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Instagram Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Over ToS Change

By - Source: Reuters | B 15 comments

Photo-sharing service had amended ToS to sell users' images.

Instagram has requested a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit pertaining to its controversial terms of service changes it made last year.

Filed back in December, the lawsuit, related to the popular photo-sharing service, seeks class-action status. It accused the service of breach of contract and attempting to "grab for customer property rights" after revisions to its terms of service gave it the right to sell users' photographs with neither payment nor notification.

Soon after, a widespread backlash ultimately led to the Facebook-owned company reverting the change back to the original terms of services that came after the service's 2010 launch.

In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District, Instagram argues that plaintiff Lucy Funes is not entitled to her claim, as she could have deleted her account before the new terms went live. She continued to use her account on January 19, which is when the terms of service was changed.

Instagram, which boasts over 90 million users with more than 40 million pictures added to the site every day, says that the new terms of service would go into effect on January 19 and that users were unable to opt out. They could, however, delete their accounts before said date.

The lawsuit, though, states that while users could cancel their accounts, doing so would then forfeit the right to their photos. The company's filing states that the terms of service prior to January 19 did not claim ownership rights to content created by users.


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  • 0 Hide
    derekullo , February 15, 2013 5:03 AM
  • 4 Hide
    virtualban , February 15, 2013 9:17 AM
    derekulloWHY WON'T IT READ?

    I like southpark, and they do make a point... but, the TOS is a jumble of lawyer words, pain to read and understand.
  • 1 Hide
    virtualban , February 15, 2013 9:17 AM
    Pain, not hard. It is not hard to hit my head on the wall, it is easy, but it is still a pain.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    virtualban , February 15, 2013 9:20 AM
    Why sharks don't eat lawyers?

    Professional courtesy.

    That is the only reason why I see courts dismissing this lawsuit.
    Otherwise, hit them hard! Hiding behind loopholes and the mumbo-jumbo of the TOS should not be taken easily. Just my opinion. Punishable to the extend of the law, and maybe rewriting some laws to prevent this from happening again.
  • -1 Hide
    corvak , February 15, 2013 9:58 AM
    There are so many image hosts out there, I never understood the uproar over Instagram's TOS.

    So many options available that it should be easy to switch if a TOS isn't agreeable.
  • 1 Hide
    virtualban , February 15, 2013 10:35 AM

    I see Tom's still allows newcome users to post a bunch of messages within the first minute of their registration.
  • 1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , February 15, 2013 10:48 AM
    corvakThere are so many image hosts out there, I never understood the uproar over Instagram's TOS.So many options available that it should be easy to switch if a TOS isn't agreeable.

    There's alternatives to Gmail, Facebook, etc. Doesn't mean existing users want to export all their data, request people to use a new service, make all the friend and family connections all over again, etc.

    Not everyone has a few days of personal time to waste to set up something new and multiply that by the number of connections a person has.

    This is why people are fighting back against thenegative TOS changes wherever it may be.
  • 3 Hide
    g00fysmiley , February 15, 2013 11:16 AM
    virtualbanI see Tom's still allows newcome users to post a bunch of messages within the first minute of their registration.

    it is a double edge sword, i tried that once on a website i ran in college and users would get frustrated at only being a ble to post on one or two articles or on the forums for the first day and they would stop using the service. sure those kind of rules would work for long time toms hardware users, but it might detract legitimate new users and those who jsut visit hearing this a good place for tech advice and then they can't post enough to get out the info to solve a problem and leave to, we have a communal reputation for giving great tech advice and i wouldn't want to see it tarnished

    as for the article... thi hope hte judge throws the book at em, term of sale agreements should have to be very simply worded and have a limited amount of characters
  • 2 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , February 15, 2013 2:39 PM
    Damn scammer's. I'll know never to use Instagram in the future.
    They make those damn ula agreements like 200 page's now. Who knows what ur signing away. Like who's gonna read all that crap? Everytime it pops up on my iphone I just click accept and don't read it. Like i'm gonna read that every month or so they update it. They do that shit on purpose I think, just so you don't read it, then they steal your shit. This is why they need a standard agreement, and should only be able to update it once a year, and they should have some kind of committee to approve it, so they can't get away with this stuff.
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , February 15, 2013 2:57 PM
    g00fysmileyit is a double edge sword

    My solution is simple: 1 post per 5 minutes, with a "buffer" of let's say 60 minutes for older users.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , February 15, 2013 4:23 PM
    Maybe it's time to get rid of TOS. Virtually nobody reads them and they are often thrown out of court anyway because of this. Maybe there should just be a universal TOS that automatically applies to all websites (with limited rights for the website). If sites want extra rights, they should require a user to manually go into their settings and check a box for each right they are relinquishing. There could even be a limit on the length of text for each right and have gov't approved text to use for the common ones that is clear and concise.
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , February 15, 2013 8:52 PM
    ditched instagram the moment kissofdeathbook bought them.

    Anyone else "sticking" it out hoping it will get better, obviously hasn't seen how Facebook works. Its the same process as domesticating a wild animal.

    Put out some food in a safe place that has the animal you wish to catch, refill the food every day. After a few weeks, put up one wall next to the food and continue to refill the food every day. After a few more weeks put up a second wall. A few more weeks another wall. A few more weeks a roof and trap door. Watch for the animals to head to the food and bam, you have captured a bunch of wild animals. Or in this case, stolen a bunch of user data.

    The difference is Instagram didn't make the changes slow enough, but don't worry, I'm sure they will learn from their mistakes. If at first you don't' succeed....

  • 1 Hide
    alidan , February 16, 2013 1:09 AM
    a standard term of service, same for everyone

    if they want more they must have the lawyer speak and plain english next to it.
    you sign are ok with that... than you get in...

    still be thrown out of court, but less for use to go through every damn time
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , February 16, 2013 11:22 AM
    A standard TOS, and anything beyond standard should be given with one typical and one extreme example of right and wrong, and deviating too much from that example could land to court. This way, when technicalities such as "1% of owed credits for every week thereafter without notifying you" come around, and people do not think that far, the example of "it could ruin you" should be given.
  • 0 Hide
    anathema_forever , February 18, 2013 3:04 PM
    I honestly never read them I am for a standarization of TOS. It's just stupid how many of these things you would "have" to read to do anything on a computer or smartphone etc.
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