What You Need to Know About Pinterest’s Updated User Agreement

Pinterest, the image-sharing site that’s currently sweeping the nation, has updated its user agreement policy to address concerns about potential copyright violations committed by its users.  Here’s what you need to know.

Preventing Copyright Infringements

To encourage respect among pinners, the company has established a “Pin Etiquette” for users to follow. Basically, when you pin something, make sure you link back to the place where you found the picture. If possible, link back to the image itself rather than the blog post or other site that may have used it.

You can also add a “do not pin” button on your website to prevent visitors from sharing your content on Pinterest.

Conflict Resolution

The company acts in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 by responding to claims of copyright infringement in a timely manner.

If you have a complaint about another user on Pinterest, you can fill out a form here. They will ask you to identify the URL where the material was originally located and the URL where you saw it on Pinterest, as well as your name, address, phone number, and email address so they can contact you about the matter.  They will also ask you for an electronic (or mailed-in) signature to verify that you own the copyrights to the material and that the person in question does not have your consent to use it. The same applies to registered trademarks. (If you see anything inappropriate, like racism or child pornography, you can report it by pushing the “Report Content” link.)

If Pinterest agrees with the claim, the pin will be deleted and the violator will receive a Copyright Complaint (DMCA) notification via email. Violators who receive too many complaints will be either lose the privilege of posting new pins or they will have their accounts deleted. So far, there is no exact definition of “too many.”

To contest a copyright complaint filed against you, just reply to the notice with the same information as on the complaint form, plus the DMCA ID printed at the bottom of the notification email.  This is called a counter-notice.

If Pinterest agrees with your counter-notice, the pin will be restored and the original complaint will not count against you on your record. But keep in mind that when you file a counter-notice, you will also be asked to provide the following information:

  1. A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the content was removed in error.
  2. A statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Pinterest may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided the original complaint under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.

In other words, Pinterest gives its users one chance to take down any questionable material. Once the content is gone, the issue will likely end there. However, if you put the material back on the site, and someone decides to sue Pinterest, you are responsible for the legal consequences.

Image by Marko Tomicic via Shutterstock.

 

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