Important Changes to Historypin Terms & Conditions

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We’ve made changes to our Terms and Conditions to ensure that your content is discovered, viewed and utilized by the widest possible audience. Your continued use of Historypin means you agree to these revised documents, so please take a few minutes to understand them.

Historypin: Broadcasting to the World. Photo: Exterior view of KMPC. Shared by Los Angeles Public Library

We’re proud to report that Historypin is growing by leaps and bounds.  Back in February, the Milwaukee County Historical Society became our 1000th institutional member, with that number already approaching 1200.  Our institutional members include community groups, school groups, commercial archives, and cultural heritage institutions like libraries, archives and museums.  Meanwhile, our members have pinned over 250,000 materials and memories, and we now have more than 47,000 individual members.  As we grow, we’re making changes to our Terms and Conditions to ensure that the amazing content that is being shared on Historypin will reach the widest possible audience.

What has changed, exactly?

We simplified and clarified Section 12 of our Terms and Conditions, the section pertaining to “Contributed Content.”  The biggest changes are that descriptive information about your content (dates, titles, locations, copyright and licensing information), will be made available to the public under the terms of the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication; and Text Content (like comments and stories) will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

What in the world does that mean?

The bottom line is that your content is your content, Historypin does not assume any ownership or copyright over your content.  These changes to our Terms and Conditions makes no change in regard to your Media Content (your photos, videos, audio)–you choose the licensing you’d like to use.

Your Text Content, like comments and stories, can be used and cited by anyone, as long as they attribute you as the author and if they make any alterations to it, they must also use the same or similar license.  The main purpose of this is to allow cultural heritage institutions to use your contributions to further enhance their records.  Suppose you found a WWI photo that your grandfather was in, and you shared a story that your grandfather told you about it.  The musuem that posted the photo would be able to use or publish that story, attributing you as the author, to enrich their information about the photo.

Andrew Jorgen Karlson of Karlson Machine Works, Phoenix Arizona c1945. Shared by LevineMachineLLC.

Descriptive information about your photos, videos or audio (aka Content Metadata) can help other people find your contributions. This metadata is largely factual and descriptive, like a date, location, camera angle, copyright licence, etc.).  We will be making this available to the public and to search engines in a number of ways and this information can be shared and distributed by pretty much anyone without limitations. This allows people to find content in new ways. For instance, someone may create a list of all of the photos containing hats in Historypin, including links on where to find these images and who published them.  They, in turn, may add to the information, breaking it down into different types: Bowler, Bollinger, Bandino, etc., and publish that data.  The Next thing you know, a costume designer is checking out your photo on Historypin to research Norwegian immigrant machinists in Arizona in the 1940s.

Why is Historypin making these changes?

Good question.  There are several reasons.

1.  Historypin is a non-profit project dedicated to the sharing and discovery of historical content, and fostering community around local history.  We want the content and conversations to be shared as widely as possible for the maximum good.  We’d like to improve, diversify, and enrich the holdings of cultural heritage institutions around the world. We want your content and stories to be discovered now, and hundreds of years from now.  These changes help us to do this.

2. We’re moving toward using a variety of technologies to improve the way people, programmers, and machines interact with Historypin data.  These changes will encourage new and creative ways to contribute to and discover the stories of local history.

3. We’re working within a global ecosystem of cultural heritage content and actively participating in conversations about the best ways for sharing information, legally and technically. These changes help us synchronize with global projects like Wikipedia, Europeana, and the Digital Public Library of America.

What if I don’t want my data shared this way?

You’re free to remove your content from Historypin at any time.

And what if I do?

We were hoping you’d ask.  If you do want to participate, then just keep on sharing on Historypin and we’ve got all kinds of exciting new things coming your way…