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Pinterest Clears Up Copyright Fears With Site Opt-Out
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msg:4420091
 5:56 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pinterest Clears Up Copyright Fears With Site Opt-Out
[bbc.co.uk]
Social networking service Pinterest has responded to concerns over copyrighted material by allowing websites to opt-out of being featured on the site.

The site, which bills itself as a "virtual pinboard", allows users to post pictures and other content onto a personalised profile.

However, some have raised concerns that the format encourages unauthorised sharing.

Concerned sites can now block their content by adding a line of web code.

Any Pinterest user attempting to share images or other material from a site with the "nopin" instruction will be told: "This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!"

 

g1smd




msg:4420141
 8:29 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, 800 million websites now have to add yet another "tag".

It's not going to happen.

lucy24




msg:4420152
 8:49 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've already got the only tags I need, thanks.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !{short list of Approved Sites}
RewriteRule \.(jpe?g|gif|png)$ pictures/hotlink.png [NC,L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} facebookexternalhit [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpe?g|gif|png)$ - [F]

If there's any new code to be added, that's where it will be added.

tangor




msg:4420225
 11:25 pm on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Such a unilateral "agreement" forcing non-contracting parties to opt out of a service they did not request is unconscionable. Not sure how well this will fly if enough websites complain.

g1smd




msg:4420251
 12:33 am on Feb 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Likely the EU will want to step on this.

There's already copyright concerns and affiliate link issues.

DeeCee




msg:4420302
 2:05 am on Feb 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is my clear opinion that Pinterest in its current form will not survive long.

As opposed to other sites with 'user generated' content, where the site/ISP/hoster can take the prevailing "I did not know" exemption to the laws, provided they act immediately and remove the bad content, Pinterest does not have that option.

Pinterest is both the site AND the tool doing the actual uploading and executing the image theft. Not the actual user. Not the same as when a user upload some unknown image from their hard-drive, where the site can claim initial offense innocence.

Pinterest takes the images from other sites and stashes them in their own databases and pages, so they can attract web-visitors to the affiliate and ad content they are planning to use. As they have now also described on their help/FAQ page:

To fund these efforts, we have taken outside investment from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. In the past, we’ve tested a few different approaches to making money such as affiliate links. We might also try adding advertisements, but we haven’t done this yet.


They list all the famous investors they have on their site, and those investors will shortly want to start seeing a return on their investment. Then the affiliate links and ads will start showing around the images and content lifted off our sites.

What they have also forgotten is that many of those images are licensed from a third-party. And most such licenses cover only the individual site-owner's site(s). Not the off-lifting to an entirely unrelated and unlicensed site, such as Pinterest.

ken_b




msg:4422383
 8:14 pm on Feb 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

So we are supposed to put this code on evey page where we have images we don't want "pinned" on Pinterest? How fun is that!

From the link above:
Webmasters who want to prevent their material from being posted on Pinterest can use the following code:

<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />

Marshall




msg:4422406
 9:51 pm on Feb 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

How is this any different than when someone shares on facebook or Google+? I doubt there is going to be a rush to put nopin tags on sites, with the possible exception of sites that disallow image sharing now.

Marshall

btsteed




msg:4422494
 2:39 am on Feb 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

How is this any different than when someone shares on facebook or Google+? I doubt there is going to be a rush to put nopin tags on sites, with the possible exception of sites that disallow image sharing now.


I completely agree, and while I understand some issues webmasters have with content getting pinned, I would encourage most people to embrace getting site content pinned. I have two different sites that have had sales figures jump 4X in the last three months from Pinterest traffic.

Pfui




msg:4422510
 3:52 am on Feb 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

All they need to do is read robots.txt and heed this basic bit:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Then again, they're thick as thieves with Amazon a.k.a. amazonaws a.k.a. awsdns [robtex.com...] so hoping for robots.txt to have any effect is probably pretty pointless... [webmasterworld.com...]

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4422521
 5:21 am on Feb 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

However, some have raised concerns that the format encourages unauthorised sharing.


I'm guessing whoever wrote that has no clue that Google, Bing and Yahoo steal ALL images from EVERY website that doesn't actively block them and that they don't often send traffic because of how their image search is designed to keep search users ON the search engine site.

Bing - hotlinks and does not allow frame busting
Yahoo - same as Bing, probably because they seem owned by Bing now
Google - allows frame busting but is throwing a warning message more often now.

That article sounds like it was written by a politician with little grasp of the mechanics, this isn't a new problem and pinterest is being unfairly singled out.

ergophobe




msg:4422776
 7:11 pm on Feb 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Pfui - robots.txt is not applicable here. Pinterest isn't crawling anywhere.

@g1smd and @Marshall - g1 - I think Marshall has your answer. This provides an answer to pro photographers and Getty and so forth.

Frankly, if you are not in the business of charging people to use your images, I think your best bet is to watermark images with your domain name and hope that people share them everywhere they can.

Marshall




msg:4422819
 8:54 pm on Feb 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think your best bet is to watermark images with your domain name and hope that people share them everywhere they can.


I do that now and it has funny results some times. I see G using the right product picture but from my ecommerce sites for other sites in their Google Products. Kind of funny when you are looking at the details of Site A, but the image has the web address of Site B.

Marshall

Pfui




msg:4422979
 5:48 am on Feb 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ergophobe: I realize Pinterest's site-lifting isn't crawling per se. (Aside: Arguably, it's closer to selective scraping.) But the copying is done by bots.

So, along the lines of Archive.org denying access to sites' wayback archives if there's a robots.txt denial -- "Page cannot be crawled or displayed due to robots.txt." (emphasis mine) -- Pinterest (& others) could similarly respect siteowners' terms rather than require yet another tag.

incrediBILL




msg:4422993
 6:46 am on Feb 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

More importantly, copyright isn't optional, which I've been complaining about since the first cache page was displayed in a SE. Pinterest and all the others should assume by the letter of the law that they DO NOT have permission to copy and display anything unless they are expressly ALLOWED.

Copyright has never been OPT-IN, it has always been OPT-OUT if you wanted to release to the PD, until scrapers on the internet somehow decided if you publicly published something it was already public domain.

Why this has never been taken to court and reversed I'll never know but my theory is nobody with deep enough pockets has decided to fight the fight and assume by now it's too late to reverse the trend.

Marshall




msg:4422994
 6:55 am on Feb 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why this has never been taken to court and reversed I'll never know but my theory is nobody with deep enough pockets has decided to fight the fight and assume by now it's too late to reverse the trend.


I am sure someone has deep enough pockets, but I believe an case like this would have to be a class action suit, otherwise it would only protect the one filing it. And you are right, respecting a copyright is not optional.

Marshall

DeeCee




msg:4423482
 7:46 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

One thing for site owners to be very careful about, if they chose to let Pinterest run against their sites is "who actually own your images"..

If you took that photo, or created that graphics yourself, then you should be safe.
But if your images are merely licensed from someone else, such as when buying stock-photos, image packages with their typical EULAs, or product images under a license from the producer, specifically enabling Pinterest (such as adding their pinning widget) can put you right in the middle of the quagmire.

Affiliate type sites could have that exact same problem. I would advise that people read the affiliate contract they have with each "advertiser" they signed up with to make sure they allow such use of product images. Many of them are getting very restrictive.

The same second the Pin widget goes up, that site most likely becomes just as liable as Pinterest. Pinterest is liable because they provide both the tools and their bots actively do the heavy lifting of taking images as "ordered" by their user. (Thats the difference from Facebook and such, BTW. Pinterest do not fit the Safe-Harbor clause under DMCA. They are not innocent bystanders to bad user-content.)

There is a reason Pinterest is now looking at PicScout's (Getty Images') fingerprinting software for some initial protection. Its because they know they are moving into legal doodoo-land and their business model has the potential for falling apart. Just like Napster.

tangor




msg:4423487
 8:30 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

The same second the Pin widget goes up, that site most likely becomes just as liable as Pinterest. Pinterest is liable because they provide both the tools and their bots actively do the heavy lifting of taking images as "ordered" by their user. (Thats the difference from Facebook and such, BTW. Pinterest do not fit the Safe-Harbor clause under DMCA. They are not innocent bystanders to bad user-content.)

Pinterest's TOS to members (which gives them an out and places it on the members for the infringing):
Member Content

We may, in our sole discretion, permit Members to post, upload, publish, submit or transmit Member Content. By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services. Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content and nothing in these Terms will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to use and exploit any such Member Content.

You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs� use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party�s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.


Love the weasel wording which gives them the right (Cold Brew... and how do we get to Pinterest from there? Though I do like a cold brew from time to time) to use above all rights, just short of saying "we have the right"... Shakespeare said it correctly: First we kill all the lawyers" or something like that. :)

Attempting to play "Safe Harbor" for what will be intentional by design, but unknowing (by design) content infringement. I don't like this site, I don't like their business plan (think Napster and all those others, too) and have a pretty strong feeling Pinterest will end up in the same place, too. Even lawyers are ducking out after reading further into the TOS of this biz (there's other parts, too, but the above is significant) More thoughts here: [thespec.com...]

If I am too subtle, I do not like their biz plan. Period.

DeeCee




msg:4423491
 8:51 am on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

tangor, as is probably obvious by now, I agree with you. :)

Their attempt to make their users responsible will fail, because in 99% or more of their content, those users have absolutely no rights to the images they post. Lifted from web-sites, those users are mere third-party with no rights, and Pinterest both provide the theft tools and have the financial incentive to let their user do it. That business model will fail.

Its also fun to notice in that regard, that the TOS you show above says that the user (who typically owns nothing) is expected to
grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.

So, even if you do own the images you make the Pinterest bots steal, by posting your images you have given Cold Brew Labs the right to sell, use, modify and make as much money as they can from your images.

I simply do not understand why anyone that legally owns images would want to give that level of rights away to a content scraper site.

If, as is obviously the case for most of their users, the poster owns nothing, then they cannot legally given away rights to something they do not own.

In either case, Pinterest show a business model based entirely on content theft. Any valid (legal) image they can get stashed in their databases, they by the TOS will take ownership for.

It is the most unsound business model I have ever heard of since Napster. Pretty much guaranteed to be taken down as "organized theft".

Pfui




msg:4423821
 8:31 pm on Mar 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Unless/until they cloak their UA (which would be a legally stupid move on their part) --

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(botbait|robots)
RewriteRule .* - [F]

-- is how I opt-out:)

helleborine




msg:4434238
 2:38 am on Mar 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(botbait|robots)
RewriteRule .* - [F]


Has this code been proven to work? I very much need to opt out of pinterest, and I can't possibly re-code thousands of pages.

It would be a godsend.

DeeCee




msg:4434668
 4:22 am on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Pinterest images can be put up in two ways. Either users use Pinterest as the theft tool, in which case the Pinterest bot shows up. That is what the .htaccess code blocks. The second way is if users manually download your image and upload it to Pinterest, in which case blocking Pinterest will not help, if they do not know. The meta tag can block those too, but only if the user tells them that it was taken from that specific page on your site. If they merely use your image to show something else, the connection to you is unknown.

The code can be simplified a little. One of the lines is specific to Pfui doing some variable checking.

So assuming that they always come in with a user-agent containing the word Pinterest, it just does a fail condition on that

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F]

helleborine




msg:4434795
 1:43 pm on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you!

I have implemented this. It does appear that most of the pinning shows through with Pinterest as user-agent and a blank ref.

DeeCee




msg:4434841
 3:06 pm on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

One of the other bad things about Pinterest, on the side of theft of course, is that they KNOW that since the images have a high likelihood of being stolen, they copy the images in full-size to their own database. Obviously to prevent the original site from "damaging" Cold Brew Labs' web-site by blocking the images AFTER they have been used to create a pin-board. As they surely would, if they were hot-linked.

As long as their robot use the agent-string with Pinterest in it, the .htaccess code above will prevent their bots from snatching that first copy of an image. Nothing prevents the user from, upon seeing that failure, manually taking your image and uploading it, if they really want it.

In either case Pinterest is basing their business on theft. My estimate is still the same. In their current form, they will not survive too long. Soon only marketers and sellers (who actually might own their images) will be able to use Pinterest, which will automatically send the 14 Mill eyeballs they all want scurrying for the hills.

Pinterest is also starting to have other negative side-effects. My spam-blocker software is catching more and more Blog Spam that points directly to Pinboards containing merely an advertising image linking to their real web-site. Pinterest simply becoming a redirect, hiding what would otherwise be a direct advertising link to the Spammers own site.

I guess the spammers think that by carrying a Pinterest link, they are less likely to be blocked out as Spam. (Not so. :))

ken_b




msg:4466818
 5:59 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

OK, so I forgot this stuff until just now when I spotted Pinterest in my inbound links.

If I install the <meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" /> now, will all the already pinned images come down at P?

What about the htacess code shown in this thread? Any retroactive effect?

.

helleborine




msg:4466826
 6:20 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

No retroactive effect.

You still have to file DMCAs.

ken_b




msg:4466936
 11:04 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

You still have to file DMCAs.


For every image? Or for each pinterest pinner?

Leosghost




msg:4466939
 11:10 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

oh yes :((..."Augean stables" gig ..:((

btw note to admins

the original thread title

"Pinterest Clears Up Copyright Fears With Site Opt-Out"

would be far more accurate if it were changed to
"Pinterest attempts to defuse / sidestep Copyright Fears With Site Opt-Out"


Especially as this thread got revived ..and that Pinterest were / are still just "buck passing" and hiding behind their users...

helleborine




msg:4466957
 11:55 pm on Jun 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree with Leosghost ;-)

@ ken_b - check this blog post:
[pinterest-out.blogspot.com...]

If you use Pinterest's online form, they keep your image in two formats, so your material could still be embedded or hotlinked by websites without your knowledge or permission, this AFTER filing a DMCA with Pinterest. To get Pinterest to actually clear your images, you need to send them an email as instructed.

Check this also, it's useful:
[pinterest-out.blogspot.com...]

In the month of May, this blog had 8 different posts on how to FIND your work on Pinterest. It's really not straightforward.

helleborine




msg:4466962
 12:09 am on Jun 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

PRO TIP

If you email Pinterest and give them hell about the nopin meta-tag and threaten them with a lawsuit, they will block your domain(s) from being pinnable FROM THEIR END.

Even that isn't foolproof, somehow pinners can still sometimes pin through that block. As a backup, also use .htaccess:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} Pinterest [NC]
RewriteRule .*\.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://farm6\.staticflickr\.com/5275/7000674678_c5a1b80ba4\.jpg [R]


This one will replace the pinned image by a copyright warning.

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