Little more than two months after concerns about copyright infringement arose, Pinterest announced it is introducing a new feature to credit photographers, artists and creators of other content its users "pin" on the virtual scrapbook, but legal experts were divided yesterday about whether that is enough to protect the website from liability.
The new feature ensures that content from Flickr, Behance, Vimeo and YouTube receives clear attribution under the description of each pin, even if it's taken from a third-party site, Pinterest said in a statement. The attribution cannot be edited and includes a permanent link to the work, its creator and where the content is hosted.
But Martin O'Donnell, a Boston attorney specializing in copyright law, said merely crediting the creator is not enough.
"If they are aware the work is the property of someone else, they have no right to publicly display it without the owner's permission, regardless of whether they attribute it," O'Donnell said.
Jack Lerner, a University of Southern California professor specializing in Internet law, said he does not believe the website, which boasts nearly 19 million unique visitors per month, should be liable if it complies with all of the requirements of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, including expeditiously taking down content once it's notified of an infringement.
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