Happy Holidays, Instagram! Here, Have a Class-Action Lawsuit.
’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the Valley, not a creature was stirring — except for Lucy Funes and her attorneys, who are proposing a class-action lawsuit against Instagram, the massively popular photo-sharing application owned by Facebook.
Merry Christmas, Kevin Systrom!
The accusations leveled? Funes is mad about Instagram’s set of Terms of Service amendments made last week, which caused widespread furor among the app’s user base. The suit, which was first reported by Reuters, claims breach of contract based on “the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” along with a handful of other California civil code breach accusations.
“We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously,” a Facebook spokesman told AllThingsD.
In a nutshell: Instagram freaked everyone out last week when it updated its ToS, stating that the service had a right to introduce advertising products that accompanied user photographs. Along with the distaste folks had at the thought they may start seeing diaper ads plastered alongside pics of their kids’ faces, the uproar eventually made it seem like Instagram would sell the content created by users in their photos.
Eventually, Instagram dialed back the language, publishing an apologetic note to its site near the end of the week. But the damage had been done, as thousands of users had sworn to leave the service in favor of other photo-sharing applications — in particular, the recently updated Flickr app for iOS.
Funes and company’s biggest grievance with Instagram lies in that cancellation grey area; If users decide to delete their accounts, “customers forfeit all right to retrieve the Property that was previously entrusted to Instagram, which retains rights thereto in perpetuity,” the filing states.
The money quote: “In short, Instagram declares that ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don’t like it, you can’t stop us.'”
Bummer of a present for CEO Systrom on Christmas Eve. Here’s hoping the gifts left in his stocking fare better.
Oh, and here’s the filing if you want to check it out: