Instagram hit with class-action lawsuit over controversial Terms of Service

December 26, 2012
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It hasn't been a good week for Instagram. When the Facebook-owned company revealed its updated Terms of Service, which go into effect next month, the Internet went crazy, pointing out certain clauses that many users took issue with. It was a controversy that had co-founder Kevin Systrom taking to the Instagram blog to try to smooth things over before the company changed the Terms of Service to contain more favorable language. Today, however, we hear that Instagram has been hit with a class action lawsuit filed by Finkelstein & Krinsk for plaintiff Lucy Fines.

As you might imagine, the lawsuit challenges the incoming changes to Instagram's Terms of Service. There are lot of changes that riled up users, but some of the most controversial involve the license Instagram gains to use photos posted to the site by users. The license is royalty-free and doesn't even require that Instagram alert users if it's going to begin using their photos. Alongside all of these new changes comes the infamous arbitration clause that sees users waiving their rights to a class action lawsuit in favor of private arbitration. The lawsuit obviously calls these new Terms into question:

Instagram is taking its customers property rights while insulating itself from all liability. ...The purported concessions by Instagram in its press release and final version of the new terms were nothing more than a public relations campaign to address public discontent.

Of course, there are other things making users angry, including a clause that informs users they can delete their accounts if they aren't satisfied with these new Terms, but Instagram will still retain the rights to the photos they uploaded. In his post on the Instragram blog, Systrom tried to make it clear that Instagram didn't have any intention of selling users' photos and that users still retain ownership over their photos, while the company recently tweaked its Terms of Service and removed the advertisement clause that enraged so many users. Nevertheless, this lawsuit continues on, so we'll have to see where it goes.

It's important to remember that these new Terms of Service haven't gone into effect and won't for a few weeks yet. That means you still have time to weigh the benefits of sticking around against the benefits of jumping ship if the new Terms aren't sitting well. If you're interested, you can read the full filing over at Scribd, but in the meantime, keep it here at Android Community for more details.

[via SlashGear]


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