Monday, 27 February 2012
Pinterest or how to confuse Photographers
You may be familiar with the company logo above. It might currently be filling you with a seething rage just by the mere utterance of it's name and you may not even be entirely sure why.
Well I'm here to add my 2p worth to the debate that seems to have 'kicked off' over the past week.
I've been aware of Pinterest for about 8mths or so. It had been the talk of the Crafting community long before Ad Land got wind of it. But I have to admit I've only just signed up, mainly because Ad Land has just got wind of it and I sensed an onslaught of questions from clients. "What is it?" "Should I join?" "Is full of pauses & cheese rolls?"* etc.
So I went about creating my profile, following some people and creating some boards. Boards look like this . . .
Pinterest, in case you're not sure, is a site to visually bookmark & moodboard any subject you want. So you create a board, let's say "Ad's I Love", and then you start to bookmark or 'Pin images' within that board. So if you're on an ad agency's site and you see some work you think is tops, you hit the Pin It button on your bookmark bar (you install this when you join). And up goes the image onto said board.
You're encouraged to follow people, much like Twitter. This you can do by following an individual or by selecting only certain boards of theirs. And also much like Twitter your home page then becomes a stream of all the pins, from all the boards you follow. In this instance it makes for a very aesthetically pleasing feed.
But now for the reason I'm writing this post. To address the Copyright & Usage issues everyone has been talking about recently. As far as I can tell this is the paragraph in the T&C's that has got everyone all rilled up . . .
"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."
Sounds a bit rights grabby, Clause 43 worrying right? Yes?
Ummm that's what I thought too but then I read it again, and again and then re-read it some more. And I spotted this bit . . .
"...and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services."
So it's just on this site? And as yet there's no 'Buy This Image' button right? Yes?
Ah ha! Well that's not so bad.
This next bit's a tad sticky . . .
"... 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."
But as I see it, if you're Pinning from original sources that author correctly, re-writing the author on your own pin notes or asking through your notes who did the work, and are fully prepared that if approached by the author to remove your pinning of their image, and swiftly do so, then you should be ok.
It also now raises the issue that instead of us all rushing to block the Pinability of our own websites, should we in fact be making sure we keep them open and thus allowing us to check the pinning traffic? And, more to the point, making it clearer who the authors of Pinned images are?
No doubt this post will encourage a comment or two. And I hope it does because we need to discuss sites like this, how we each interpret their T&C's and eliminate the grey areas.
Of course if I've been a massive donut and mis-read this do let me know, but as far as I can see Pinterest isn't doing anything YouTube, Instagram and their cousins aren't all already doing.