Pinterest announced revisions to its Terms of Service, removing its right to sell user-contributed content and releasing simpler tools for copyright infringement reporting.
Pinterest users were alerted by email last week of the Terms revisions and the notice was also posted on the Pinterest blog.
Since its launch in 2009, Pinterest, a "virtual billboard," has rapidly grown in popularity. In fact, Time magazine ranked it as one of 2011's Best Websites. As the site has grown, Pinterest has also experienced the joys of growing pains.
As we reported, in February 2012 Pinterest addressed copyright issues:
Evidently, Pinterest covered its own tracks, but not everyone else’s. It’s in the fine print no one reads, but basically, if you upload an image to share on the board, you’re granting the network rights to sell or do whatever they want with that image, even if it’s not yours. Thus, if the content owners come looking for royalties, you’re on the line."
Pinterest's update to its ToS attempts to end the public outcry over the "sell" terminology. The email and blog post says:
Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms."
The new Terms of Service will be effective as of April 6, 2012.
In addition to releasing simpler tools to help people report copyright or trademark infringements, Pinterest "added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards." These changes seem normal enough for a growing social network, but a more interesting update was also added:
We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse."
Pinterest reports that the community has helped craft the updated Terms, which is evident with the changes to the ToS terminology.
If you haven't tried Pinterest yet, you can visit the site and request an invitation to the open beta testing.
But be warned: Pinterest can be a major time suck. I tried resisting it, really I did.