Is copyright of Pinterest to your business?



All of a sudden, people everywhere are talking about Pinterest. It’s apparently now rating third behind Facebook and Twitter as a social sharing site.

I’m no expert, but my understanding is that it’s a virtual ‘inspiration board’ where you can compile images and share your likes with the world.

So as a business owner, it seemed like a no-brainer to get on board and start using this to help promote my business.

I began searching for information online and found plenty of articles about how using Pinterest could help with attracting new business.

Then I found a whole other lot of articles that made me think twice.

A photographer, who is also a lawyer, had deleted all her boards after reading the fine print on Pinterest’s terms and conditions. She had concerns about copyright, who has the rights to use images and the possible legal – and financial – ramifications for people who pinned if copyright infringement cases were brought. You can read her initial post (and follow up articles) here.

Reading through numerous blog posts and comments, I got the feeling that while there is an etiquette that is adhered to by many people, others have little regard for the propriety rights of others. It’s apparently commonplace for people to fail to attribute the work of others – and even pass images off as their own.

People are being forced to put – often ugly – watermarks all over their images – although this affords limited protection as they can be cropped. Others are using invisible tags which can monitor where their images are being used and taking up compensation and acknowledgment issues on a case by case basis.

While I absolutely love the concept of Pinterest, personally, I’m going to need a bit more clarification on the fine print before I proceed.

Do you Pin?

  • I haven’t started Pinning yet Melina – partly because I want to spend some time getting to understand all the ramifications of doing so. It’s not just copyright either, but whether or not the links provide any SEO benefit that I want to understand better.

    If I had a more visual business, that research would be a higher priority for me as the benefits are more obvious.

    • Hi Tash

      When it comes to the online world, the rules seem to change frequently! If you search for ‘Using Pinterest for Business” you should find a raft of articles that might help you with the information you are looking for.


    • For a site like yours, Tash, the benefits may not be to do with SEO but with awareness and reach. Pinterest has an enormous audience but they are very visually focused. How does that apply to sites that focus on words, stories and articles? Take a look at how the Wall Street Journal innovates with Pinterest –