Understanding the Pinterest Terms of Service changes

Pinterest Cool Mom PicksToday Pinterest announced changes in their Terms of Service, which go into effect April 6, and people are chattering. It’s as if Pinterest is now so popular, their users are heading towards the fourth stage of social media networking. As in: 1. Excitement, 2. Evangelism, 3. Skepticism, 4. Paranoia about all the idiots who’ve devised ways to ruin everything for everyone.

(Kidding of course. Kind of.)

But in all honesty, what started as a lovely social sharing resource for the design community has blown up to be so big, it makes sense that Pinterest is adapting with their own growth–and the ways that people seek to use it now. And it’s perfect timing, with the new redesign that just launched a couple of weeks ago.

Here are a few of the important changes that they noted in particular:

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 Policyand 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. [see the Pinterest copyright infringement notification form here.]

•Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.

This last one we think is of particular interest–it’s exciting to
think that you can now create private inspiration board without having
to get involved with the community aspect that can be time consuming, or
even intrusive. If we’re pulling together pins to throw a secret Cool
Mom Tech launch party for example, it would be nice to pull together resources into a a board that we can keep all secret-like

Hope this helps – and happy pinning! -Liz

Do we love Pinterest? Yes we do! You can follow our boards for Cool Mom Tech and Cool Mom Picks any time, and even repin our credited content right from a dandy “pinterest” link at the bottom of any post.

And for more ideas on how to use Pinterest, see this post with amazing suggestions from our own readers.

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.


  • Reply March 24, 2012


    Don’t hold your breath for private boards from Pinterest – they’ve talked about it for over a year now.

    There are alternatives available now: Private Boards For Pinterest Users

  • Reply March 25, 2012


    They still haven’t begun to address the biggest problem, which is that probably a majority of photos “pinned” on there have been pinned without permission from the copyright holder. They still recognize it as a potential problem, because they also didn’t change the language that sticks the Pinterest user with all legal fees in case of a lawsuit. I would like to see them (a) add language to the dialogue box that pops up when you hit the “pin it” button, along the lines of “By pinning the photo I certify that I own the copyright or have permission from the copyright holder”, and (b) offer “opt-in” code to websites and blogs, code you have to install for the pin it button to work on your stuff, and code you can only get if you agree not to sue anyone. Until these things are done the whole Pinterest party (and I loved Pinterest!) is one big illegal free for all with potentially Napster-ish consequences.

  • Cool Mom Picks
    Reply March 25, 2012

    Cool Mom Picks

    We’ve definitely heard this POV before…but then, this is no different than putting up a photo on facebook or twitter without getting permission from the copyright holder (let alone a blog). It seems to us that if your pin links directly back to the source (or cites the source) it may qualify under fair use.

    Personally, we’re more concerned about tumblr, where there’s no citing of sources whatsoever and content is so easily swiped.

    The best quote we’ve heard about the situation is from an attorney specializing in new media, on this NPR interview this week: I don’t think the current regulations have kept up with the technology and we don’t want to stifle either the creativity of the artist or the ancillary creativity of those who are viewing the arts. And so, because of that, I think that it is time for the Copyright Act to come current and figure out how it can coexist with technology in the modern world.

  • Reply March 25, 2012


    I was going to complain about the “Friend Suggestions” I was seeing (from Facebook) as of about 4 days ago. Complaining because I don’t have my Pinterest acct conncted to FB! But I checked, and maybe they’ve resolved that.

    And now, I’m going to post a positive: I love that Pinterest allows you to remove comments on pictures you pin, because I just removed one and if I hadn’t been able to, I would have deleted the pin!

    Yes, I love Pinterest, but would like to keep my FB world separate!

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