Copyright on Blipfoto images, and why we've blocked Pinterest
22nd February 2012
Pinterest is a relatively new social network, which has grown like crazy over the last 18 months. It's based around the idea of 'pinning' stuff you find around the web to 'boards' you keep on Pinterest. It's an interesting twist on social bookmarking, because it collects and displays visual content, rather than just listing and linking to the things you find interesting.
But because of the way it collects that content, it's been causing us an increasing amount of concern - and it seems we're far from alone. Every time a user 'pins' something, Pinterest takes a full-size copy of the image from the original source and stores it on their own servers. In short, they seem to be copying vast amounts of data, in many cases without the owners' consent.
We actively encourage people to share Blipfoto content as widely as possible, and provide a number of tools on every entry to make this easier - that's what makes the web and social media interesting. But this is always based on one important principle: you share a link back to the entry on Blipfoto, not the content of the entry itself.
That principle means the original contributor retains control of their material. If for any reason you want to delete something you've posted to Blipfoto - even if it's been shared on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else - you can be sure the source has gone forever.
In its current form, Pinterest crosses this line, takes control away from our contributors and potentially infringes their copyright - something we've always worked hard to protect. For these reasons, we've now blocked Blipfoto content from being posted to Pinterest.
We really hope they'll find a way to keep the idea alive without seeming to infringe the rights of other people's content. As soon as they do, we'll be happy to join in again.