by Azita Mirzaian
Lately, it seems like not a day goes by without a friend, colleague, or co-worker referencing an obsession with the site Pinterest. Pinterest is a social media site that functions as a virtual pin board, allowing users to “pin” up images from the internet of food, clothing, craft projects, interior design ideas, hairstyles, and even inspirational quotes. Users can organize their pinned images on various “boards,” personalizing them with comments, and then can share their boards with their friends. Pinterest’s popularity has grown exponentially since its launch in 2010, a fact that is likely attributable to the satisfaction that comes from organizing and saving all of the neat things that the seemingly-infinite internet has to offer.
Still, until these issues are addressed (by Pinterest or by relevant case-law), risk-averse Pinterest users may want to consider limiting their pinning to creator-uploaded content only, providing legitimate comments or criticisms for each image pinned (in an attempt to strengthen any potential fair-use argument that exists), or, sadly, abstaining from pinning altogether.
Azita Mirzaian is a California-licensed attorney who earned her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Her areas of interest include copyright protection, trademarks, and other intellectual property matters.