It seems I keep getting drawn into the deep dark conversations comparing the virtues of Google+ to other social spaces. Last evening it was the question I was asked on… “why in haven sakes would anyone want to risk their livelihood by being on Pinterest?”
I am sure I get drawn into these discussion due to all the attorneys I run around with who have clients getting into trouble on Pinterest. They seem to enjoy taunting with questions they have about social media.
Pinners Don’t Understand the REAL Risk
It really is disturbing to read the remarks on Google+ from so many misguided individuals claiming Pinterest reaches a broader audience of interested viewers. It leads me to believe many people do not really care about the risk they are taking by being on Pinterest.
The rub for most people, who are in love with Pinterest, begins when I bring up the facts that most of what is posted on Pinterest is copyrighted material and that sharing (or pinning) someone’s photos without the owners permission is a violation of a huge amount of overly tested copyright laws.
Just so I make this clearly understood, I am not an attorney so my remarks here are not me practicing law..just passing on information I am provided by a fleet of attorney’s I have in my posse.
Usually these people who use Pinterest reaction to hearing the risk on Pinterest pinning is to make a remark like.. “OH, All I have to do is give the person or company credit when I Pin it . Even if I get caught all they will do is ask me to remove the post.”
How Wrong is This Thinking?
Unfortunately, it seems the owners of the copyrights on photos are tired of telling people to remove the posts from their Pinterest board. This does take a lot of time on their part and most of times the person sharing their image has received a large amount of traffic to their site as a result of posting their photo.
So instead of wasting a lot of time emailing and hearing all the whining people have about them trying to help the owner of the photo the owners of the photo are just going ahead and filing lawsuit on the person posting the photo without any warning.
It is their right to do so..it is their property someone else could be making huge amounts of money from posting. Plus, people using Pinterest have been warned by Pinterest to what will happen if they post copyrighted material.
Easy to Break the Law
Since the primary focus of the members of the Pinterest site is to share images and photos the owners of photos have found it makes for a perfect target to focus their energy on catching people violating the law.
In a blog posted on Hubpages.com by the GreekGeek, Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations?…the statement was made… “Most Pinterest members are conscientious about giving a credit and a link back to the source. That gives it a little free PR. So everything’s hunky dory, right?” …was clearly shown to be the Wrong way to think.
So why do people use Pinterest if there is such a risk to being sued? The answer seems to be in the remarks I get each time I ask this question.. “Why would Pinterest develop a site to post images and photos if it was not alright to post whatever I want to post?”
Better Ways to be Social
Yes,Pinterest is a cute format, but is it worth being on a site that is being watched closely for copyright violations?
Wouldn’t it be better to use a social space that offers more value for the time spent online? This doesn’t mean there is a site where it is legal to post someone else’s images..but wouldn’t it be easier to post content..written words..on the image you saw an artist post, instead of posting their property? Or wouldn’t it be better to just share their site where the photos reside?
I really don’t understand why people want to take the risk of getting sued. That seems to be the case with being anyone using Pinterest. I was told that even being associated to the Pinterest site could subject you to a thorough examination of your web presences. There is even a case being reported where someone on Pinterest who posted their own photo on several other social sites was questioned just on Pinterest by someone who owned a similar looking photo.
Not Worth the Risk
So, think about it..and what you are doing online. Is it really worth the risk to be on a social platform where just being on the platform associates you as a possible copyright violators?
Yes, Pinterest is a fun, fresh and entertaining way to post images and is great for retailers who clearly have the rights to their images, but outside of that…there really is less value to being there as an individual knowing that posting a photo could get your sued. It doesn’t mean you will lose the lawsuit, just the hassle to have to deal with it is not worth the time.
There are more beneficial places to be online.
Let me know how I can help.