SpinPicks finds the latest discussions around copyright and social image sharing very interesting. One of the very reasons SpinPicks came to be was to help people become more connected to the original content creators. We also want to help content creators expand their audience to which they can express themselves. While we make our best effort to maintain that within the contexts we are provided, it is ultimately the original copyright holders option and responsibility to choose how their intellectual property is distributed.
To provide an example of this philosophy, we only present Flickr images that have been Creative Commons licensed and we never show Pinterest Pins that have been created from image search services like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. We always attribute the given source of the data we display. We do provide optional actions in our user interface that a SpinPicks user can perform while viewing the image but it is not a call to action or an endorsement to willfully violate copyright. We ultimately leave it to the user's discretion if they are doing anything outside of the wishes of the copyright owner. We believe all content creators control the rights to their work even if they choose to share on social networks and image sharing services.
Technically speaking, SpinPicks does not copy any data (media files or otherwise) and we make no special effort to circumvent the implied intentions of the copyright owner. We simply read data descriptions from 3rd party networks and display the media files that they have hosted. We pull our data from the public feeds of these networks for the spin feature. Unless the data provider explicitly says otherwise, we trust they have made the appropriate precautions of complying with their user's copyright wishes before they provide us with the data. Even then, we still use any mechanism provided by the 3rd party interface to ensure we don't present content that was not intended to be shared. Since we do not host the content any further actions (such as Pinterest Pinning) must be blocked by the content host if that it the wishes of their user. As far as we understand it, there are numerous technology options for these content hosts to do this. (An example would be Pinterest's "nopin" code.)
We don't claim to know all the right answers in this new world of links, pins, likes and tweets. While that discussion continues, we believe that the best policy is to respect the wishes of the actual content creators with regards to how the content they rightfully own is shared. We also feel that it is the responsibility of the original copyright holder to proactively enforce any restrictions as they see fit. Many content creators that share their content unprotected on social networks understand that they hold the right to prevent copying but choose not to exercise that right because they do want their work shared. Therefore, it is impossible to assume any content shared on a social network that is provided to us through public data feeds from those networks should not be displayed. Simply put: all anyone has to do is mark their photos private and they won't appear on our service.
All that said, in this wild world of inter-connected social networks and automated API's, it is still possible that someone's copyrighted content may end up being displayed on our service. For this reason we request that the original content creator send an email to [email protected] with their request to have them excluded from our service. The email should include specifics about your username (or the username of the violating user) and the 3rd party service that was responsible for giving us the URLs or links to the copyrighted material. We need you to provide definitive proof that you hold the copyright to the data in question. We will promptly review the request and filter the feeds as necessary to comply.