If sharing something “feels” wrong, it probably is, says Timothy C. Bradley, an attorney with Coats & Bennett, PLLC in Cary, N.C. who specializes in intellectual property matters.
“If you know something is illicit, such as a link to an illegal download of an album or movie or photos from an unreleased publication, avoid posting such content,” he said. “Also if you know for any reason that a content provider does not want their content shared, then avoid sharing that content on sites like Pinterest.”
Pinterest and Tumblr will both remove content that is shared illegally if they are contacted by the copyright owner. Content providers who don’t want their content linked on Pinterest can install code on their Web site, which seems to be a proactive move to prevent copyright infringement claims. And users need to keep in mind that while the unwritten rules protect them when they share content, the actual written rules may not.
“The partial sharing discussed above helps to bolster a fair use claim, but is not a guarantee that your use is indeed a fair use under US Copyright Laws,” Bradley said. “Thus, while following the ‘common sense’ approach is unlikely to get you in trouble, there is no guarantee.”