On 23 March 2012 Pinterest changed its TOS.

I believe in the power of the internet to support communities, share information and learn about the universe.  I submit Instructables, post how-to videos and mentor students around the globe.  I use open source and creative commons just as much as I add to it.

Yet Pinterest makes me uncomfortable.  This social media service assumes that any visual content is there for the taking.  Their ‘pin it’ button seamlessly integrates copyrighted material into the Pinterest licensing system. It's just a little too slick not to wonder what's happening behind their closed doors.

I am not going to delve into the legality of Pinterest TOS nor how many users are pinning content without copyright approval.  That will be played out over time by those far more qualified than myself.

What I want to share with you is the understanding that Pinterest is a tool.  And just like any other tool you need to use it wisely to support your needs or it will use you.  The following is a heirarchy of methods I employ when sharing information on the internet and specifically addresses the optimization of Pinterest.

Step 1: Basic Guidelines

Only upload an content of which you want used, shared and promoted.

Prevent loss of attribution by placing a watermark on the image itself.

Make it easy for current social media to link back to your website by using plug-ins and apps.
<p>It's funny to run across your Instructable here, now, today because just a couple of days ago I sent Pinterest a not-so flattering email about their method of operation. There is something very dark about the way the website works to a possible new member. Practically forcing me to become a member before I even know if I want to be a member, but I rant on, sorry! And thank you for this post!! </p>
hank you for this useful tutorial
Thank you for sharing this information, Lynne. I'm relatively new to Pinterest and I hadn't quite decided what to make of it. You helped clear my head! ;-)
omgosh... this dress is a work of art!!!
Hey... I follow you on Pinterest and am happy for the tutorials and inspiration - so thanks :) Just thought someone should to bring to your attention the way links are handled by Pinterest (which I see have affected some of your pins). If you use a link shortener, Pinterest thinks it's a &quot;suspicious&quot; link and won't link to your post. If you post a long link in comments, it will truncate it. It's best to add a complete URL (not shortened one) in the link field and ask people to click through to the image - although most people who've been on Pinterest for a while already know to click. Looking forward to what you'll put up next!
thanks for the update! Once upon a time bitlys were allowed. I see I have some cleaning up to do. Thanks for letting me know!
thank you for this useful tutorial, now i know i need to put this code at my download area <br /> <br />
thanks! <br />Pinterest is frequently changing - read its TOS for the latest updates.
It seams like everywhere I turn you are there, But thats a good thing! Just this morning my wife was rumbling off something about Pintrest, and I remembered seeing that word on this site, so I looked it up. And you wrote it, cool!!!! Great Job really good info.
Thanks. Its a pleasure to be in my studio making, creating and sharing my ideas with you. Stay tuned..... theres more to come.
It always amazes me that website owners spend tons of money and time to drive traffic to their site, promote their content, and spread their stories and yet they are all terrified that someone might violate their copyright! They ruin their images with watermarks (even those that are so bad no one would WANT to steal them) and think they have a copyright on every individual word they write!<br><br>As far as I can see, only the tiniest bit of a site (one photo) is pinned to Pinterest, and each is linked back to the originating site. Nothing appears to violate the fair use provisions of the copyright laws.<br><br>If there are any Pinterest users reading this, feel free to go to me site -- www.StageThreeCreations.com -- and pin to your hearts content!!!
Imagine the joys of a professional photographer whose photos are pinned and redistributed without consent, attribution, or compensation. I love it when my stuff gets pinned (unusual uses ftw), but I can absolutely understand why someone might not want to enable massive theft of their work. Not everyone uses their website merely as a call for attention.
Yes indeed - it is all about choices and levels of shared communication.
A few hours ago Printerest was for me something I saw and heard about but had no idea what it actually is and does.<br><br>Reading your Instructables I feel almost like a pro - no fuss talk just straight to the core issues thanks to your step-by-step navigation around to murky legal matter.<br><br>Love the transparent Gif thing
Glad you have found the I'ble helpful.<br>
Be very carefull adding third party code to your hard made web pages because there are errors that can creep in when you add third party code, big errors !
its a good point. thanks.<br>its all a calculated risk....<br>which reminds me I need to back up all of my sites.<br><br>
Great article thanks
The new world is all about sharing. It's in the DNA of the youth.
Just as we have a hierarchy of sharing with friends, families and groups on FB, <br>within circles on g+ and degrees of creative commons licensing -<br>This instructable provides a hierarchy of sharing options on Pinterest.<br><br>Its about providing options so that the user can make choice that suits their specific need.<br><br><br>
Thank you, this is something I was just reading up about recently.

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