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Copyrights addressed by new Pinterest terms of service

3/27/2012

With traffic up 52 percent between January and February, social bookmarking site Pinterest announced on March 23 that it will update its privacy policy, terms of service and acceptable use policy.

Among the changes, the terms of use will no longer state that Pinterest has the right to sell users' posted content.

"Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated terms," wrote CEO Ben Silbermann in a blog post announcing the changes.

The new use policy will ban content that explicitly encourages self-harm, and will include new, simpler processes for reporting copyright and trademark infringements. Pinterest's copyright provisions have been under public scrutiny following a February 24 blog post by lawyer and photographer Kristen Kowalski. In the post, she asserted the site's previous terms of use shifted all responsibility for copyright and trademark violations to users, while Pinterest had its "keester covered."

The new privacy and acceptable use policies took effect March 23, and the new terms of service will take effect April 6.

Other companies - notably Google - have also been under pressure recently for changes to privacy policy and terms of use agreements. Google's new policy, which combined dozens of disparate policies into a single agreement, took effect March 1. The California-based company now faces a class-action lawsuit, in which plaintiffs allege the new policy violates the previous terms and does not include an appropriate opt-out mechanism.