Although the legal questions that dogged Pinterest earlier this year appear to have died down to some degree, the company has hired away one of Google’s attorneys to start its own legal department.
Michael Yang will begin as Pinterest’s General Counsel on June 18, a company spokesperson tells us. He’s their first internal attorney; Pinterest has been working with outside counsel to date. Business Insider reported the hiring earlier, saying that today is Yang’s last day at Google.
At Pinterest, copyright has so far been more of a thorn in the company’s side than privacy. Many of the images that users post on Pinterest come from third-party websites and are owned/copyrighted by someone other than the person pinning them. Pinterest has a fairly detailed Copyright page that explains how it handles removal requests from copyright owners. (That page used to list CEO Ben Silbermann as the contact person for copyright issues; it now lists “Pinterest Copyright Agent” as the point of contact.)
In February, Silbermann told the Wall Street Journal that copyright wasn’t a significant issue for Pinterest. The company has taken small steps to help image owners by supporting a “nopin” meta tag and partnering with Flickr to make sure images from that site have proper attribution.