I have devoted myself to the pursuit of Pinterest since I responded to my invitation to join on January 28th, 2012. When I signed up for this online visual platform, I was intent on learning how best to incorporate it into my social media tool box. In fact, I have already written two blog posts about Pinerest using the “read, write and share” philosophy we espouse here at Digital Brand Marketing. I have to admit that the more I practice this philosophy, the more perplexed I get concerning Pinterest.
In my first post, PINTEREST: Social Media Scrapbooking with Style, I approached my topic with the enthusiasm of anyone with a new tool to promote a business. I was brought up short by one of my fellow pinners on a LinkedIn Group as I was reminded of the pinner’s code (as I understand it), pin for business but make it look like pleasure. I realized that was very similar to the advice I had given in a recent blog post I had written recently, SOCIAL MEDIA: One, Two, Three.
AN INQUISITIVE STUDENT
In my second post about this new platform, PINTEREST PART TWO: Pinpuff to the Rescue, I raised the question about how this seemingly simple virtual visual scrapbooking platform had become so successful. As I continued to research for answers, I started to unearth all kinds of contradictory and even skeletal matter.
Since there were questions being raised about the legality of pinning other people’s images, some one suggested to just pin original work and that would bring popularity. Others warned not to pin original work because there were rumors that it was being sold without permission. In fact, the original Terms for Use created by Pinterest were explicit in their right to do so.
LOSS OF INNOCENCE
I was perplexed, to say the least, nonplussed and perturbed. Well, it all hit the fan when an announcement was made by Pinterest that their ‘Terms of Service’ would change at the beginning of April and that they never intended for people’s work to be sold***. This still did not explain their severe and self-serving warning that any copyright infringement was completely on the shoulders of the pinner**. Pinterest would bear no burden for such.**** (All of these comments are documented in the source materials below).
To my knowledge, there has been no mention by Pinterest about popular pinners getting paid for their pins.* Then a blog post revealed that some popular pinners were sponsored and/or getting paid to pin corporate brand materials to their boards for a profit. One after another came the chops at the pedestal I had put Pinterest on. I doubt I was the only one, as both friends and professional bloggers started contacting me with either warnings or inquiries about my own sources to document the rumors flying about.
WHAT’S NEXT PINTEREST?
I actually sought legal advice from an attorney/colleague so that what I wrote about, related to both the original and the revised ‘Terms of Service’, would be thorough and accurate. His response to me was, “I honestly don’t know that I have the time to completely review both the old and new terms of service, and provide you with any meaningful information before your post is due. I don’t think the review of both sets of terms is a quick project.”
If an attorney cannot easily and quickly make sense out of how to pin properly, how can anyone else?
• Gone is my innocence about Pinterest being just a simple scrapbooking platform to ‘collect, share and inspire’.
• Ever present is my concern for those unschooled in social media who have turned to this platform more naive than I.
• Many of us are holding our breaths to see if someone is going to be made an example of with copyright infringement.
• In question, is my future relationship with Pinterest. But that remains to be seen in my next segment on this platform.
This platform is getting more attention now than ever. But the impact may become bearish rather than bullish. Many are unfettered by what is happening and feel that too much attention is being paid to these particular issues and Pinterest in general. What are your thoughts about this and about Pinterest in general? I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions and criticisms. Thank you.
Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.
Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at email@example.com or call 516-665-9034 ET
- *Pinners Get a Payday: But At What Cost to Pinterest’s Content?
- *Did This Pinterest Spammer Make $30,000 in a Month? [UPDATED]
- *Calling All Pinterest Users, It’s Time to Start Asking Questions
- **Pinterest’s Copyright Strategy Puts the Burden on Users
- **Pinterest Updates Terms Of Service As It Preps An API And Private Pinboards: More Copyright Friendly
- ***Pinterest: Social Media Tool or Just Trouble?
- ***Pinterest and Copyright: Lessons in Life and Law
- ***Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) about Copyright
These four posts from A.F.MarCom explain the situation with Pinterest in the clearest, simplest way I have found:
- Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part One: The difference between “pinning” and “uploading”
- Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 2: Why Pinterest needs perpetual rights to display your work
- Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 3: How YOU should behave on Pinterest
- Pinterest and Copyright Explained in Plain Talk – Part 4: How artists can protect their work despite widespread sharing
FROM THE PINTEREST SITE