Q&A: Using Other People’s Pinterest Images on your Blog

Question from Reddit, /u/chasing_stamps:

Question

I know it’s not really legal, but what is the risk level with using Pinterest photos on a site, putting the authors name and linking back to the source? I’ve seen so many sites do this (like buzzfeed) and they just have a line somewhere on the site that says “we don’t own these images” what’s the worst that can happen? They just ask you to take it down and you do it?

Response

Yeah, it’s probably a technical infringement unless you are providing some sort of commentary or critique (fair use). I would generally think the risk of actually getting pursued for infringement is low because people post stuff that they want to be shared. If you give a link back to the source, most people will be happy.

There could be a person out there who wants to pursue these types of claims though. I just think it’s not very likely. Of course, I’m sure it depends on what type of site you run and what you say about it.

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Leland Faux
Attorney Leland Faux blogs about trademark, copyright, and online business issues at Law of the Brand. You can submit a question by email to thelawofthebrand@gmail.com.

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