I've seen this image floating around on Pinterest lately and I couldn't help but be curious (you should be too) about what exactly is making these pinners so mad. So I finally set aside a few minutes and looked into it... and I'm glad that I did.
What's the Biggest lie there is? "I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions." Let's be honest... none of us read them, and we just go ahead and agree to them. I mean, how bad could it be? We're hardly dealing with Rumpelstiltskin here; there is little to no threat that we're signing away our first born child, so what's the harm? The brains of the games over at knoed.com have brought to my attention that the terms are a little stickier than just "Have fun pinning everything you ever thought looked cool." So here's the deal...
First of all, if you access the Terms, one of the first things that jumps out at you is this kindly worded warning. You know it's supposed to be kind because it's in all caps...
"YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, BY ACCESSING OR USING THE SITE, APPLICATION OR SERVICES OR BY POSTING ANY MEMBER CONTENT ON THE SITE, APPLICATION OR THROUGH THE SERVICES, YOU ARE INDICATING THAT YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THESE TERMS, WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE REGISTERED WITH THE SITE AND APPLICATION."
Bound? that's a terrifying word. I don't know about you, but I'm not looking to bound in any way without first knowing exactly what I'm getting myself into. But here's where it gets really interesting:
"You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation."
What this is basically saying is that, according to your contract with Pinterest, you have full permission from each site that you are repinning from to post their content onto Pinterest... and can prove it. Let's be honest? You post a picture of that Cute dress that you just havetohave and link it back to the store's site. No one is going to get mad. All you did was give them extra advertising, and boost traffic to their site while calling dibs on that dress over the rest of your friends. Everyone wins. But things get a little bit more complicated if you tie that stipulation with this next one:
"By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services."
Sell? This just got awkward... I just pinned a picture of a Lexus... I don't however, have one to sell you....
But no... that's not actually the threat that this poses. Nothing like that is going to tip the scales in this case, but all it is going to take is one disgruntled suburban mom somewhere just looking for a pay day. We live in a society that gets excited at the prospect of getting to sue someone, thinking a hefty check and 15 minutes of fame will accompany the case. The way that the brains at knoed.com explain this part is with the example of one of those adorable pictures of kittens you see occasionally on Pinterest. It's simple, you're on some blog somewhere and you see cutest Kitten ever created. So you Pin it with a comment about just how adorable it is. That was step one.
- You posted that Picture without the owner's direct permission.
- Pinterest sells it to ABC Marketing.
- ABC Marketing prints it on kitty litter boxes.
- Cat picture owner sees kitty litter box in store and calls lawyer.
- Lawyer calls Pinterest.
- Pinterest calls you.
- Bad things happen.
I don't know about you, but I prefer it when bad things don't happen. Oh you too? Cool. So let's get Pinterest to change these potentially sticky terms. I'm not saying abandon Pinterest. I love Pinterest. It's awesome at distracting me from things like homework and developing social skills... and I understand that they're just trying to protect themselves... but that's what I'm trying to do too.
This whole thing has just made me a little wary of pinning at will. I even have one of those handy "Pin It" buttons on the tool bar of my browser allowing me to pin (illegally) from anywhere.
.... that seems like a trap....
So do me a favor? go to this Pin right Here and repin it.
Maybe if enough of us do, we can convince the Big Shots to make the wording in their terms a little less threatening. Oh, and just to be clear, I got this image from knoed.com but no worries, he gave me permission to use it.