The Pinterest "Opt Out of Theft" System

Photo-rebroadcasting site Pinterest has rolled out a meta tag that disables people stealin’ your photos on Pinterest. It’s a good and smart measure for the company, sure. It doesn’t mean the vast majority of users aren’t copyright infringers, either—but it does protect the company even further than their already totally appropriate DMCA procedures. The vast majority of people will not take advantage of this measure, which makes it seem like they are therefore de facto ceding copyright in exchange for promotion. (Although no action does not equal renouncing one’s copyright, of course.) For instance, I can’t imagine that we’d ever use it: denying readers the ability to share things they love makes readers into non-readers. I want people who see things here to love them and tell a friend! In that way, the web is constantly pushing people to exchange their rights for non-monetary currency. (Though what’s that currency worth? While Pinterest claims “publishers we speak with are excited about Pinterest. We’ve heard that Pinterest drives a lot of traffic to their websites,” we don’t regularly see it turn up in the top 50 traffic referrers. Yet. Wait till Pinterest is the new Google!)