This morning there seems to be a lot of confusion, panic, anxiety and ‘help me’ around what to do to avoid any copyright infringements on Pinterest, so I thought I’d write a quick post to explain what I know.

Last week Pinterest issued their latest update to their T&C but they’re still a little up in the air and questions are still being asked, and users are still not sure what to do to stay within the rules.

Here’s what I’d suggest to do to ensure you’re safe, and not using material or images you don’t have permission use:

Using your own images

If you’ve taken images with your own camera you own the copyright, so you’re safe to use them. If you’ve paid a designer to design artwork, brochures, logos etc (or if you’ve done them yourself) you also own these. So you’re free to upload them and pin them to your boards. By doing this, you’re also allowing other users to re-pin your images.

Want to know what of yours has been pinned? type the following link into your browser http://pinterest.com/source/yourdomain (replace yourdomain with your own URL)

Only pin from sites that have the ‘Pin it’ button.

This will be a good indication that the owner of the site is allowing you to share their content, but if you’re not sure, you can drop them a note to ask for their permission.

Don’t pin from Google images!

Check the original source of the pin

Prior to the release of the new T&C I would happy re-pin every image that made me go ‘wow’ without checking who owned it, I just wanted to look at the picture, and I just thought that’s what Pinterest was all about. Now however, I’m checking each pin to make sure I’m pinning directly from the original source.

If I don’t have time, then I’ll just click the ‘like’ button and I can then go back at a later date to check it out.

When you’re checking it out, if it’s linked to Google, then it probably isn’t cool to use it, look for the original source and pin that.

If it has multiple links, then find the original source and make sure you re-pin that one.

Never pin images with a watermark, artist name, © or ™ . These images are copyrighted and cannot be displayed, distributed or shared.

Avoid pinning images are professional looking, such as artwork, illustrations or photography. These images were likely either purchased from a stock image website or commissioned, and licenced for use on their own site and not to be shared.

Avoid pinning images of celebrities as most celebrities have copyrighted all of their images

What am I allowed to pin

You can pin products to your board, you can pin links to books etc… why not create a board for ‘gifts’ or ‘products’ so that these are clearly identifiable and are in the right category?

And of course, your own material, products, images or artwork.

I know it’s all a bit up in the air right now, but just keep in mind, if you’re not sure, ask permission to use it, or don’t use it at all 😉

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