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Women like Pinterest over Facebook, Twitter - but copyright concerns grow


By Noel Young | Correspondent

March 14, 2012 | 7 min read

Social media newcomer Pinterest is already beating Twitter and Facebook when it comes to trust among women in the U.S.

A winning way with women

But more users are hesitating at the onerous copyright controls the website is imposing.

The good news comes from BlogHer’s annual US study on women and social media.

Asked whether they trusted different social media sources, 81 percent said they trusted blogs and Pinterest; 67 percent said they trusted Facebook and 73 percent said they trusted Twitter.

The questions were asked of those who indicated that they used each of the social media services.

Asked if they’d ever made a purchase based on a recommendation from one of the three sources, 47 percent said they’d acted on one from Pinterest, 33 percent said Facebook and 31percent said Twitter.

BlogHer polled women across its own network of 3,000 blogs and a sample of the online U.S. population . They found that women use Facebook for fun and connecting with family and friends- but they turn to blogs to learn about new products, read product recommendations and make purchase decisions.

While Pinterest is trusted and growing quickly, general adoption is still relatively low. Just 19 percent of the general population use it at least weekly.

But with more than 11 million unique visitors a month (according to recent numbers from comScore), it’s an "impressively fast-growing and vibrant site", said Adweek.

So it's a pity that copyright concerns seem to be an issue . Have a look at what's being said here.

Under the heading "Pinterest: Change Your Terms or We’re Leaving","blogger Kyle writes:

If you’re not sure what Pinterest is, it’s a website where you can ‘pin’ almost any content you find on the internet to your own personal ‘boards’. Think of it as a digital corkboard where you can display and organize all the things you love. Other people can view your boards and re-pin your pins to their own boards. Great idea, right?

It is, except there’s one problem. When you pin anything, you are agreeing that you own whatever you’re pinning or you have permission to do so from the original source. Your contract with Pinterest says:

“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.” source

But wait… there’s more. You’re also agreeing to let Pinterest sell anything you pin:

“…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.”

And more. You agree to pay their legal fees:

“You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Cold Brew Labs, its officers, directors, employees and agents, harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Site, Application, Services or Site Content, (ii) your Member Content, or (iii) your violation of these Terms.”

And even more. You agree that the entire risk remains with you:


I know I never looked into Pinterest’s Terms & Conditions and I’m not sure if most people have. And it seems like the website’s current popularity is a result of people pinning content “illegally.” All it would take for this to blow up is:

1. You pin a picture of a cat without permission.

2. Pinterest sells it to ABC Marketing.

3. ABC Marketing prints it on kitty litter boxes.

4. Cat picture owner sees kitty litter box in store and calls lawyer.

5. Lawyer calls Pinterest.

6. Pinterest calls you.

7. Bad things happen.

For the record, I am not a lawyer and these are my own interpretations of the terms. I encourage you to investigate for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I’m also not trying to attack Pinterest or give them a bad name because I love their site and they have a brilliant idea.

The company is only trying to protect themselves “just in case.” And it would be nice if the law would use common sense in situations like these, but it’s pretty clearly written who is at fault here—you. And the law cares more about written contracts than common sense.

So, I’m asking all Pinterest users to pin this graphic to their boards to spread the word in hopes that Pinterest will change their terms. Otherwise, we’ll have to cancel our accounts.

And in case you’re wondering, I hereby give you full permission to use this graphic!

The Drum says: So how about it Pinterest?

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