SOPA Opera

Pinterest Hires a Googler to Serve as Head of Legal

Immediate question: How's the copyright situation coming?
pinterest Pinterest Hires a Googler to Serve as Head of Legal

I suspect I spy copyrighted content. (screenshot)

As anybody in the music business can tell you, every crew needs a suit. And Pinterest just picked up a high-profile one to handle any legal issues that might crop up. Business Insider is reporting that the company has hired Michael Yang, Google deputy general counsel, to serve as as their head of legal. As BI points out, Mr. Yang has been the point man for many a controversy.

We suspect Pinterest didn’t hire Mr. Yang merely to look over contracts, though. Anyone who’s scrolled through Pinterest lately has probably noticed a lot of professional-looking content, and we’re not talking about the images taken from catalogs, either. The main feed shows more than a few pictures that look an awful lot like copyrighted images

In recent months, the site has implemented some safety measures, like auto-attribution for Flickr images and making it possible for sites to disable pinning. Plus, the company also promises to take down any infringing images upon receiving a notice from copyright holders. But none of those measures entirely prevents a lawsuit, and then there’s always the chance of SOPA-like legislation.

Yet another potential wrinkle is the possibility that users could be vulnerable to infringement lawsuits.  Back in February, one photographer/lawyer took a look at the terms of service and got so nervous she just nuked her pin boards. And it might  seem far-fetched now, but nobody who downloaded music in the early 2000s [looks around, shifty-eyed] thought that was a big deal, either.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com