On October 30, 2015, Facebook, Inc. posted an important win in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a non-precedential decision, the court upheld the federal district court’s dismissal of a complaint filed by a proposed class of minor Facebook users. The plaintiffs alleged that Facebook’s terms of use—specifically, a provision granting Facebook the right to use the plaintiffs’ names and likenesses—as applied to the proposed class, was void under California law. By ruling for Facebook, the Ninth Circuit’s stance in this case reminds us that courts will treat online terms and conditions as binding agreements between website owners and its users, and resolve disputes falling within such terms’ governance using traditional contract law principles.
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