Why One Lawyer/Photographer Deleted her Pinterest Account

Why One Lawyer/Photographer Deleted her Pinterest Account

A few months ago, I noticed increase in activity of a post on my personal website. I noticed the traffic was coming from Pinterest, so I visited the pin-er. The person posted the picture of my project with a brief description. Something like, "Embossing duct tape" with no link back to my original project or a shout out. A commenter to the pin complimented the pin-er on her ingenuity. I was like WTH? But, whatever, that's the nature of an on-line scrapbook, right? Maybe, but it's making some people very nervous. And very angry. 

Kirsten, who just happens to be a lawyer and a photographer, was one of the nervous crowd. She decided, after much investigation and soul-searching, to delete her beloved Pinterest account. Why? Copyright and, specifically, Pinterest's Terms of Use. The kicker being the users 'agree to defend and indemnify'  Pinterest in case of a lawsuit arising over copyright infringement. (Not much safety in that pin, huh?) If you think that's scary, there's more. They can actually prosecute their users for violations. Of course, as Kirsten says, most people say, "But it's just Pinterest!" To that she might respond with this ominous warning: Remember Napster. 

Read Kirsten's entire article on DDK Portraits. It's an eye-opener. 




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Mel on Jun 11, 2012:

At least now they have a capable lawyer who's they say is from Google.

Anonymous on Jun 02, 2012:

I agree with Brunch wear... new TOS, plus, lets be honest. How is pinning on pinterest with a linkback (clicking on the picture takes you to a direct linkback) any different than Curlby "featuring" a tutorial from Martha Stuart, or a new kitchen upgrade from Sally XYZ? The pictures on Curlby do NOT feature a linkback, plus Curlby recieves monentary gain from advertisements on the blog, so when you're looking at the 'feature" Curlby gets paid. If you don't click on the linkback to the origional, the real owners do NOT get paid. On Pinterest, the only persons getting paid are the owners of the origional tutorial/pictures etc. as long as you click on their picture/link.   I'm sure there are a few dodo heads that want to pretend they're super awesome and take credit but For the most part, we're just folks that see and want to share a good thing, even if we don't get paid. 

Considering Curlby is a monentized blog, I'm not feelin' it. 

Ideas Woman on May 31, 2012:

One thing to know is that if you do not want your website images pinned you can add code to block pinterest, just like you can block Goggle images from indexing your images.

Why do that you ask? Well some website owners may be reaching their traffic allocation and so may have to pay excess charges, even though no-one visits their website.

Lili on May 31, 2012:

I have to agree on the post being a little confusing. Pinterest always point the link back to the origin website when you click on the pinned image. You gained traffic, what's to lose? And the commenter on that particular pinned images was probably a new user that thought Pinterest is all about pinning images from your own creations. Maybe I'm the rare ones that pins only other people's stuff.

A lot of people are battling with image copyrights, at the end they just watermarked every images they put up on the web. Hey look at the bright side, no one wants to copy your stuff unless it's good.

asrai on May 31, 2012:


This is an additioanl article about the Pinterst article and how to use Pinterest youself (best option IMO only pin your own stuff or make sure you are attributing to the original owner). 

brianne on May 31, 2012:

The thing I'm confused by is this - if you're seeing traffic back to your website, isn't her pin providing a link that way? If there was no link to your project how would you see that traffic was being directed? I believe (based on personal experience) that there probably was lack of credit on the pinners part, I just don't have the technical understanding of how the linking situation is set up.

DIY Maven on May 31, 2012:

@Brunch wear, it's good they're taking notice, but users still need to protect themselves and be courteous about their attribution. Courtesy goes a long way when copyright comes into play. It can mean the difference between 'could you please remove...' and 'I'm going to sue you if you don't remove....' Heh. 

becca on May 31, 2012:

If you search "Pinterest" on her site, you will find the 3rd post she wrote on why she is still not using Pinterest even after the changes.

Just Me on May 31, 2012:

If you read further in her blog, you'll find that she's been emailing back and forth with Pinterest for quite some time about her concerns (she even had a long phone conversation with the one of the head honchos.) She didn't end up deleting her account entirely, but has decided to pin much less and be more cautious. The blog entry is still worth a read, but there's much more to the ongoing story.

Brunch wear on May 31, 2012:

@DIY Maven It wasn't looking good for Pinterest's image when they admitted to just slapping down a copy and paste ToS and it's obvious they still need some tweaking. But they have taken notice when their users protested and tried to make an effort to change.

DIY Maven on May 31, 2012:

P.S. The first sentence of Article 10 in their ToS remains unchanged as of 5/31/12. As for the 'defend and indemnify' line, it looks like that was changed ever so slightly. Note Article 8 says You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Pinterest and its officers... 

DIY Maven on May 31, 2012:

@Brunch wear...it's interesting that Pinterest took notice of their own ToS since the posting of the original article, which was in February of this year. It sounds like they didn't know what they were until a user/lawyer like Kirsten pointed them out. (Funny.) With the increased popularity of sites like Pinterest, it still might be wise for pin-ers to give attribution, whatever the ToS. 

Brunch wear on May 31, 2012:

Why is this being poste without mention of the new ToS? That post was made BEFORE Pinterest not only took notice, addressed that fact and changed their ToS.

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