The content sharing site Pinterest has experienced a meteoric rise in the last few weeks, making it the hot new social media platform to watch. Along with that success have come mounting concerns over copyright violations on Pinterest boards, which the company addressed by introducing a line of “no-pin” code which blocks the Pinterest bookmarklet on websites which implement it. A few days after the code’s release, the venerable photo storage and sharing site Flickr has locked down all of its copyrighted images.
Flickr users who opt out of allowing their photos to be shared or have made their photos private will automatically have their images protected from the Pinterest bookmarklet. When someone attempts to pin a protected image, a message appears which reads:
“This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”
Of course, a dedicated pinner can simply copy an image from Flickr and pin it manually. With that in mind, the inclusion of the script will certainly deter those with only a passing interest in the picture they want pin or a healthy respect for copyright law. However, it’s unlikely that Pinterest is interested in engaging in an un-winnable arms race with scoff-law users. Instead, it’s far more likely that the company simply wants to do its due diligence under the terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
It’s telling that in the blog post announcing the rollout of the no-pin code, Pinterest cofounder Ben Silbermann wrote:
As a company, we care about respecting the rights of copyright holders. We work hard to follow the DMCA procedure for acting quickly when we receive notices of claimed copyright infringement.
It seems clear that Pinterest isn’t under any illusion that the no-pin code is going to stop people posting copyright infringing material to their boards. However, it may help the company stay in compliance of the law and perhaps at least suggest better copyright behavior to its users. Though surely only a few will listen.
- Pinterest has spawned a bunch of porny-knockoffs
- Not saying that DMCA is a perfect law by any means
- My personal favorite bookmarklet
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