Thursday, May 10, 2012

Boycott The Nopin Meta-Tag

Should the nopin meta-tag be boycotted outright?

After a webmaster installs the nopin meta-tag to every single one of their pages, pinners are supposed to see this message when attempting to pin:
"This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!"
PROS: The no-pin tag may reduce the amount of copyright infringement on your material. It doesn't prevent pinning.


  • Creators have no control over the message that pinners see. This is unusual. If a webmaster wants to disable right-clicks (as ineffective against infringement as the nopin tag), they get to choose the message they want to send. Those are the creator's visitors, visiting his website. Why does Pinterest grab control of the message away from the creator? Pinterest's entire business model revolves around grabbing things.
  • The message Pinterest imposes entreats visitors to harangue the creators about their decision to enforce their copyright: "Please contact the owner with any questions."
  • If the use of this tag becomes widespread, it creates a dangerous precedent that copyright enforcement ought to be actively defensive, rather than automatic as it is now.
  • Not every creator has the web savvy to implement this.
  • It is dangerous if we start to create the impression that creators that haven't implemented the code are tacitly implying that it's OK to hand their content over to Pinterest by way "letting their content be pinned."
  • Unless you have dynamic pages, this code can be an enormous time drain to implement.
  • Creators should actively opt into being pinned, if that's what they want.
  • To use this tag is to accept the arrogant notion of a default state that all graphical content can be grabbed from its creators, unless actively overruled.
  • According to attorney Alicia Wagner Calzada, "The concept of copyright falls apart if you require the copyright holder to opt out of every potential user who had developed an opt out policy."

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