Just a week after the popular photo-sharing service Instagram released its new user terms of service, the company has been hit with a lawsuit seeking class-action status from a group of dissatisfied customers.
California Instagram user Lucy Funes filed the lawsuit on Friday in San Francisco federal court, according the CNN. The lawsuit was filed as a part of a class action effort claiming that Instagram is attempting to profit off of its users photos.
"In short, Instagram declares that 'possession is nine-tenths of the law and if you don't like it, you can't stop us,'" the lawsuit stated.
In response, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told Reuters, "We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”
The lawsuit stems from Instagram’s revised terms of service, which includes language that many interpret as allowing it to use the photos in advertisements for the service. While it does not state that Instagram “owns” its users’ photos, many feel that the new language is a step too far.
This is the first lawsuit over Instagram’s new terms of service, but it isn’t the first high-profile protest of the photo-sharing site’s new direction. Soon after the new terms of service were posted, National Geographic posted a photo explaining that they would not be uploading new content because of the new terms of service.
"@NatGeo is suspending new posts to Instagram. We are very concerned about the direction of the proposed new terms of service," the magazine said in its post. "If they remain as presented, we may close our account."
National Geographic is one of the largest and most popular Instagram accounts in the world, with more than 638,000 followers.
Despite growing protests against Instagram’s new policies, co-founder, Kevin Systrom, told Mashable that all the outrage is misdirected. In a post to users, Systrom said the new policy “was interpreted by many that we were going to sell your photos to others without any compensation. This is not true and it is our mistake that this language is confusing.
"To be clear: it is not our intention to sell your photos,” Systrom said. “We are working on updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear."
Earlier this year, Instagram was acquired by social media giant Facebook for $715 million.