Wow! I loved all of the positive responses – and follow-up questions! – to my last post about copyrights and repinning images on Pinterest.  (If you missed it, you can check it out HERE.)

It became clear to me that you want to know even MORE about copyrights and Pinterest – so here’s your second helping!

First and foremost, if you think copyrights are confusing, you are not crazy.

Copyrights are totally confusing, so I can see why you still may be unsure where the lines are drawn.

(Don’t worry – it’s not you. It’s the law.  I promise you, it’s the law.)

Here’s one of the really great Q’s that I received this week:

Question:  I read Pinterest’s Terms of Service and it seems to give Pinterest a royalty-free, worldwide license to use the images that you upload to them however they want. That same right to use any image that is already up or pinned by someone in Pinterest HAS to extend to the users too, right?”

Answer:  First of all, props for reading the Terms of Service!  The Terms of Service say that when you open a Pinterest account, you are giving Pinterest (as in the COMPANY) a broad worldwide, royalty-free license and the right to use your images however they want. This is true.

However, Pinterest does NOT extend this same license and right to you and me or to any other user. The “broad, worldwide license” to use pinned images applies ONLY to the company – not to you and me.

So what does this mean exactly?

It means that Pinterest still expects you and me to respect others’ copyright rights.

So, for example… let’s say that you want to pin an image of Beyonce to your Pinterest page (because Beyonce is just so super-freaking-cool.) Like this one:

beyonce(Photo credit:

When you pin this image of Beyonce, you are giving PINTEREST the right to display, use, pin, repin, take down, or do whatever it wants with your image. (You agreed to that when you signed up on Pinterest, whether you realize it or not.)

HOWEVER, Pinterest is NOT saying that it is okay for you to do whatever you want with this picture of Beyonce.

In fact, pinning or repinning Beyonce’s image can send Beyonce’s legal peeps running after you for using that image without her consent because you are violating her copyright rights. The odds of them actually coming after you may be slim, but they could be justified.

(Betcha you’re kinda wondering how I just put this image of Beyonce in this post without getting her permission, right? Keep reading.)

What Pinterest is really saying is that it is still YOUR responsibility not to violate Beyonce’s copyright rights….

Make sense?

The #totaldork in me wants to legally enlighten you even more about copyrights, posting, pinning and blogging so that you:

  • do it right
  • do not get into legal trouble (with Beyonce’s peeps)
  • do not create bad karma

Copyright snafus generally come down to these 3 areas: CREDIT, COPYING and CASH.

  • People taking CREDIT for something that they did not create
  • People COPYING or stealing something that they didn’t get permission to use (advertently or inadvertently)
  • People trying to make some CASH from work that they did not do

Whether you are using images on your own blog, e-course, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or wherever….

The BEST, safest, most legal things you can do are:

  1. Give CREDIT.
    Give credit to the owner of the image or photo. See my last post for when you should give credit.
  2. Don’t COPY. Create your own image or photos instead.
    You can just post or pin photos or images that you create yourself.  Be sure to add your watermark or website to your own images like I discussed here. ‘Nuff said.) 

    Maybe you are a seasoned Picmonkey, Canva or Wordswag ninja who likes to make pretty quotes or “pimp up” your own photos like I did for my 7 Days to Get Legally Enlightened e-course? 

    You are all set. Just keep it up! 

    But if you have no idea in the world how to add words to images, you are in luck because I have an extra Legal Love Tip for you: 

    For how to use Picmonkey and more to create your own images, check out free resources and easy-peasy courses on Nathalie de Ahna’s “Pimp Your Visuals” site HERE. 

    You will be a pro in no time. 

  3. Pay CASH.  Buy stock photos.
    One of my favorite ways to stay legal is to use images that you have purchased through stock photo websites.What are “stock photos”?  They are images that the photographers already have given you limited rights to use and they generally are sold through a website.If you use stock photos, usually you don’t need to give credit to the photographer.  But, be sure to read the fine print because there are rare situations where you do.

You might even be able to find a stock photo of Beyonce like I did. I used a “stock photo” that I paid for so I didn’t need to get her permission.

So where can you find – oh, I don’t know – a list of 36 STOCK PHOTO SITES that are FREE? (Yes, FREE!)

So glad you asked! Here’s a little Legal Love Tip for you:

Christie Halmick of Jewels Branch is a fab marketing guru with a free gift called “Where to Find Free Stock Photos: 36 Sites” that you can grab HERE.

Sooooo, was this extra copyright and Pinterest info helpful? Do you still have questions? Feel free to send me an e-mail at or comment below.

Here’s to getting MORE legally enlightened about copyrights, Pinterest…and Beyonce!


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