But last week, I read an article that scared me away from Pinterest. In the article, a photographer/lawyer voices her concerns over Pinterest's possible copyright infringement, the frustration of artists who feel their copyrights are being violated, and how Pinterest is shifting any legal issues onto the Pinterest users. You can read the article here.
Now, I don't know much about the "fair use" clause in copyright laws, so I don't know what to make of claims that Pinterest is violating an artist's copyright by using the full size and resolution of a photograph. And of course Pinterest is going to protect themselves from lawsuits.
This is what bothered me:
"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 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 Col 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."
All those beautiful photos on Pinterest -- I doubt those who pinned and repinned them took the time to contact the artist for permission. And you're right, there are thousands -- maybe millions -- of Pinterest users. The chances are slim to none that you'll cross an artist who's mad at the world and eager to sue. Still. As a poor writer using Pinterest to organize research pics found both inside and outside of Pinterest, I was uncomfortable with the risk and unwilling to spend time contacting each artist. So I, too, deleted all of my pinboards (after recording the URLs of the pics I wanted to use in my research. ;-)
I'm not trying to persuade you to delete your pinboards too. I simply felt that I needed to present my understanding of the risk. I'm hoping that Pinterest and artists will come up with a system that will make it easy to know what is and isn't okay to pin without having to go through the trouble of contacting each artist. But in the meantime, I have one less temptation to waste time when I should be writing.