My last three posts are something of a roller coaster, but this will probably be my last on the subject of Pinterest for awhile.
As I explained previously, I’m good with people sharing my work so long as it links back to me. After all, word of mouth is powerful advertising! It’s that connection back to me that I care about. However, I can tell you from discussing this in a number of forums that there are photographers and other visual artists who do not feel the same. While I’d rate them on the fringe end, there are even people who are incensed at someone sharing a link to their work without their prior approval. I’d place that firmly in the looking a gift horse in the mouth category.
At any rate, this evening I read this article on Pinterest’s Terms of Service. Most specifically the part of the discussion that concerns me is the liability for posting another person’s work on the site falls on the poster’s shoulders. And it’s not just your own legal costs but Pinterest’s as well. I’m just not willing to chance being that test case to see how Pinterest shakes out legally.
The end result is that my boards are much lonelier tonight. Pinterest leaves the user in a Catch 22. When you add a “pin” to your board, you warrant that you hold the copyright or have permission to share it. Yet, the third item in Pinterest’s own rules of etiquette for the site says that you are not to use it for self-promotion. Hmm, what would I have to share that’s my own but not self-promoting in some fashion? At the moment, my boards are pretty much my own visual art for lack of anything else to share. I will still visit the site to see what my friends are sharing and if I have friends who are posting their own material, I am open to re-pinning it.
It’s a shame as conceptually and aesthetically I like the site, but I’m not willing to shoulder the liability. If the legal issues are cleared, I’ll revisit this.