Pinterest Changes Terms of Service In A Pro-Consumer Way

    March 26, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Terms of service is one of those things that every social media service has and many users never read. If you do take the time to read them, however, you learn the horrifying truth that most Web sites don’t care about you, just your content. They even go so far as to say they own you and your content for promotional and advertising purposes. That’s why it’s a breath of fresh air to see Pinterest‘s updated terms of service to be so pro-consumer.

The Pinterest team let the world know in a blog post that they have updated their terms of service now that they have become the biggest thing since Twitter, even surpassing the micro-blogging site in terms of referrals. The new terms of service, according to the team, are “easier to understand and better reflect the direction our company is headed in the future.” If the new terms are any indication, that future is going to be bright.

The first, and most important, change to their terms of service is that Pinterest can no longer sell your content. The original terms of service gave them this right and many social media sites still adhere to this term. Pinterest has removed this from their terms so users have full control over their content.

The second new term is a bit more murky but it’s understandable. Pinterest will no longer allow users to post images that encourage self-harm or self-abuse. I wasn’t aware of people using the service for this reason, but it’s never cool to encourage such actions. While some may call it self-expression, I think we can all agree that we don’t need any more instruction manuals on slitting one’s own wrists.

In what previously a problem for the site, they now have simpler and better tools for reporting copyright violations. This should keep the copyright hounds at bay as Getty Images might start demanding Pinterest license its content for the users who post their images on the site.

Finally, the language in the terms of service now reflects their intention to create a Pinterest API and private pinboards. I don’t even want to know what a private pinboard could be used for, but I’m sure plenty of Pinterest fanatics are welcoming the idea.

If you want to read the entirety of the new terms of service, you can do so on their official Web site. I highly recommend it not just for the knowledge of what the fine print says, but also for a look at what a good terms of service should be.

  • http://pinfaves.com/ Gwendolyn

    We all glad they’re changed the terms of use, right?
    As a pinners, I also am very happy about this.
    It seems like Pinterest has a professional crew inside.
    How many times we get a social media that wants to change their terms just because all the complaining user?

    I love Pinterest. And I’m happier now.
    Oh, by the way, have you ever heard about http://pinfaves.com/ ?
    It’s a great site where you can submit your favorite pins, vote down bad pins and vote up great pins.
    maybe you should try it one day.

  • http://pbarnhart.com Phil Barnhart

    A suggestion – make sharing require a positive action to enable. The no-pin option just doesn’t cut it. As more sites like Pinterest and Tumblr go on encouraging content sharing, we cannot expect website owners to keep adding proprietary tags every time a new site needs to be blocked. After all, having an unlocked door does not give you permission to come into my house and take my pizza or borrow my books.

    Rather, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr et al should designate some simple tagging structure similar to robots meta and robots.txt – for example, calling it “do-share.” If I love the publicity, I can add a “do-share /” to my robots.txt file and be done. Or “do-share /public/iimages” would allow just the images in that directory to be pinned or tumbled. In addition, add a meta tag to the robots meta – “do-share.” And finally, add to the x-robots header standard to recognize “do-share” response headers.

    So don’t take my stuff unless I tell you its okay.