Instagram Facing Legal Issues

It seems like the employees working at Facebook have sure had a hard time getting things right lately. They were first heavily criticized when a huge deal was made about Facebook going public, which made its initial price a lot higher than it should have been. This resulted in a lot of people losing a lot of money. Then, Facebook messed with the privacy settings again, which freaked many users into believing that their profiles could be accessed by anyone and everyone. As if messing up their parent social-networking site was not enough, the decided to buy Instagram, the famous photo-sharing-based site.

When many received word that Facebook had purchased Instagram, they likely wondered what would happen to the popular site, but they likely never saw what happened actually coming. The company actually had the guts to inform their users that they would be introducing a new privacy policy for the site. This privacy policy had little to do with changes to who would see pictures, but rather, how the photos could be used.

The original concept of the site was to give users an opportunity to upload photos with cool special effects and share them with others. However, the new privacy policy was going to allow anyone to download the photos and use them. Yes, this also included companies wanting to use your photograph for their commercial purposes without even having to ask you or pay you a royalty fee. By the way, go look up how much royalty fees are on some of the most basic looking photos on the Internet, and you will quickly see why the free factor irritated skilled photographers on Instagram.

Facebook learned how upset their users were on Instagram, and this resulted in them taking back the policy change, which was slated to go into effect on January 1, 2013. However, it might have been too little, too late as it appears one user, at least, has filed a lawsuit in a San Francisco Federal Court. It has not been announced how much the suit being filed is asking for, but we do know that this could quickly evolve into a class-action suit for any user who wants a piece of the pie.

Instagram’s new policy was a perfect example of why we should always read through contracts regardless of how long they are. Imagine how irritated you would have been if you had spent hours constructing a piece for others to enjoy, only to discover it was literally stolen by a corporation.



Jason Russell is our resident technology expert covering everything technology related. He is a total technology geek and no one knows technology better than him.

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2 Responses to “Instagram Facing Legal Issues”

  1. Bob says:

    Issues? Do you mean problems? And “(they) actually had the guts” Huh? News, opinion – what is this article about?

  2. Alex Garrido says:

    I actually know a lot of people who are not using intagram anymore out of fear of the site coming back to a stance such as this one. But I do agree with you Jason, we ought to read the contracts

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