Pinterest (which is a bookmarking image website) users will be seeing some privacy and Terms of Service (TOS) changes starting on April 6th. The 12 million Pinners that use Pinterest will have to now adhere to new terms of service and have to follow the updated acceptable use and privacy policies from the 6th.
The Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann has indicated that they have been working on the update to their Terms for some time now. This has partly come about from complaints and inquiries about the legality of Pinterest users uploading, pasting and sharing copyright content from the Internet. There has also been concerns about how they intend on making money from the pins (images). Pinterest has acknowledged profiting from pins by directing users to buy products on merchant websites.
The original Terms clearly stated that when pinners posted content to Pinterest the pinned granted Pinterest the right to sell the pinners content. This particular Term has been removed from the 6th April change – this isn’t really a surprise given the publicity surrounding copyright content control.
Pinterest is also making some website changes which include an all-public pinboard system for private pinning, but nothing was mentioned on when this would become available. They are also developing an API which will no doubt encourage development of Pinterest-related apps. I’m sure complaints will start to surface when this development goes live. Equally important was the pinning restrictions which covered content that was hateful, violent, harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive etc. Pictures relating to harm, death, disability or disfigurement to yourself, other people or animals are clearly prohibited.
Pinterest will probably follow the YouTube business model and to some extent Twitter hoping that business and corporations register with the website. As for the copyright issue, Pinterest has certainly cleared up some of the intellectual property issues but I’ve seen instances when some of the actual creators of images are not referenced by the Pinners. How about following Google’s route by only showing thumb nails and or limiting viewing of pins? I’m sure they are looking into this.
Expect more changes and media scrutiny regarding the privacy and Terms of Service as the website grows in popularity.
Safe surfing folks!