READ This Before you PIN another item on Pinterest!

Originally posted 2017-02-27 12:04:17

Pinterest is easily among today’s hottest new social media services. Founded in 2009, the easy to use image sharing site has over ten million members and continues to grow. The website allows users to “pin” images they like on the web to their personal “pinterest board” that they can share with friends and publish to the world at large. You can see what your friends are pinning, re pin things you like, and essentially just look at lot of amazing images on the internet.

However, there are growing concerns that Pinterest may be facilitating copyright infringement. Almost all of the images posted by its users were copied from other websites without permission, opening the door for serious copyright concerns.

Although many Pinterest users do not claim to own any of the images that they publish, it is still copyright infringement to not seek permission from the content’s creators. It’s copyright infringement even if you do link back to the original creator’s site or credit them. Unless you seek permission before you share someone else’s image, you violate the right of content holders to exclusively redistribute their material.

This can pose a problem for anyone who uses Pinterest.

Furthermore, there is currently no lobby against copyright infringement on image sites like Pinterest. Music and movie anti-piracy lobbies are enormous, backed up by the recording and film industry; Copyrighted image holders have no such force behind them to help protect their works on Pinterest.

But is pinning images to Pinterest truly criminal?

There exist some defenses for pinning copyrighted material to Pinterest. For one, the Copyright Act is not equipped to address the complexities of new media. This being said, it can be argued that a balance must be struck between an artists’ right to control their work, and the public’s right to access creative works.

It could also be argued that using Pinterest is protected by the fair use doctrine. Because many users who post images to Pinterest accompany them with commentary, this may constitute the social, political, and aesthetic exchange of ideas that the fair use doctrine is designed to encourage.

No matter the case, Pinterest is actively working with content creators to understand their needs and concerns so that they can make changes to their website to better protect their works.


A copyright is a right to prevent others from using your originally authored work. To protect their creative ingenuity, as well as to ensure that they are the only ones who can make use of and profit from their material, authors of artistic or intellectual works have their material copyrighted. Those who have copyrighted material have many exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce the work, distribute copies to the public for sale, and perform the work. Since anything you create can be copyrighted, copyrights can protect endless types of creative work. Some examples are recorded music, books, software codes, video games, paintings, plays, or sculptures.


For more information about copyright law and copyright protection contact the AMD Law Group at or (800)605-0785.