March 6, 2012

Can anyone explain Pinterest to me?

 Excerpt from Pinterest's terms of use:
"We may, in our sole discretion, permit Members to post, upload, publish, submit or transmit Member Content. By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services. Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content and nothing in these Terms will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to use and exploit any such Member Content."
Did I read it well? Can Pinterest sell images that users upload?! Please someone explain?!This is not right. I'm on Pinterest but I just read the TOS today. If Pinterest is profiting on someone's work that isn't right. Does that person knows that their work is pinned on the site? How does that feel to that person? I thought about copyrights when I first saw about Pinterest but then I just forgot about it because the site is just too appealing. If anyone has an opinion about this, please share...


  1. I hope you get a good answer to this question, because I have had the same concerns.

    I don't know if they are just covering themselves in case they were to sell the website in the future, or if they mean that they may use the images in advertising in some form, or if they would actually sell an individual image for profit.

    Also in the TOS is a line that says something about not submitting anything for which you are not the copyright holder. Does that mean they only consider it a royalty-free license for them to sell an item if you "submit" something but view it differently if it is something pinned from another website? That seems to go against their "Pin It" tool bar and the suggestion to collect things that you like from different sources. That also goes against the way it is being used, since there are art websites with "Pin It" buttons alongside the Facebook "Like" button for each work of art.

  2. hmm.. I've recently joined and didn't read this & thanks Belinda for bringing it to my attention. Quite alarming isn't it and as Lisa states, it does seem to go against how Pinterest is perceived by people. What a disgrace!

  3. I just found this post by an attorney who goes into detail about the legal aspects and problems with Pinterest - Very informative. Thanks for your post, Belinha, that started some of us reading on this subject.


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