IP/Internet Lawyer Opinion About Pinterest Policy
An Opinion about Pinterest - "What’s Yours Is Mine"?

Pinterest Hot Topics & Copyright Infringement

One of the problems with Pinterest is that people look around the Internet to find images for posting on their pinboards. These "pick up and post" images are not unique to Pinterest.  There are plenty of blogs that look for images to post with content. Beware!  Here is a Legal Lesson Learned: Copywriter Pays $4,000 for $10 Photo.

Think about the ramifications .... lots to discuss and consider though the unique aspect of this article was that the photo was officially copyrighted. Not everyone is applying for copyright on every image. (While everyone has copyright for their work, you can't take your case to court without registered copyright.)

I find the concern about posting images that you don't own a serious issue.

Here is another article from the Business Insider: A Lawyer Who Is Also A Photographer Just Deleted All Her Pinterest Boards Out Of Fear.

On the one hand, asking permission for posting images is a good idea, but, on the other hand, it is a real pain. Imagine the time needed to find the email of each artist, compose an email to ask permission before posting, and wait for a response.

What should I do? At fist, Pinterest seemed like fun. That was a week ago when I experimented for the day. Since last Friday, I am seriously reconsidering the whole premise.

You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application, and Services. Accordingly, 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, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.

The relevant issue here is that I AM NOT the sole and exclusive owner of images I "pick up and post". I can not guarantee that the images I post will not "infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright,..".

The other day, I removed images that I had posted on Pinterest. Why? I realized that I didn't own the images and hadn't asked permission from the photographer. With some effort, I found the photographer and his response was that I needed permission from Getty Images. My next step was removing the images. 

I don't have any answers right now, but I do think this is the moment to "pause, and reconsider" all future actions regarding Pinterest.


This post was updated on March 11, 2022.