Three Tips for Avoiding Copyright Infringement When Using Pinterest

Today, we move into Week 2 of Pinterest Prep School. Our guest columnist, Teresa Simon, introduces us to an often overlooked, yet critically important, aspect of Pinterest: Copyright.

Copyright Violations? No Way!

By Teresa Simon
Guest Columnist

A current concern regarding Pinterest centers on the potential for copyright violations. In simple terms, copyright infringement occurs when someone’s content is used without permission.

When you agree to the terms and conditions of being a Pinterest member, you agree to respect and uphold copyright and other laws related to content. That means you (not Pinterest) are responsible for any copyright violations that may occur when you pin or repin content.

Here are some guidelines to help avoid copyright infringement when using Pinterest.

1.  Ensure you are crediting the original source when pinning or repinning content to your boards. Pinterest’s Pin Etiquette guidelines note that Pins are most useful when they have links back to the original source. Finding the original source is preferable to secondary sources like image search results or blog entries.

Many website owners and bloggers repost images from other sites. They may or may not cite the source. Whether pinning or repinning, it’s always a good idea to follow the link trail back to make sure you are referencing the original source.

2.  Check the original source for a copyright notice or instructions on how content can be used. Site owners sometimes specify guidelines for how their material can be used.

If content can be used with permission, contact the owner before pinning it to your boards. If material can be used if the source is credited, pin the image directly from the owner’s site and not a secondary source.

3.  As with the pin in the image shown, you can also consider listing the source directly in your comments for the pin. This pin points to HGTV instructions for how to frame a plate glass wall mirror.

Do you have other suggestions for avoiding copyright violations on Pinterest?

Also in this series

  1. Getting Started With Pinterest
  2. 3 Reasons I (and 11 million other people) Like Pinterest
  3. 3 More Reasons to Love Pinterest


Teresa Simon has worked for over a decade in management consulting and for Microsoft. She’s currently on hiatus with her young children and works as a freelance writer. She has written for Focus on the Family and blogs about using everyday life to teach kids about God.

Follow Teresa on Pinterest or visit her at