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How to Pin without Infringing on Copyright

The ABC of how to avoid Copyright Infringement on Pinterest

ABC of Pinterest Copyright APin your own content

The simplest way to avoid copyright infringement is to create and pin your own content. You own the rights of the content you create, so what better way to stay on the right side of copyright laws and provide your audience with unique content for them to pin and share.

Only a small percentage of pinners create and pin their own content. A staggering 80-90% of pinning activity on Pinterest is people repinning other people’s content on their boards. When you create content you’re in the minority, so what better way to establish your author brand and build a loyal Pinterest following.

ABC of Pinterest Copyright BPin from Websites using the Pin It Share Button

If you see the “Pin it” button on a website, that means the owner has granted you permission to pin their content on Pinterest.

It’s always optimal to pin content onto your boards from the source website, but when you’re browsing Pinterest there’s a tendency to just repin what’s in your stream with no thought to the integrity of the pin or its source.

(Watch out for my follow up post on how to Pin responsibly)

ABC of Pinterest Copyright CPin Creative Commons content

Pin content from sites like Google Web, Google Images, Flickr, Open Clip Art Gallery Library, YouTube and Wikimedia Commons that is labeled as Creative Commons, which means it can be shared, but you’ll need to credit the source.

You can visit those sites individually, or go directly to the Creative Commons website and and then select the site you want to search on.

Creative Commons Search Screen Options

How to pin content without infringing on copyright Jay Artale

Don’t Pin Spam

If you know the source of your images, you’re less likely to Pin Spam. If you just wildly pin any content that takes your fancy without knowing where it leads, you could be pinning content that directs your fans and followers to unrepeatable sites. If you do this, you’re negatively affecting your online reputation.

Do Unto Others

There needs to be a level of integrity when pinning content, and we all need to take responsibility for the validity of the pins we’re adding to our boards sharing with our followers.

As an author, I don’t want people to share content I haven’t given them permission for. Take a look at this scenario:

  • Spammers publish a pirated copy of one of my books on their site, and then add a link to one of their Pinterest boards.
  • Pinners searching for my book find the pin and then repin it to their boards without checking the source.
  • That pin gets repinned and shared in perpetuity.

There’s no way we will eradicate this type of pin activity. But as pinners we have two options. Be part of the problem (sharing pins that lead to spam sites), or take ownership and responsibility for what we pin on our boards (by checking the source).

Which camp are you in?