Pin responsibly with SpinPicks

Pinterest's terms of service say users must attribute pins to their creators, but how? SpinPicks makes it easy. 


Lauren Rae Orsini


Published Mar 21, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:43 pm CDT

There’s no longer any confusion about how users can pin to Pinterest legally.

Pinterest addressed the matter last week on the Wall Street Journal Law Blog:

“[W]e strongly encourage people to pin from the original source or permalinks, give credit to the content owner, and include a thoughtful pin description. If a user notices that a pin is not sourced correctly they should leave a comment so that the original pinner can update the source.”

However, properly crediting a pin is easier said than done. Sometimes pinners can’t find the original source or mistake it for another. No one has a photographic memory for where they found photos online. In fact, that’s why we use Pinterest.

Now, a new service has emerged to help pinners add pins legally and responsibly. Called SpinPicks, this Android app lets pinners discover new pins with original attribution.

“When spinning from Pinterest, SpinPicks doesn’t pull spins from sites like,,, and to help reduce the number of improperly attributed images, which helps ensure you’re only adding quality pins to your Pinterest collection,” the comapny said.

The app, which is still in beta but available for free in the Google Play store, allows users to browse Pinterest one image at a time by “spinning” them through a wheel-like interface. While Pinterest allows users to browse by category, SpinPicks allows users to browse by verified source. Users can choose to browse pins sourced from Reddit’s r/pics, Flickr’s Creative Commons, or four other accredited sources.

On the SpinPicks blog, cofounders Heather and Paul wrote that SpinPicks’ primary goal is “to credit the original source.” In a post on Tuesday about copyright, Heather explains that SpinPicks’ programming does not even make copies of Pinterest pins, lest it facilitate infringement.

Pinterest users have voiced their approval by installing the app in droves. On March 12, Heather wrote that the app had more than 8,000 users. On March 19, she added that users had spinned the SpinPicks wheel over 300,000 times.

However, SpinPicks has some users worried that, in the act of providing a service to view pins, it will get fans in legal trouble. In response, the duo has added an “Opt-out” button to the app itself.

It just goes to show that even if the service in question is providing a way to protect copyright, the fact that it is a Pinterest-inspired service will cause some users to panic.

“We are well intentioned with no desire to infringe on the intellectual property of others and welcome the opportunity to prove that,” Heather wrote.

Logo by SpinPicks.

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2012, 2:28 pm CDT