Flickr update blocks Pinterest pins of copyrighted photos

no pin on flickr

Pinterest has just hit its first major roadblock. On Friday, photo-sharing giant Flickr confirmed with VentureBeat that it has blocked Pinterest users from “pinning” copyrighted photos on its site to Pinterest. The blockage is achieved using a do-not pin code released by Pinterest last Monday after allegations that the popular startup promoted wide-spread copyright infringement.

According to a Flickr representative, “only content that is ‘safe,’ ‘public’ and has the sharing button enabled can be pinned to Pinterest.” All other content — that which is copyright protected and does not allow sharing — is officially un-pinable.

For those of you who haven’t yet been hit with Pinterest fever: Pinterest allows users to “pin” (i.e. repost) photos from around the Web to their Pinterest “boards” using a bookmarklet installed in their browser. Other users can then re-pin that content to their own boards. While some argue that this is tantamount to copyright infringement, some experts assert that Pinterest is within the bounds of fair use. By releasing the no-pinning code, which can be installed on any Website by an administrator, Pinterest is further protecting itself against those who do not want their content shared on the site.

Unfortunately, Pinterest’s Terms of Service contain a troubling passage that should give any user pause. It reads:

By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs [Pinterest’s parent company] 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.

In plain English, that means any content posted to Pinterest (and thus uploaded to the Pinterest servers — in full-resolution, no less) essentially becomes the property of Pinterest, and can be reused however Pinterest sees fit. If that leads to a copyright infringement lawsuit, it is the user who posted the content — not Pinterest — who holds ultimate responsibility in the eyes of the court.

That said, the release of the no-pin code is evidence that Pinterest is taking the complaints seriously. Unfortunately, there’s only so much copyright protection Pinterest can offer. For example, a determined user is persistent can still grab copyright-protected content from Flickr by taking a screen shot – a simple task on Macs and PCs — and uploading that file directly to Pinterest.
As we reported earlier, not all content owners mind having their content pinned. Still an invite-only social network, Pinterest has already become the one of the fastest growing sites on the Web, having reached the 10 million unique monthly visitor mark sooner than any other site in history, according to comScore. This offers artists, retailers, and other content owners a fruitful level of free advertising.

Regardless of the potential benefits of Pinterest, the fact remains that content owners have the right to not have their work redistributed without consent. Pinterest’s no-pin code is a step in the right direction, and Flickr’s use of it proves a need exists for such tools. It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, employs the code next. Pinterest’s future may depend on it.

Smart Home

Amazon shows off compact cashier-free store that could show up at airports

Amazon is testing its smallest Amazon Go store to date as it considers taking the grab-and-go technology to new venues such as airports and train stations. The compact store is a quarter the size of its current locations.
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Computing

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.
Gaming

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.