There is huge fuss around newly launched web service Pinterest, the internet pin-board.  As you surf the internet you can pin images to your Pinterest board and organise your collection, sharing it with others.

Pinterest is currently invite only however it's easy to request an invitation, or get one from a friend already on the service.  They have clearly went for the Google school of thought -- launch a product in pseudo closed mode, generate hype and have everyone desperate for an invitation.

I do however have a big problem with Pinterest -- they take a copy of the images and store them!

Perhaps what people are not fully appreciating is that when you pin an image to your pin-board the image is actually being uploaded to the Pinterest servers.  Is this a problem?  Well, personally I think it is.  Let's assume it is a digital photograph you shared with a group of friends, maybe even privately in a closed group on your favourite social networking site.  If one of these friends 'pins' it then a copy now exists on the Pinterest servers.  Later you decide to remove that picture -- you delete it from your social pages, but you can not remove it from Pinterest.  In fact you may not even know it is there!

This opens up a whole copyright issue surely?  Pinterest are not claiming any ownership, however they are storing it without your consent.  Their website has a section on how they handle copyright, however it is a bit of a process and you need to write to them (yes, by snail mail).

So:

  • How do you even know if your image is on their server?
  • How do you find it in the first place?
  • How helpful will Pinterest be if you simply ask if they have a certain image?
  • How will they identify it?
  • Surely they could simply link to the image, rather than copy it?

Who knows the answers to these questions.

To be fair it is not impossible to grab any image from the web and store it on your computer, however this just makes it far too simple.  Back to my initial point....they are storing the image and sharing it with the world, without your consent.

I personally do not have a need for such a tool, however who is to say that some of my images are not already on Pinterest somewhere, pinned by someone!

What do you think?

UPDATE:  Pinterest add Opt-Out

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