Pinterest TOS Changes Remove Their Right To Sell Content, Hint At API & Private Pinboards

pinterest-logo-220Pinterest’s terms of service are changing, and changing for the better. A very straightforward email was sent out to Pinterest users today notifying them of upcoming changes to the terms that will become effective on April 6th.  Some of the language changes were implemented due to two big feature changes, private pinboards and a Pinterest API.

The notice had 4 main sections that were changing:

  • Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
  • We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse.We released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements.
  • Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.
The terms that had been causing the biggest stir were the sections granting Pinterest the ability to sell user’s content.  Here are the old Pinterest terms:
By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs 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.

and the new Pinterest terms, effective April 6th:

Subject to any applicable account settings you select, you grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify (e.g., re-format), re-arrange, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest for the purposes of operating and providing the Service(s) to you and to our other Users. (Section 1b)

This is a strong and very open move from Pinterest that should help calm any fears that users may have.  For more information see the new Pinterest terms of service.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Pinterest | Pinterest: Legal | Pinterest: User Interface | Social Media Marketing | Top News


About The Author: is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

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  • Anton Stetner

    You could see this had to be coming or they were going to get sued.

  • Mitch Labuda

    There’;s more to the TOS than what is mentioned.

    “How long we keep your content: Following termination or deactivation of your account, or if you remove any User Content from your account or your boards, Pinterest may retain your User Content for a commercially reasonable period of time for backup, archival, or audit purposes. Furthermore, Pinterest and other Users may retain and continue to display, reproduce, re-pin, modify, re-arrange, and distribute any of your User Content that other Users have re-pinned to their own boards or which you have posted to public or semi-public areas of the Service.”

    So, if, I had an account and closed it, the site could, may, use my content, regardless.

    In the off line world, when agreement is ended, it is ended, here the agreement could continue despite me ending it.

    And then;

    “We reserve the right, but are not obligated, to remove User Content from the Service for any reason, including User Content that we believe violates these Terms or the Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy.”

    Yet, the DMCA is followed, so is take down content or leave it up?

  • Anonymous

    They’re improved but I still find these terms unacceptable. If I post a photo of mine on their site they have the IRREVOCABLE right to reuse it or give royalty free licence on my work. That to me is still outrageous and begs the question, why do they need/want that? Can you imagine if Pinterest was for music and a young Bruce Springsteen posted a song there thus giving Pinterest the irrevocable rights to use that music, alter it, etc. in a royalty free way in perpetuity? 

  • Matt McGee

    “…why do they need/want that?”

    Because that makes it possible for other users to repin your stuff, which gives you much more visibility. When you see “reuse” in that sentence, think “repin.”

  • Anonymous


  • Ruth O’Leary

    What really gets me is that posting other people’s content (including my own), invariably without their permission or even any attribution, seems to be Pinterest’s entire business model.  They discourage pinning content you yourself have created, and encourage pinning things you’ve found elsewhere.  In other words, they are actively encouraging and enabling copyright infringement on a grand scale.  If this had been music not images, they’d have been arrested by now!

    As it is, they’ll all become millionaires in the inevitable sell-out or IPO, entirely off the back of other people’s content, without those of use whose creativity is being abused earning a penny.

  • Anonymous

    I also think as like as
    Anton Stetner

  • Anonymous

    Digg, Facebook, YouTube still have right to “sell” your content. Who cares? All your base belong to Google/YouTube/Facebook anyways.

  • Ruth O’Leary

    Giving them the right sell your content is one thing: that’s your choice.  Claiming the right to sell content placed there as part of illegal copyright infringement is quite another.  I have never given anyone permission to add my content to Pinterest, but people add it anyway, and now Pinterest seem to think they can do what they like with it.

    This is just plain wrong.  If it’s wrong to do exactly this with music and videos, why is it seemingly perfectly acceptable with images?  There should be a level playing field here – if they’re making money off piracy then it should be stopped.

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