Others aren't convinced that Pinterest is an effective referral source or business-generation resource. PhotoShelter cofounder Allen Murabayashi suggested on his blog that "for photographers, [Pinterest] simply isn't a good referral source because it doesn't lead to sales." After looking at statistics relating to Pinterest, and noting that the service "drives a ton of page views," Murabayashi suggested that "Pinterest is an aspirational pin board...[where] [t]he 'Likes' and 'Repinning' help to validate a user's curatorial skills. And like every social media site in the world, the service is a tool of self-expression." While acknowledging that Pinterest "is an awesome marketing tool for retailers," Murabayashi nonetheless concludes, "Pinterest hasn't shown itself to be a good referral mechanism for service-based offerings (e.g., hiring you for a wedding). And, if you compare the number of repins for the fashion category vs. the arts category, you'll begin to understand that spending time on Pinterest as a marketing activity simply doesn't pay off for photographers.
...fair use doesn't give the user the ability to grant a license to use the image. Only the owner (or an authorized licensee who has the right to grant sublicenses) of the image has the right to grant licenses.While Pinterest has already developed something of a following, the service isn't without controversy. For photographers, the more common debate topics involving Pinterest are whether it's skirting copyright law, whether it potentially encourages copyright infringement and whether the increased exposure to a photographer's work is worth the hassle of having one's copyrights infringed and enforcing one's rights.
Some content creators are less than enthusiastic about Pinterest because the "pinning" of content may reduce website traffic. Digital photographs can be "pinned" in such a way that the image is simply copied to Pinterest, with no link back to the source website. Thus, depending upon how the content is "pinned," the act of "pinning" may simply involve the copying of copyrightable material without the content creator's consent. In light of these issues, some content creators are understandably critical of Pinterest.