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Instagram: Guilty of Breach of Contract for Changing Terms of Service?

Posted on Jan 01, 2016

Popular photo sharing service Instagram is the subject of a new class action lawsuit filed against social media giant Facebook. The suit was filed on December 21, 2012, alleging that the company breached the contract it has with users when it changed its service terms. The new terms appear to indicate that the company could sell user photos without compensation. The revised terms also contain a mandatory arbitration clause that forces users to waive their rights to participate in a class action lawsuit except under extremely limited circumstances.

Instagram is an application that allows users to add filters and effects to their photos and share the photos online. Facebook purchased the app in early 2012 for $715 million. In the filing, the petitioners allege that although users of Instagram who do not agree to the new terms of service can cancel their profile, they must also forfeit their rights to photos that have already been shared using the service.

Since the filing, some, but not all, of the language contained in the revised terms of service has been removed. This lawsuit appears to be the first class action suit in connection with Instagram thus far. In its defense, Facebook released a statement saying, “We believe this complaint is without merit, and we will fight it vigorously.” It remains to be seen whether a judge will allow the suit to go forward based upon the complaint that was filed.

Contact a New York breach of contract attorney today at (888) 497-3410 for more information about breach of contract and other business litigation matters.

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