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Pinterest’s popularity soars, but copyright questions abound

Pinterest is a “virtual pinboard” that “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” Pinterest’s sole function is to provide a network of virtual pinboards and a means for its users to “pin” photos to them. Unlike Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, Pinterest isn’t about user-generated content. Beyond the ability for users to comment on their pins, Pinterest is about aggregation of third-party content.

Most social networking site operators happily rely on the “safe harbor” afforded them by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In this respect, Pinterest appears to have its procedural ducks in a row. It has a designated copyright agent, displays the DMCA notice and take-down procedure, and has a clear copyright policy.

Copyright matters though are about to become its biggest concern, and in this respect Pinterest has taken additional steps to preclude copyright infringement. Pinterest has developed a “nopin” meta tag, which site owners can use to disable the Pin It applet on their websites, thus preventing Pinterest users from easily pinning photos from that site to their pinboards.  

So what is next for Pinterest? Is its sudden popularity merely the flashpoint for copyright woes that will sink the site as quickly as it appeared? Can it find a way to allow its users to retain the freedom to pin and simultaneously appease copyright owners? Or does Pinterest represent something else entirely — a new breed of social networking heralding an era of “relaxed” copyright protection? For full article see Pinterest’s popularity soars, but (p)interesting copyright questions abound – Lexology.