Pinterest Takes A Small Step Toward Fighting Copyright With Opt-Out Meta Tag

pinterest-logoAs the noise continues to grow surrounding Pinterest and its potential legal headaches, the image-based social network has taken a small step toward placating website owners concerned with potential copyright violations.

As LL Social pointed out yesterday, Pinterest is supporting a “nopin” meta tag that will prevent users from pinning images directly from the site where the code is installed. The meta tag can be found at the bottom of Pinterest’s Help page, under a heading that says “What if I don’t want images from my site to be pinned?” It’s a simple piece of code:

meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin”

What The Tag Prevents (And What It Doesn’t)

When the tag is installed and a Pinterest user tries to pin an image from the site where it’s installed, a popup message appears telling the user that the site doesn’t allow its images to be pinned. I installed the meta tag on my Small Business Search Marketing blog and, when I tried to pin an image from one of my articles, this pop-up appeared:

Likewise, if I go to and use the “Add” option, the meta tag will block pinning if I provide a URL from my domain. In that case, the message on looks like this:


But the meta tag doesn’t completely prevent a site’s images from showing up on Pinterest. It doesn’t stop the user from downloading the image and then pinning it directly via upload; it only prevents pinning when the URL of the site with the meta tag is involved.

So, as I said, it’s a small step. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann told LL Social that more will be done in the future related to copyright concerns.

On an semi-related note, the LL Social article also mentions that Pinterest is now limiting users to 500 characters in the Description field for their pins. In some cases, this will prevent users from putting so much text with their pins that viewers don’t need to click through to visit the site where the image is hosted.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Legal: Copyright & Trademark | Pinterest | Pinterest: Legal | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Ben Cook

    The bigger issue IMO is that Pinterest is silently acquiring “perpetual, irrevocable, transferable” rights to any images that ARE uploaded by the image owner.

  • Anonymous

    Does it help that any image that I post that is ‘mine!’ is appropriately watermarked?

  • Daniel Kidd

    I don’t think it would be the best idea for websites to use the nopin tag. Especially as it sometimes leads to traffic for the site hosting the photos.
    All this will do is make people save the image to their computer and upload to their own sites, leading to a loss in traffic for the site that owns copyright to the image.

  • Ann-Marie Fleming

    Just for the record – everyone is welcome to pin our images :) The more the merrier!

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s great that Pinterest is providing this as an option, but I also hope many publishers don’t take advantage of this. The power of Pinterest for building a brand and the sharing aspect of the service would allow a publisher to grow its audience!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard alot about this new tag but it is not working on my blog. So far I have sent certified letters to Mr. Silberman and while they remove the current stolen images they are doing nothing to prevent further theft. I would think a filter for all of us to opt out and putting the onus on Pinterest to prevent theft of our photos would be smart instead of trying to make us track it down, spend our money on cease and desist letters and keep their millions of users from stealing our photos. Oh, and not to mention when Pinterset consolidates pins from our websites they do NOT provide a complete url to the source. Can you please help me with info on how and where to install their bit of code so the code will work on my blogger blog? I have installed it but it is not working. I am at Thanks in advance.

  • Ciaran

    A very small step.

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