Instagram to Face Class Action Lawsuit Over Controversial Terms of Service Change

Posted on Dec 25 2012 - 6:26pm by PJ

Instagram class action lawsuitA lawsuit was filed against Instagram after the company changed its Terms of Services that fueled speculations that the photo-sharing service is planning to sell user photos or use them in ads.

Southern California-based Finkelstein and Krinsk law firm sued Instagram, saying that the company is violating its contract terms with users. The lawsuit was filed to ask the federal court to prevent the Facebook-owned company from changing its service terms.

Finkelstein and Krinsk law firm said in the lawsuit: “Instagram is taking its customers property rights while insulating itself from all liability. In short, Instagram declares that ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us.”

The law firm also asked Instagram to pay its legal fees, but the California-based company downplayed the class action lawsuit filed against them.

In an e-mail to Reuters, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said: “We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”

The controversial change in their service terms spurred doubts that company is trying to obtain rights to all photos uploaded by users. It will enable them to sell the photos or use them in ads, which triggered an online clamor with some known personalities calling for a boycott.

But after receiving millions of criticisms online, Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom responded to the speculations, saying that the company has no plans and has no rights to sell user photos. Systrom said that the new service terms were just misinterpreted. To silence all their critics, Instagram rolled back to their old Terms of Service.

In a blog post, Systrom said: “I want to be really clear: Instagram has no intention of selling your photos, and we never did. We don’t own your photos, you do.”

Instagram has yet to release a response or public statement about the lawsuit filed against them.

[Source: Reuters]