Why Claiming Your Copyright on Pinterest Is Important

Make sure others don't steal your stuff

Key Takeaways

  • Pinterest is launching a new portal for creators to claim their content, and giving them increased control over how it appears on the platform.
  • Pinterest users would hold the copyright to their original images, and duplicates could be automatically removed.
  • A Pinterest marketing expert says the change is positive for creators.
Someone using Pinterest on an ipad.

Pinterest

Pinterest gained a huge following over the last year, and it’s easy to see why.

As a kind of digital corkboard, the platform allows you to discover and save an impressive amount of interesting content tailored to your interests in a short amount of time.

But even though Pinterest is known for being a pretty positive place, it does have one issue: Sometimes content creators don’t get proper credit for their work. To change that, Pinterest is launching a new way for them to have more control over where their work ends up on the platform. 

"We’ve heard from creators that they want more control over where their content appears, including the ability to remove existing and future versions of their content, and we want to help enable that control," Pinterest wrote in an April 19 announcement.

Pinterest Creators Can 'Claim' Their Work

Pinterest says it has been working with a group of creators to launch this new feature, which it calls the Content Claiming Portal. To use it, a creator who holds the copyright to a work must undergo an application process.

When approved, Pinterest users can claim up to 50 images at a time, and decide how they want those images—or Pins—to appear on the platform. Users can request to block all instances of a work from the site, which will prompt Pinterest to remove any matching images it finds.

Members of the portal also can request to limit images to just Pins they originally saved, or those that link back to websites they choose.

A close-up of Pinterest open on a laptop.

Charles Deluvio / Unsplash

Access to the portal is currently only limited to certain Pinterest content creators, but the idea is to open it up to more people. 

In addition, Pinterest recently launched the Creator Code, which requires users to abide by a set of rules before posting Story Pins enabling video. Among the requirements are that the content is factual, inclusive, and does not harm or insult others. 

Why This Change Helps Creators

Some who use the app casually to find ideas may not notice much of a difference, but people who make a living promoting their content on the platform can benefit. 

As content gets shared across different users’ Pinterest boards, a person’s original links and subsequent credit as the original source of images may get removed—sometimes even intentionally, Pinterest marketing expert Tori Tait told Lifewire in an email.

This is important because content creators grow their audiences as people discover their Pins on the platform that links back to their own websites. 

Tait gives the example of a content creator sharing a recipe for a cocktail, which is linked back to their website with all of the information. But sometimes, people pin these images again and remove or change the link, which keeps the original content creator from benefitting. 

"This new feature, when rolled out to all content creators, would... weed out those dead-end Pins that lead them nowhere"

"However, as Pinterest proved more and more to be a platform that significantly sends traffic to content creators’ and brands’ websites, it also became a place where, on occasion, copyright infringement happened by other websites who would hijack an image from a content creator in an attempt to divert traffic to their own online properties," Tait said. 

Even before the Content Claiming Portal, Pinterest users have been able to report copyright infringement and request to remove the pin—but Tait explained that could lead to images correctly linked to a website being removed as well.

"This meant as a content creator, we had to choose from losing out on ALL the traffic or simply turning a blind eye to those iterations that were incorrectly linked," Tait said. 

Discovering Content on Pinterest

So, will this significantly change the experience of finding interesting things on Pinterest? 

"We don’t expect this to impact the discovery experience," according to an email from Pinterest. "We have more than 300 billion Pins on Pinterest and are excited about some new initiatives around creating native content on the platform so that we have lots of inspiring content to share with Pinners."  

According to Tait, it could actually improve the experience by ensuring that images are linked to the original content. 

"This new feature, when rolled out to all content creators, would essentially greatly improve the average pinners’ discovery process because it would weed out those dead-end Pins that lead them nowhere," Tait said.

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