Pinterest, the social content sharing service that has recently enjoyed an explosion in popularity, has over the weekend tweaked its policies to put users at ease about the sale and appropriateness of their content while moving to reassure copyright holders that their interests are protected.
(Credit: Cold Brew Labs)
Pinterest said that it has removed language in its policies that gives the social network permission to sell user content posted on the site, while updating the acceptable use policy to crack down on self-harm material.
"Our original terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for us sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated terms," Pinterest wrote, adding that it "updated [the] acceptable use policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse".
Pinterest is also making it easier for copyright owners to report infringement spotted on the social network by opening a new reporting tool.
The service also changed its terms and conditions to allow for a new API and new private pinboards in the future.
The social network thanked its community for voicing their concerns about Pinterest and continue to ask for comment on policy going forward.
"Like everything at Pinterest, these updates are a work in progress that we will continue to improve upon. We're working hard to make Pinterest the best place for you to find inspiration from people who share your interest.
"We've gotten a lot of help from our community as we've crafted these terms."
Comments on the Pinterest blog post see the community arguing over the implications of the new copyright tool and the legal grey area that is online content sharing via Pinterest.
"Another concern is that of users going to websites they like, downloading a photo to their computers, and uploading it to Pinterest and then getting the website link where the image is located, and then inserting the web link, and thinking this is the way to do it, because they want that particular image on their board.
"Well I have a problem with that, and it may be me over-thinking, but many sites do not want their images saved to one's computer, for any reason," one user argued.
Another countered, "The internet is just like a newspaper or magazine — everyone has always been able to quote them, or cut out the article and pass it around. I say if you don't want people to use a picture DON'T print it in the paper and DON'T put it on the internet. Use common sense!"
Several users responded to the over 500-comment long thread, saying that if sites don't want their images taken and used on Pinterest, they ought to disable the ability to save an image via a right-click-enabled context menu. Flickr is one site that has recently taken action against users "pinning" content, with guides now popping up all over the internet.