It’s another social media platform among many, but it’s gaining a lot of ground and following at an extremely quick pace. Unlike other platforms, however, there are some unique legal concerns raised through the use of Pinterest. I read an article recently by Tara Hornor which made clear many of the risks associated with using Pinterest personally or for business.
So what do you need to be aware of?
Pinterest allows you to freely share great visual content, but when you use the platform, you agree that any copyright infringement that occurs through the use of the technology falls squarely back on the user. Specially, when you sign up for Pinterest, you acknowledge
“YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU.”
In general, it makes sense if someone infringes on the right of someone else using this technology that the consequences belong to them. However, it can often be confusing for users to understand the difference between what is permissible and non-permissible sharing.
Perhaps the most important piece of information for local businesses using Pinterest to keep in mind is this medium is no different than anywhere else on the internet. The rules are no different. Basically, it’s important to know the rights of anything you’re posting on your Pinterest site. If you’re looking for content to modify and use on your site, you can either find an image with the appropriate creative commons licensing to allow you to use it for a commercial purpose once modified or you need to track down the author of the work and get his/her permission prior to using it.
At this point, you may be questioning with all the potential challenges to adding content to Pinterest whether it is worth your local business’ time to participate. Likely the answer to this question is largely determined by how much content you can create yourself to promote your business and engage potential customers. Pinterest is a great forum to share visual content which leaves a lasting impression on those who see it when your target audience is hanging out there. Like other social media platforms it allows you to engage directly with potential customers and allow them to share your story for you. Ultimately, if your business ties in well to the visual nature of this platform, it may be worth the time and investment to ensure your business is legally operating in the Pinterest sphere.
Chris Marentis is considered an expert in the field of online marketing for local business. Chris is also the founder and CEO of the Surefire Social marketing system.