Pinterest is a popular social media website that started two years ago, but already has a wide user base and a variety of potential legal issues that would make its bigger social media siblings proud.  The hook of the website is the ability to “pin” images from other websites to your Pinterest account indicating your approval.  Pinning photos, however, comes with its own set of copyright liabilities.  As Kirsten Kowalski points out, the photos you pin for inspiration or enjoyment could lead to copyright infringement.

Ms. Kowalski, a corporate lawyer and professional photographer, says that this is partially due to Pinterest etiquette that discourages photographers from pining their own work.  This type of behavior is derided as being self-promotional.   For their part, Pinterest distances themselves from any copyright liability in their terms of service.   Whether this forces Pinterest to go through the same growing process that You Tube did, as the the website Soshable suggests it might, remains to be seen.  Either way, users should be wary of what they pin.

For more information about this article, check out this article at Mashable by Advertising lawyer Gonzalo E. Mon.

To hear Ms. Kowalski in her own words, you can listen to her NPR interview, or watch an interview with her at Tech Crunch.

No picture was included in this article because the author refused to choose an image that wasn’t a pin-cushion. 

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