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Arnt Eriksen

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Pinterest and Its True Colors?

Posted: 03/14/2012 12:07 pm

This article from Business Insider enlightens some (a lot) of the questions one might have towards the use of Pinterest and the copyright issues connected to the fast-growing social network.

A woman named Kirsten decided to look into the legality of Pinterest. After all, she's a lawyer with a passion for photography. What she found scared her so much, she shut down her Pinterest boards entirely.

There's been a ton of articles about Pinterest and the vast possibilities of the service, sharing your interests and inspirations, commercial use and what have you -- and it only proves the fact that we love to get connected with new and existing 'friends' and share stuff that somehow gives us a profile, identity, indication of who we are and what interests us. We truly live in a narcissistic society where it is all about being seen and getting some attention, mostly based on other peoples creativity and knowledge. Don't get me wrong -- I do it myself, but I'm getting more and more aware of the complications and consequences that might come in the aftermath of our desire to overshare anything and everything. We are losing perspective of what is OK and not, being overshadowed by the drive of getting attention by gathering stuff to show how 'interesting' we are.

I am no legal expert, but the article above and others, have shed some light about what might turn out to become a problem. I guess a lot of creatives: photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, painters and others that are producing original material are happy for the spread and attention, but at some point someone might use the material that, for the person behind the original work, might not approve of. If they have the resources, it might have severe consequences -- not for services like Pinterest, protecting themselves behind their "Terms of Use" putting all blame on the user of their services, even making sure that if it turns out to become a legal issue, their legal costs are to be covered by the end-user.

One might draw parallels to the tobacco industry or even the drug cartels -- being simply the provider of the services -- not forcing anyone to use them, but really happy that they have people that are users and 'addictives' -- since it is their means of making money. I know it's an extreme parallel, but given the worst-case scenario, it might have severe results for the person that was only trying to build a cool and interesting online-persona by sharing content.

I don't know where this might lead, but I'm certain there will be some cases in the future that will force some kind of protection and responsibility placement to companies and services like Pinterest and others.

It only proves the necessity to be more aware of what we become an active part of and the consequences it might bring.

What are your thoughts?

 

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