Pinterest: The Top Three Legal Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask

Pinterest is an emerging social media network that has swiftly gained popularity over the last year. As a visually-centered platform, Pinterest has been great for businesses that offer specific goods and services that photograph well. Yet, many businesses have been hesitant to join this new social network, often worrying about the legal implications. Here, we will discuss some of the most common legal questions for businesses that may be interested in using Pinterest.

Can I use Pinterest for my business?
Although Pinterest has a disclaimer only allowing “non-commercial use” on its site, some of the legal terms suggest otherwise. For example, the disclaimer says:

If you open an account on behalf of a company, organization, or other entity… you agree to these Terms on the entity's behalf.

So it seems as though businesses and brands are permitted to use Pinterest and that the “non-commercial use” phrase is intended to prevent you from selling access to the site, instead of stopping you from encouraging people to buy from you.

What am I agreeing to according to Pinterest's Terms of Use?
Basically, when you put something on a Pinterest board, you are granting anyone and everyone permission to use it in pretty much any way they want. There are such things as “Pin Etiquette” and “Acceptable Use” policies that protect your content to an extent. But legally, you're granting anyone, anywhere in the world, to use, redisplay, modify and distribute the content you've placed on Pinterest.

Does it matter if I don't have control over my own content?
If you own the rights to the content you are placing on Pinterest, it matters a lot less. Re-pinning can be a great way to get publicity for your business and brand, allowing for a large amount of people to see your product.
However, if you don't own or have the appropriate rights to your content, it definitely does matter. If you don't own the rights to the photos that you are posting, then you should not add them to Pinterest. According to Pinterest's terms, an individual has unlimited liability for any damages that result from pinning content that they don't have the rights to.

If you’re interested in expanding your social media presence through Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or any other popular social networking site, CyberMark International can help you! For a free quote on the social media services we offer, call us today at .

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