Pinterest, the copyright-infringing advertising board for cupcake-lovers

Pinterest. The confusion of it all. Why is it that Pinterest gathered so many worrying about the copyright holders interests, when so many (buzzfeed, Facebook, Twitter, and so on and so fourth) others have not?

It could be because of Pinterestes own confusing terms, vs copyrights vs etiquette pages. Lets check!

Pintererest Terms of Use

"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..."

Pinterest Etiquette states that we shouldn't only share what is ours, 'cuz that would be like rude or Bogarting or something.

Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.

Translate that and they mean "NO SPAMMERS" sharing only their own stuff, but it goes directly against their first rule, which is pin what you own.

What I own? But the people have used pinterest as a place to collect wedding ideas, for found cupcake pictures, for long lists of clothes they want to buy, as well as a place to show off your portfolio. People are approaching it differently, like a delicious meets tumblr meets tweets, as it's being "sold" as the social media pinboard. Sharing and following others is half the point, even if the option of keeping pins private is there. So people share, everything from diet tips to craft-ideas, to boards containing only images of skies. Some boards are run by Amazon-affiliate linking bots and they look just like Little Missy's "spring dress ideas" board, the professional bot-spammers are already nestled deep into the system and often impossible to tell from real fashionistas. Advertising has found a new best friend in a media they can pretend to be you in.

In the meantime there are copyright owners being run over. And I'm not talking about those scary conglomerates that did stupid things to music and its creators, nor those horrible horrible people who in an effort to pay everyone involved actually kept tabs on where their TV shows were shown.

I'm talking about you, and your friends. Your photos are there. Your cupcakes are there. Your illustrations are there. Your turn your old jeans into a tote-bag tips are there. Your blog posts even, in some cases, are there whether you put them there or someone else did. You are wasting your time there, between the bots, making it an attractive place to spam. You might even be re-pinning someones affiliate links right now, or a bunch of pretty but infringing photos from a hard working photographers site without even a link back to them. Do you really want to be doing that? In the end the ones who will check out the millions in IPO money are pinterest. Not the affiliate spammers, not you, and more importantly, not the creators of the pretty pictures everyone is sharing there.

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about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.