Anyone else out there recently obsessed with Pinterest? It’s being called the “next big social media site,” where users can “pin” pictures of things they like, from recipes, to clothes, to amazing kitchen renovations bigger than my apartment… I might be personalizing a little here…
What’s the Problem?
Kowalski compared the potential fallout to the demise of Napster, which resulted in hundreds of ordinary people, including a 12-year-old girl, being sued by music companies.
Who could sue over Pinterest? Isn’t the whole point of the website to find pictures that inspire you and “pin” them? The problem is that people are “pinning” photos that they don’t own the rights to, and professional photographers are starting to feel like their work is being exploited.
And while many (including myself and Kowalski) would assume that photographers would/should like that they are getting more exposure online, it’s not up to us to decide. As Kowalski said, “But then I realized, I was unilaterally making the decision FOR that other photographer… Bottom line is that it is not my decision to make. Not legally and not ethically.”
After her blog post was published (and went viral, to-date it has 543 comments), Pinterest founder, Ben Silbermann called Kowalski “to ask for suggestions for ways to alleviate her copyright concerns.” (according to PR Daily article Pinterest and legal issues: Read this before you pin anything by Matt Wilson).
This is encouraging to me because it shows that Pinterest is aware of its potential legal troubles and is trying to find a solution that will be a best case scenario for both its users and the people who own the images being shared.
But until that solution is found, all “pinners” could be at risk for copyright violation and subsequent legal action.
So what will you do?
Will you continue to use Pinterest and hope for the best? Or will you delete your boards as well?
Does knowing this make you more keen to ensure that your “pins” are linked back to the website it originally came from? And the person who deserves credit for the image/product?