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Instagram seeks dismissal of lawsuit over TOS change

Facebook-owned photo-sharing service says plaintiff could have deleted her account before the change but didn't and continued to use the service.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil

Instagram has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit over controversial terms-of-service changes the popular photo-sharing service announced last year.

The lawsuit, which was filed in December and seeks class-action status, accused the service of breach of contract and trying to "grab for customer property rights" after announcing revisions to its terms of service that many feared gave the service perpetual rights to sell users' photographs without payment or notification.

After a user backlash, Facebook-owned Instagram soon backpedaled on the changes and announced that the terms would revert to the version in place since the service launched in 2010.

In a filing today with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District, Instagram argues that plaintiff Lucy Funes is not entitled to her claim because she could have deleted her account before the new terms were implemented and continued to use her account on January 19, when the changes in terms of service occurred.

Instagram had said that the new terms of service would go into effect January 19 and that users could not opt out but could delete their accounts before the deadline. The lawsuit takes issue with that last point, saying customers could cancel but that in doing so would forfeit the right to their photos.

Instagram's filing also takes issue with that point, claiming that the terms of service prior to January 19 did not claim any ownership rights to user-created content.

CNET has contacted Funes' attorney for comment and will update this report when we learn more.