Pinterest and Copyright – I Was Wrong
I was presenting to a group of Yacht Brokers today in Houston. My “Brand Yourself” presentation included a section on Pinterest, with the recommendation that they start participating in that marketing medium. I mean boats = great pics = great Pinterest content / boards.
One of the brokers posed the question about copyright. There has been a lot of press about that topic recently. My response was that the originating site was responsible for checking the copyright, making the ‘pinner’ not responsible. However – I am wrong. It does happen occassionaly ;) My humblest apologies to the broker with whom I’m supposed to debate this topic at lunchtime!
Upon checking, it is more than apparent that the pinner is responsible for obtaining the copyright, or making sure that they are able to share the image. Some sites block their images from being ‘pinned’, by adding ‘nopin’ code to their website.
So what does this mean for individuals? Chances are the worst that will happen is that you will receive a stern letter from the copyright holder demanding the image be removed. My personal opinion is that the risk is low, and it is still worth using Pinterest. In fact, most pinned images include a link back to the original image, improving the original site’s search engine ranking. And could also increase leads and conversions to that site. If I owned the site, I wouldn’t be complaining.
However, as a business using Pinterest, enter with more caution. Copyright owners are less forgiving for businesses using their images for commercial use.
So – my recommendation for business is to tread carefully. Make sure you either own the images, or make sure you get permission from copyright owners before using their content.
One more comment – in my personal opinion, any business that decided to sue a business or individual over copyright infringement on Pinterest is crazy! They should be grateful for the free exposure, and take advantage of the leads it may generate. Any company that decided to sue a business or individual for copyright infringement on Pinterest would be facing a PR nightmare…(great article on that here).
So – enter at your own risk. I am! :D
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