Author:Brad West

I live in Palm Coast, FL with my family and have assisted my local parish with our website and communications. Our parishes today can benefit a great deal from technology. Whether it's improving communications, community building, evangelizing, business operations, and much more; we have the tools today. To help provide some direction and advice to parishes and parishioners, I wrote and published an eBook titled "The Connected Church" which is available through Barnes and Noble (Nooks and Nook apps) as well as Amazon (Kindle and Kindle apps).
  • Lisa M. Hendey

    Let me set aside my cupcake craving to say, “Nicely done”. I am focusing on trying to pin things I “own” but this is also edifying my choices as a webmaster — are the articles I’m posting accompanied by “pinworthy” graphics that are attractive and eye catching? Pinterest is gaining ground as one of the leading traffic generators for my site, so for now I don’t think we can overlook its potential, but as always we do need to be careful about not “stealing” online.

  • Meredith Gould

    Totally agree and view Pinterest as a superb way to build faith — with or without church. I’ve zoomed in especially on the way it allows us to be present to beauty. This is something I’ve highlighted for my healthcare colleagues who face extraordinarily similar social media challenges as do those of us in the ministry of church communications:

  • Eric Gallagher

    I might also add that it is wise to also understand that in promoting the source for an image it can be dangerous to promote a source that less than worthy of being promoted.  So as with anything, where there is great beauty there also lies danger.  I caught myself pinning an image of the passion the other day from an extremely anti-Catholic site.  Just another thought.  Great post by the way.  It’s to good to hear people tackle to difficult questions that some would rather just not ask.

  • Alexander Weber

    Thank you for writing this article.  To be honest I never thought about copyright laws pertaining to Pinterest.  

  • Michele Quigley

    But, Pinterest’s Terms of Use says that 
    “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.” 
     It doesn’t say that by linking back to the site you are free of liability it says that you have granted them free use to whatever you have pinned AND that you had the right to do so. Whatever one’s intention might be the fact is that by agreeing to those terms of use and then violating them you are being dishonest. I realize Pinterest is fun and beautiful and yes even a good tool for evangeization but I am confused at why no one is addressing this point in particular.

  • Brad

    Great discussion. Pinterest has huge benefits obviously for web traffic, and I agree with Eric that we should also be aware of where the image is coming from as we could be promoting something contrary to our values both personally or as an organization.  

    I particularly like the creative and wide range of not-so-obvious uses there are for the service as Meredith pointed out.  Healthcare is a very interesting application.  Who honestly would have thought that simply sharing images could have so many great benefits, but it does.  

    Michele makes great points regarding the Terms (which are rarely read nowadays right?).  Social Networks legally have to add such wording to protect themselves from abuses of users sadly enough.  On the contrary, the arguments with individuals and the idea of sharing on the internet are often short-sighted.  Most see the benefits of having their material shared to a wide audience for the benefit of exposure.  Many feel this is “wrong” because they want the “traffic” coming directly to them from their efforts. I look at it from the perspective that if I was at an art show and told someone to “Hey look at this.” have I violated a copyright for sharing something I thought interesting?  

  • Michele Quigley

    Well there’s still a lot of debate about whether sharing is copyright infringement. I think it’s important to make sure proper credit is given as a matter of justice. In regards to the part I posted earlier, the fact is you can’t grant a property right that you don’t have, so you aren’t really granting Pinterest anything by posting someone else’s work. But by agreeing to the terms that say you DO have those rights and pinning anyway, aren’t you lying?

    • Lisa M. Hendey

      Michele, I am so happy to be having this dialogue — as in so many other areas of the New Evangelization, I think we are grappling with these issues and setting a course as they come up. I just resolved a major concern about this in my own heart by writing to a webmaster whose art/posts I would like to pin on a regular basis. I asked him straight out if I could have permission to link to his pages and his response was a loud and clear “yes”. In fact, he seemed thrilled by the prospect. That being said, I am going to really focus on using Pinterest to link only to my own site and one or two other approved resources until we receive more clarification on this topic. And I believe that will be coming very soon, as the site continues to grow at a crazy pace. Our Catholic community on the Catholic Pinterest board founded by Allison Girone is growing so quickly too, and there are plenty of wonderful content ideas to repin there.

      • Michele Quigley

        Lisa, I thinking getting permission is important and I am sure he appreciates it. But does the man know that by your pinning his art/posts you are giving Pinterest 
        ” 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 ” his art/posts? I wonder how many people would grant permission if presented with those terms?

        Pinning to your own site helps with the copyright issues but then Pinterest itself discourages pinning your own work –and again it still means you give them all the rights above. :/

        I *do* hope they get it worked out because yes I do see it’s great potential.

  • Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

    Interesting discussion. I’d like to see some answers to Michele Quigley’s questions though before I jump into Pinterest.

  • Brad

    Michele, that’s a great question and point.  I do agree that their wording is confusing in regards to rights.  There is a part after that which clarifies it more I think with “You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.”  I’m sure they will be tweaking their wording for years to come. 

    So are you implying you do have the right to promote that image online?  Yes because it has been posted online for the world to see and you are merely linking to it (fair use).  Now if you downloaded the image and uploaded it to Pinterest as your own work then you are violating copyrights.  Granted there is the issue that you may be linking to something that someone else may have infringed upon a copyright which is where Pinterest has to protect itself.  What I see as getting confused is the entire concept of promotion or social sharing online (I am not a copyright lawyer, and nor am I claiming to be).  We forget about the offline world.  Artists have always wanted people to tell others to “listen to this song” or “check out this great work of art”.  That is what the social web intends to mimic and enhance.  Obviously duplicating another’s copyrighted work is easier online and is where the issue comes in.  But I personally do not see Pinterest as a service being a copyright infringement because it’s simply an organized means of promoting other’s works.   

    • Michele Quigley

      Brad wrote: ” So are you implying you do have the right to promote that image online?  Yes because it has been posted online for the world to see and you are merely linking to it (fair use).” But IS IT fair use? There’s quite a few people who would argue that point with you. Keep in mind that Pinterest isn’t just linking back to the source they are copying and displaying a full resolution image and they are *stripping the meta data* from that image as well. Why does that matter? Well here’s what one blogger had to say: [Not only do the TOS have you grant the the rights to sell your ‘member content’ whether you have the right to do that or not, but as far as I can tell if you download a photo from pinterest you aren’t guaranteed to get the EXIF meta-information.  So let’s say you normally publish your photos elsewhere, say google+ or Flickr and put a copyright and perhaps a creative commons license in the EXIF data. Then someone pins it, and someone else downloads the picture from the pin. There is no claim of copyright in the downloaded file. So an ‘innocent’ downloader might assume he is free to do anything with the photo.Lots of people from lowly amateurs like me, to well known photographers like Trey Ratcliff use social sites to put our works in front of others, with copyrights and a creative commons licence restricted to non-commercial use with attribution and perhaps without permitting derivative works. Trey makes a good deal of money this way when people who want to use his work commercially come to him for the appropriate paid license.]  Again I feel like this is a matter of justice.  Pinterest could easily amend their terms of use (much like what Facebook does in limiting their ability to use your content and the fact that their license to your content ends when you delete your content or your account) but they have yet to do so. As it stands now Pinterest’s terms say that their license to your content is irrevocable. Why? It just isn’t necessary and it sounds very fishy to me. I can’t, in good conscience, be there.