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Permission to pin?

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The rapid growth of the online curating site, Pinterest, over the last few months – it acquired 17.8 million unique users in February 2012 alone – is raising a handful of issues, including whether online ‘curation’ constitutes ‘fair use’ of online content? The site enables users to collect images, ideas and concepts they encounter on the web and ‘pin’ or curate them on online boards, which other users can view and ‘re-pin’.

Its recent bombardment of new users is bringing front and centre the issue of what online content is fair game for sharing in the scope of curation, and what ‘pinned’ content represents a violation of copyright? Perhaps a more fundamental question is to what extent does online curating constitute ‘individual’ or ‘private’ use of content, in the way that online file-sharing does (or doesn’t)? Moreover, do recent or proposed measures tackling online piracy in many countries (for instance, in the US, UK, Spain and France) also broadly address the limits of online curating or is there a need for more specific policies for the latter as well?

To read more, see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450004577279632967289676.html

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About the Author:

Rachel specialises in biomedical and energy-related innovation as well as international innovation policy. She has particular experience in sector-specific trend mapping, survey building and benchmarking of intellectual property environments. Rachel’s work focuses on Europe, with special emphasis on the UK and Spain, and she speaks fluent Spanish. She gained direct experience with UK innovation policy while interning with the UK’s then Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
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