even if not watermarked) and should not be pinned without the consent of the artist or photographer.
- BEWARE OF PINNING images of famous people, athletes or celebrities. Many celebrities, such as Lady Gaga have copyrighted their images and will seek damages if shared or distributed.
Prevent Being Pinned
Start protecting your images! If you are a site owner or administrator just add this simple meta tag to prevent image pinning:
<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin”/>
Once the code is added, Pinterest members who try to pin your images will receive a warning “This site does not allow pinning” and disables Pinterest’s “Add a Pin” functionality.
Removing Pinned Images on Pinterest
If you find your images on Pinterest without your authorization, you can contact them to have the images removed (http://pinterest.com/about/copyright/). It is a lengthy process as you must supply an official DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and provide links to all offending images.