In the ever changing world of social media, there’s pressure when something new comes out to be “the first” to integrate this product into your social media campaign. First twitter, Facebook and You Tube, the newest fad in social media is “Pinterest” an online bulletin board that allows users to pin and share photos, quotes, and other inspirations. With 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in January, it’s becoming one of the fastest growing websites, leaving everyone to look around and ask “how can I use that?” Hospitals have started to jump into the Pinterest craze, building profiles and boards sharing photos from the hospitals, stories from patients, photos, recipes and more. But in wanting to be “first” the TOS may have not been looked at, leaving the hospital up to copyright violations, lawsuits and more.
From the Pinterest TOS
“YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF YOUR ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE SITE, APPLICATION, SERVICES AND SITE CONTENT REMAINS WITH YOU. You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Cold Brew Labs, its officers, directors, employees and agents, harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising out of or in any way connected with (i) your access to or use of the Site, Application, Services or Site Content, (ii) your Member Content, or (iii) your violation of these Terms.”
“We may, in our sole discretion, permit Members to post, upload, publish, submit or transmit Member Content. By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.”
This TOS has left many with questions, as it should. Do employees know that by pinning a photo of them at work, you are allowing Pinterest to possibly make money on their image? Is the licensing on the set of work out photos you share for website visitors cover sublicensing? Is the liability Pinterest puts on you the user one your hospital legal department wants to take on?
This also highlights the bigger issue with businesses and social media – just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean you should be too. A business doesn’t need to be using every form of social media, and this is a perfect example. The liability issues with Pinterest should outweigh the need to be one of the first in your field to use it. Instead of trying to leave your company impression everywhere, focus on building your brand on established methods. Being successful in social media calls for being aware of new media while making judgment calls on what works best for your organization.