Pinterest’s ‘Do Not Pin’ Button Update: Oscar Fashions Are Still Pinnable

Last week, the photo-sharing site Pinterest unveiled a “do not pin” button to protect copyrighted works from piracy. This weekend, Hollywood actors got dressed up for the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Did the media care if viewers pinned highlights from the awards show? Not really.

There were some beautiful dresses on the red carpet last night, like Natalie Portman’s sweet polka dot dress by Christian Dior and best supporting actress Octavia Spencer’s shimmery Tadashi Shoji gown.  Who wouldn’t run straight to Pinterest and immediately make a pinboard highlighting the best and worst?

Lots of people, it turns out. There were some cute ideas for Oscar party favors and food, but not a lot of boards that featured red carpet fashion, at least not from this year.

On Friday VentureBeat reported that Flickr had opted to use the “do not pin” feature on its copyrighted works. “Flickr has implemented the tag and it appears on all non-public/non-safe pages, as well as when a member has disabled sharing of their Flickr content,” a Flickr representative told VentureBeat. “This means only content that is ‘safe,’ ‘public’ and has the sharing button enabled can be pinned to Pinterest.”

Pinterest’s affiliate link program and other revenue streams were a concern for critics of the site that claimed users could be sued for unwittingly cutting photographers out of the deal. Considering the exclusivity of the Academy Awards, the celebrity photos are hard to come by, and therefore valuable to the publications that hold the copyrights. It was possible that celebrity gossip and fashion magazines could have followed Flickr’s lead and protected their own photographs from being shared.

Possible, but not the case. People.com told Adweek that the publication gets its biggest traffic boost of the year from its coverage of the Academy Awards.  The magazine partnered with Gilt Groupe on a “Get the Look: Red Carpet” sale on items curated by the editors without taking a cut of the e-commerce profits.  And People also has a pinboard that shows the best jewelry, gowns, and hairstyles from the event on Pinterest. It seems that the benefit of engaging readers with content from the site outweighs the possibility of losing revenue from outside sources.

In fact, most of the photos on slideshow hubs like TMZ and the Oscars’ official website are still available for pinning.  OK Magazine even came through with a pinboard of its own. Not all of these sites have a “pin it” button yet, but there weren’t any “do not pin it” buttons, either. Where readers can share the photos through Facebook and Twitter, they should also be able to put the pictures up on Pinterest.

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