Today I woke up to quite a few blog posts about deleting Pinterest because of its terrible Terms of Service. I am not a lawyer or especially good at translating the kind of language used in the TOS but this is what I’ve gathered from reading other blogs and the Pinterest TOS (found here).
The problem with the Pinterest TOS seems to be that by making content available on Pinterest (by pinning or re-pinning, I guess) you are agreeing that you have the legal right to grant their company rights to the “Member Content”. The rights you are giving them are as follows:
“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”
Really, what I think that means is they can basically use what you pin in any way they want on their website, application, or services. That’s not so bad, and is probably even comparable to other websites where you upload content. It’s not so bad if it is your original content, anyway.
Pinterest basically runs off of sharing the cool stuff other people have done. That’s where these TOS are a problem. Most of the stuff being pinned is not owned by the person pinning it. And unless you’re checking to see that the original creator is okay with their stuff being pinned, you have a problem.
Much of the content on Pinterest does have a source linked to it, but a lot of it does not and that is problematic. Not only for whoever created the content, but for anyone who wants to track it down and learn more.
So, after figuring most of this out, I went onto my Pinterest account ad deleted some of my boards and moved the pins I could find sources for onto Clipix.com.
Clipix is a very similar site with a few main differences.
1) It is not nearly as popular, which means it is not nearly as social. This can be good or bad depending on how you see it.
2) You can make your “boards” private or for friends only. In this way it functions more like an online bookmarking site (I have been looking for a good online bookmarking site for weeks).
3) You can have Multiboards- which are nested clip boards. For example in my Weddings board I have a “dresses” board and a “decorations” board as well. This is a big draw for me because it is more like how web browsers organize their bookmarks.
4) Clipix puts a watermark on all the images on the site- they want you to use the site to bookmark something to get back to the original source.
I’m spending my morning moving my Pins and some of my bookmarks to Clipix, after that I probably will delete most of my Pinterest boards but not the account. If Pinterest changes its TOS I may start using it again, and until then I still have the right to decide to put my own work there for sharing.