This article appeared in The Intellectual Property Strategist, an ALM/Law Journal Newsletters publication that provides a practical source of both business and litigation tactics in the fast-changing area of intellectual property law, including litigating IP rights, patent damages, venue and infringement issues, inter partes review, trademarks on social media – and more.

While the sound distracting you hear from this article may well be William Shakespeare rapidly turning in his grave like the Mad Hatter Teacup Ride at Disneyworld, recent legal and procedural developments associated with the ubiquitous Instagram social media site have created significant practical and legal risks for both copyright owners and account holders that would have even vexed the Bard himself. To provide a context for these risks, as well as some options for addressing them, this article will examine the history of using copyright-protected content on the Internet, uncertainty for content owners and sites created by courts in some recent cases, and difficult options and potentially costly litigation with a potential for loss of rights now facing content and site owners given those cases.