March 28, 2012

In shift, Pinterest says to pin your own stuff

Pinterest, the social-media site that enables users to "share all the beautiful things" they find on the Web, has a message for its "pinners": Self-promotion isn't shameful after all.

The message, disclosed as part of policy changes announced late Friday, is a course correction for the company, as well as a tacit admission it may have encouraged users to pin content that didn't belong to them, legal experts say. Originally, Pinterest instructed users to try to refrain from pinning their own content, but with the changes, it relaxed that stance.

Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann, in a blog post Friday, rolled out the site's updated terms of service, along with revamped acceptable-use and privacy policies. The changes come amid questions over whether Pinterest's users are violating copyrights by pinning others' content, such as photos, without licenses.

Pinterest, itself, is well-protected from lawsuits because of its policies and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But its users could be exposed to copyright suits by pinning content without a license, legal experts say. So far that apparently hasn't happened. The experts add that the best way to avoid problems is for Pinterest users to pin only content they create or have permission to use.

That advice created confusion for some users who followed Pinterest's "Pin Etiquette" principles, which until last week told pinners to "Avoid Self Promotion" because "Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you're proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion."

Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal, and Pinterest

Read also "How to make your images work for you on Pinterest" at WebProNews