Instagram faces first civil lawsuit after changes in Terms of Services

Washington, Dec. 26 (ANI): Facebook's Instagram photo sharing service has been hit with what appears to be a first civil lawsuit after changes in service terms, which has prompted howls of protest.

In a proposed class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court on Friday, a California Instagram user leveled breach of contract and other claims against the company.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said in an e-mail said that the company believed that the complaint was without merit and they will fight it vigorously.

According to the New York Daily News, Instagram, which allows people to add filters and effects to photos and share them easily on the Internet, was acquired by Facebook earlier this year for 715 million dollars.

In announcing revised terms of service last week, Instagram spurred suspicions that it would sell user photos without compensation.

It also announced a mandatory arbitration clause, forcing users to waive their rights to participate in a class action lawsuit except under very limited circumstances, the report said.

The current terms of service, in effect through mid-January, contain no such liability shield.

According to the report, the backlash prompted Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom to retreat partially a few days later, deleting language about displaying photos without compensation.

The lawsuit, filed by San Diego-based law firm Finkelstein and Krinsk, said that customers who do not agree with Instagram's terms can cancel their profile, but then forfeit rights to photos they had previously shared on the service, the report added. (ANI)