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Pinterest and Napster

What is the legal difference between Pinterest and Napster

     
4:00 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Pinterest always makes me think of Napster. About 15 years ago it was perfectly "normal" to upload and share copyrighted work (music) through Napster. Everyone was using it. Even my bosses wife had Napster on her PC at work to download music.

I just had a look at what Wikipedia had to say about Napster and the "Legal challenges", "Lawsuit" and "Shutdown" parts are quite interesting.
Napster's problem was the sharing of copyrighted material and not being able to prevent copyright violations 100%. Pinterest is doing the same thing. Maybe it's only a matter of time before Pinterest faces legal problems.
4:24 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What is the legal difference between Pinterest and Napster

Lawyers acting for the RIAA, Lars Ulrich etc.

Webmasters do not have that kind of muscle.

...
4:35 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Big websites have plenty of muscle, so do image libraries etc.

One critical difference is Napster (according to Wikipedia_ could not "restrict access to infringing material when informed of that material's location". I am pretty sure Pinterest will pull an image if they the a DMCA letter.

There there are things like the intent behind it, with relation to contributory and vicarious infringement. Pinterest is essentially a social network around photos. A lot of people use it to share their own photos, although obviously some people do breach copyrights, it has proven substantial non-infringing use. Pinterest is more like Youtube or Flickr

Finally, it would be quite hard to shut down Pinterest without applying the same rules to FB, and the judges and their families use FB!
4:52 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The lawyers of the copyright owners whose content was placed by the "sharers" on Napster were bigger than Napster's lawyers..
And the big music copyright owners had more money to pay their lawyers with..so Napster had to shut down or the owners of Napster would have lost everything ( their houses etc ) and maybe gone to jail..

Pinterest on the other hand is owned ( and backed ) by people who have big lawyers ( and they have deep pockets to pay them to go up against the small copyright owners, and drag out cases in court )..Pinterest is very careful not to allow "sharers" to upload images that belong to "big image" owners , such as Getty etc..
So, Pinterest doesn't have to worry about going up against any one who could pay lawyers through long drawn out court cases,
taking Pinterest to court..
Thus due to the prohibitive cost of legal action against Pinterest by "small copyright owners" ..
Pinterest ( and its owners and backers ) get to profit from breaking the law and to thwart searches for one's images by requiring registration..
The only way to get Pinterest to stop allowing it's "sharers" to upload images that they do not personally own the copyright to would be
if lawyers would take on Pinterest under a class action..
The image owners would gain nothing after Pinterest had lost and the lawyers had taken their fees of course..
And even after such a case , any other Pinterest clone ( of which there are already many ) could simply start the whole thing over again..as long as they were in the U.S.A.

In most countries outside the U.S.A..( and in all of the EU countries ) Pinterest ' and any similar site would have been shut down by the legal departments of the various governments..image owners would not have to take Pinterest to court themselves..This is why many U.S.A internet companies do not have equivalents in the EU..here one is not allowed to start a company whose business model is illegal and wait until someone with more money then you can afford the time and energy to get the company shut down..

I wonder if Pinterest facilitation of copyright abuse is not a matter for the F.B.I..
As I understand it, a business model which depends on breaking the law by its users or the company itself is illegal in the U.S.A and can be investigated and prosecuted by the federal authorities..

DMCA ( which Pinterest and others hide behind, along with their registration walls ) would appear to have been written as a "steal anything, as long as it is from the little people and you take it down quick if they find out, and you can make it hard to find out that you have it "..or as a "licence to rip off the little people's copyright as long as you have deep pockets and expensive lawyers, and the right backers"..

I have wondered how long it would take for google to announce that they were buying Pinterest ( after all, they bought Youtube which had a "to hell with copyright" / and now has a "to hell with little people's copyright" )..I have always thought that Google "promoted" Pinterest because it was owned and backed by the "right people" in Google's eyes..

It is the only "warez" / "copyright abuse" site ( that Google do not own directly ) that Google do not actively demote in SERPs..

Maybe Google will yet buy Pinterest..or maybe they hope that they can one day get the go ahead to put ads around all the images in "image search" or in "Google Photos"..
6:14 pm on May 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Sad thing is there's been no legal challenge so far.

Other thing is we (as a forum community) can't give legal advice. :)

That said, we can see the ducks and know they quack and it will take somebody bigger than Mr/s Website to take them on. Looks like a gubermint (sic) task to me. (winkers)
5:36 am on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if Pinterest facilitation of copyright abuse is not a matter for the F.B.I..


Maybe it is. Look at what happened to Megaupload owned by Kim Dotcom. I know Megaupload was not just photos but it was about copyright violations too and making it easy for users to violate copyrights.

From Wikipedia's Kim Dotcom page:
"In January 2012, the New Zealand Police placed him in custody in response to US charges of criminal copyright infringement in relation to his Megaupload website."
1:06 pm on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Look at what happened to Megaupload

As with Napster, Megaupload upset some very powerful people.

The authorities were encouraged to take action by the MPAA, which represents Hollywood's major players - Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Columbia and Warner.

Pinterest is careful not to upset people with influence, but webmasters don't qualify.

"Money doesn't talk, it swears."

...
 

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