Here’s one good reason I will never use Pinterest. Do you realize that when you upload your images to Pinterest YOU ARE GIVING ALL RIGHTS TO YOUR IMAGES TO PINTEREST, FOREVER? This has changed; this post discusses the original EULA to which members agreed, prior to April 6, 2012.
Don’t believe me? Here is part of the user agreement:
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.
(My emphasis, because Pinterest would rather you didn’t read this carefully.)
You post it, they own it, no matter what they chose to do with it in the future. When you sign up for Pinterest, you agree to give up all rights to the images you post there.
This is the sort of EULA (end-user-licensing-agreement) that gives websites a bad name. As it should. Your images should never be given to any other entity unless you know exactly how they will be used, when, and where, AND you are in complete agreement with that use.
Do you think this is acceptable? I don’t. I don’t want anything I post on my blog to turn up in business materials produced by Cold Brew Labs, the owners of Pinterest. I don’t want the images I willingly share, on my own blog, used in advertisements for Pinterest. Or on websites Cold Brew Labs might produce. Or in books Pinterest may produce. I’m not working for Cold Brew Labs; I chose to share what I share publicly for the benefit of my readers, and for myself, on my terms.
I won’t give up the right to do that, and I hope everyone who wasn’t aware of this paragraph in yet another of those hardly-read EULAs gives some serious thought to what Pinterest is asking you to give up. Pinterest is NOT your own bulletin board; it’s a device for others to collect your intellectual property and then do what they wish with it.
As a side note: How sleazy is it of Pinterst to hide these terms within a document they know perfectly well almost no one will read?
Most of us in the sewing/craft community love to share — that’s why we have blogs. Many of us are sweet people who would never dream of an organization grabbing their property and using it for the corporation’s own devices. But that’s exactly how Pininterst is set up. You no longer own what you post there.
Pinterest could have set this up so that they allow you to keep the copyright you automatically own on your own intellectual property. That’s how Pattern Review works, for example. You allow Pattern Review to post your reviews and images, but YOU keep the rights to everything you post there. Pattern Review does NOT own what you post. Taking away your rights is not part of their user agreement. Pattern Review does NOT claim to own what you post on its website.
Pinterest DOES. This is a nasty business model, and, in my opinion, unethical. It’s completely legal — you have to agree to the EULA before you can post — but it is, in my opinion, unethical. I won’t contribute to that kind of business model, and I don’t think anyone else should, either.
Update, 5/2/2012: The new terms still leave a lot to be desired. As noted above, the next post discusses some of those issues.