Pinterest: glorified window shopping not a theft ring.
Pinterest, man how many times do you see that word in social media these days? I find that lately I am not only seeing it in social media but also hearing it around the girls dance studio and the hockey rink. And, you have to admit it is an addictive guilty pleasure. Window shopping and finding new brands, laughing at funny pictures and finding new recipes, whats not to like? Well, I have seen plenty of people panicking and warning others of the dangers of copyright violations. In reality, Pinterest is online window shopping to the extreme, so I am not too worried right now.
Let's look at it this way, brands are LOVING it, no doubt. That alone is a reason to not get all upset about it. I cant tell you how many times I found something cute I liked only to click thru Pinterest to the brand page to find out its sold out. C'mon folks that is marketing gold! Companies are putting their catalogs out there online to get lure prospective buyers. Pinners on Pinterest arent copying the item to sell to others to make a profit, they are complimenting it, saying the love it and getting their pin followers to do the same. Photographers are being discovered, brands are finding new customers and blogs are finding new readers.
So far, I have yet to see someone complain (unless I missed it, and if I did, be sure to share it in the comments section) that someone pinning their blog or item from their online store is in violation of copyright infringement, so why should we be so worried. The complaints I have seen are the ones from bloggers or marketers warning of the potential dangers, no specific, "Hey someone on Pinterest stole my work". These folks arent complaining cause it's boosting their business. I will admit, we have seen an increase in traffic thru Pinterest specifically and I wouldn't complain one bit if someone Pinned our blog or a site that we developed, because you know what they aren't stealing it from me and passing it off as their own. That can happen even if Pinterest didn't exist. No, these Pinners are giving us a great form of flattery, they are telling others that they should check us out. So, for now, I say Pin away and help boost a brand you love, keeping them in business means you can love your brand even longer!