A shout out for Pinterest

While I was reading the article by Which? that points out that some online company’s T&Cs are longer than Shakespeare plays, I received an email from Pinterest to flag up changes to their own legal documentation.

While Pinterest’s T&Cs themselves run to around 4,000 words, the company sent a handy precis explaining the more important changes in easy-to-understand language:

  • Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
  • We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse.
  • We released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements.
  • Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.

I’m not a lawyer so I can’t testify beyond all doubt to whether there are any subtle or legally noteworthy points which have been glossed over, but as far as I can tell they’re being upfront, open, accessible and responsible. I just really wanted to just applaud them for doing it for two main reasons. One is that the first point about selling imagery was something which had stopped me from pinning a few things of my own, and the second was because there are so many companies at the LoveFilm end of the spectrum saying things like:

We reserve the right, from time to time, with or without notice to you, to change these Terms and Conditions at our sole discretion. The Terms and Conditions applicable to your access to and use of this Website and your use and/or purchase of LOVEFiLM’s Products and Services will be the version that is current and displayed on this Website as at each date you access this Website or use and/or purchase LOVEFiLM’s Products and Services (as applicable). Your use of this Website or your use and/or purchase of LOVEFiLM’s Products and Services after changes are made means that you agree to be bound by such changes.

Too long; didn’t read?

The gist is that LoveFilm can change the T&Cs at any given moment without having to notify you and if you use the service you’re agreeing to be bound by whatever the agreement says at that moment in time. Essentially, if you don’t read the T&Cs every time you use the service (and no-one in their right mind would, because they run to 13,800 or so words) you could feasibly be agreeing to something you’re not okay with. LoveFilm are by no means the only offenders with this one – I think it’s not uncommon – but with legalese running to tens of thousands of words in some cases, Pinterest’s attempt to make things that bit more accessible (especially when they involve the charged arena of international image copyright law) deserves a shout out.