Instagram wants court to toss Terms of Service lawsuit
Instagram is asking for its Terms of Service lawsuit to be thrown out
When Instagram changed its Terms of Service agreement, user backlash was swift. The new terms, however, were arguably more clear than the previous version, which had been reinstated, but it was largely misinterpreted by the press. It resulted in a lawsuit against Instagram, which the company is now asking the federal court to throw out or dismiss.
Users believed that Instagram's new ToS would allow the Facebook-owned photo service to use or sell user photos for advertising or marketing purposes without permission. However, Instagram made it clear that it had no intention of selling user photos without permission, but the damage done by the press already seemed irreversible.
The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco, and Reuters reports:
In Wednesday's filing, Instagram argues that the plaintiff, Lucy Funes, has no right to bring her claim because she could have deleted her Instagram account before the changes in the term of service went into effect.
It is entirely true that the lawsuit is frivolous. Users who were unhappy with the amended changes to Instagram's ToS were free to delete their accounts. Since Instagram is a free service, users have no commitments to stay with the service. There are several ways to save or export photos that were already taken on Instagram, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the courts take into consideration all of these things and decide to throw out the lawsuit.
When Instagram changed its terms of service, a good number of users left for other services like Flickr, even though other services lacked the social connectivity that Instagram has. However, it seems that that user exodus was small and short lived, since many of those users are now back on Instagram and more active than ever.
The thing with becoming tied to a social network like Instagram is its addictiveness and convenience. It's easy to understand why one would try to sue Instagram for the misinterpretations of the changes in its terms of service, but I feel that this case will be thrown out because individual users don't have any real stake in the photo sharing network.