Sunday, 18 March 2012

Is it copyright curtains for Pinterest?


It seems that these days, as a start-up you only get a matter of a few months in the sun before the clouds start to gather.  Recent issues with Path, and last year with location-based douchebags SCVNGR have proved this rule. You cross the industry, and you've got your own personal night of the long knives on your hands.

Pinterest, after being thrust into public consciousness last year, seems to be weathering a storm on two fronts at the moment. Is it fair? Well, not really sure, but I have a couple of niggles I'd like to get answers for.

Firstly, I've been reliably informed by my girlfriend and others that Pinterest have rather sneakily dropped the resolution of their images in response to recent legal concerns - not enough to really upset the casual user, but if you are a photographer, or you really dig detail, you'll be missing out on a little bit extra. I get that it's a response to the concerns laid out in the earlier blog post, but still, would be nice to know.

Secondly - what is the situation with us being able to pin stuff on your rather natty site? We don't own the content we pin, but then again, we're not really allowed to, are we? This is where it starts to get tricky.

According to this rather comprehensive blog post, and this one,  Pinterest's terms and conditions are too ambiguous.

The one thing that seems to be clearest from their terms and conditions is that if a website objects to their content being pinned (which, as I've explained before, is slightly odd given it's traffic-driving capabilities),  YOU will be the one in trouble. Not only will you have to pay the legal fees, but you will also have to pay Pinterest's legal fees too. Also, by signing up to it, you've already agreed to this. WHOOPS!

Look - I know that these issues are a little bit niggly. I hate complaining about companies, unless they provide really shitty customer service. Pinterest don't, they provide a great service, one that I'd happily trade my personal data for (it's a transaction, after all), but it would be great to get these two little niggles sorted before the site's scale starts to make these niggles into biggles (bigger niggles - I know).