Websites and Blogs with Companion Squidoo Lenses
Pinterist has generated a huge amount of controversy among Squidoo lensmasters based upon narrow readings of TOS at Pinterest, at Squidoo, at Amazon and other affiliate sites.
I see this as a ‘Tempest in a Teapot’ for the average lensmaster.
Lensmasters are taking this PERSONALLY, which usually always is a bad idea.
The real players in this affair are the large sites, like Amazon, Google, Pinterest and even Squidoo just have something to say.
The focus is NOT on what the individuals using the site are doing. The general public LOVES Pinterest. The very best sites are the ones who access human nature and allow us to express it, and Pinterest does exactly that.
The general public sees something they like and they pin it. They aren’t searching the origins of a pin and looking at copyright and TOS issues at each conceivable link back. There is NO REASON they should have to.
If they DID have to search out pins in that way, they would never use the service.
Yet it is so popular that you can be sure that Amazon, Facebook and Squidoo are getting huge amounts of traffic from it, and SALES from it, and that will only grow.
Therefore all affected sites have a gigantic interest in making Pinterist work, not in taking Pinterist down because of TOS or ‘copyright’ issues. They are interested in how they can make the most of such a good idea. They will WORK IT OUT.
The average lensmaster gets a great deal of benefit from using Pinterist. I’ve already seen traffic from it and even a couple of sales. The better my pins, the better the traffic, and it is a smart lensmaster that looks for good traffic sources and keeps them alive.
Lensmasters, for purposes of the true players in the debate, are considered along with the public, as general use participants, NOT as people with a LEGAL STAKE IN THE GAME.
It is ABSOLUTELY in your best interest to REMAIN in the general public sector of the debate, and not proclaim that you have a legal stake. You are far more protected legally by remaining in the general use pool of stake-holders than doing anything else.
Imagine Facebook if they had gotten caught up in whether links and postings were to be thoroughly examined for copyright issues and permissions! There would be NO SUCH THING as Facebook now, but it is, in fact, a major player.
The reason is something VERY SIGNIFICANT that is completely minimized in these arguments.
It is the ‘Fair Use Clause’ of copyright law.
The ENTIRE WEB runs on that one clause alone, and without it there would be no web, no Facebook, and no Squidoo.
You can devote your time and effort on copyright issues with Pinterest, Amazon, Facebook and Google, and even bother your fellow Squidoo general public lensmasters with it, but it serves a regular Squidooer no healthy purpose at all.
You will do better to continue pinning as the general public and using that and other pinning sites to increase your own traffic and sales, and let the EXPERTS work out their TOS that will accommodate such a terrific service.
Update: Pinterest has updated their TOS