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During the giddy days of the original Napster file-sharing phenomenon, I joined countless other music-loving enthusiasts in downloading the software and marveling at the inexhaustible supply of music that was suddenly there for the taking. With nothing more than a reasonably fast Internet connection and a moderately sized hard drive, favorite songs that had existed for years only in the dimmer recesses of my own internal random-access memory (and I do mean random) were now residing comfortably in my computer, where they could be easily transferred to compact discs or portable MP3 players. OK, anyone care to hum along with me to the Grass Roots’ “Live For Today”? Those giddy days, of course, came to an end soon enough � both for the folks behind the Napster revolution and for people like me who caught some of that revolutionary spirit, only to realize a little later that there was another name for that spirit � stealing. Trust me, it was a complete coincidence that I came to this realization not long before I began editing a magazine about intellectual property law. Sometimes life just works out that way. Not to belabor the point, but I’ve since joined a newer (and decidedly more legal) revolutionary movement � the one that marches in rock-’n-roll time to iTunes and swears fealty to that sleek icon of the downloadable music era � the iPod. Not that I deserve to be patted on the back or given a medal, but I’ve also been waging a campaign to steer my 15-year-old daughter away from one of the remaining unauthorized file-sharing services. It remains to be seen whether the moralistic “you’re stealing music” argument will ultimately carry the day. Instead, I’ve emphasized the risk of her computer being exposed to all kinds of yucky viruses and spyware as long as she continues to give in to the temptation of all that free music. So far, so good. All of which leads to the centerpiece feature in this issue of IP Magazine. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court, in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer v. Grokster, has handed down the latest word in the ongoing legal war between content and technology, this seemed like a good time to ask a couple of experts for their thoughts on the meaning and significance of the court’s opinion. Weighing in on the side of the copyright holders is George M. Borkowski, a partner at Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp in Los Angeles and a senior legal strategist in the Grokster case itself. And for another perspective on the case, we turned to Annette Hurst, a shareholder at Heller Ehrman in San Francisco who represented the developers of the original Napster software in its legal tribulations. As usual, you’ll also find other stories in this issue that will help keep you up to date on developments and key players in various aspects of intellectual property law. As for me, I’m just hoping that the good folks over at the Recording Industry Association of America look kindly on at least one repentant downloader. � Steven Pressman Editor

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