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As a publication that is aimed at covering the dynamic area of intellectual property, this magazine tends to devote limited attention to the technical and substantive aspects of IP law itself. While such a statement may sound like an inherent contradiction in terms, there’s actually some reasoning � hopefully, reasoning that even makes some sense � behind it. In planning each issue of this magazine, and in selecting and editing the articles that go into it, there’s an assumption that readers � whether they practice in outside firms or within corporate law departments � are already up to speed, more or less, with the specifics of whatever aspect of IP law they are most concerned with in the course of their professional work. In other words, it’s not our objective to bring you news about the latest court opinions and regulatory actions as they pertain to patents, copyrights, trademarks and any other manifestation of intellectual property. If for no other reason, it would be sheer folly for a quarterly publication to even pretend to be a definitive source of such news for a sophisticated readership that, obviously, needs access to that kind of news far more quickly than we can provide it. (Putting on my corporate hat as an employee of ALM Inc., I can assure you that such information can readily be found at any number of our other print and online publications.) All that said, there are times when a specific IP dispute more than justifies our attention to the substantive issues behind it. The pending legal battle between Viacom and Google in which the entertainment conglomerate is claiming widespread copyright infringement by the Google-owned YouTube video-sharing site is one of those disputes. The unfolding litigation echoes back to the recording industry’s sustained efforts to prevent Napster from allowing Internet users to freely post and share copyrighted songs. Napster, you’ll recall, eventually abandoned its poster-child image as the champion of free online music sharing in favor of selling songs under licensing arrangements with some of the big music companies. Apple’s iTunes then came along and demonstrated its own ability to legally sell millions of online tracks. On the other hand, sales of commercial CDs continue to drop, with music and recording company officials still pointing to online piracy as the chief culprit. Now, with the Viacom v. YouTube litigation, it’s time for video to step into the spotlight. Given the prominence of the legal issues involved and the likelihood that the outcome � whether via settlement or eventual verdict � will shape the future contours of digital-related copyright disputes, we’ve asked two prominent commentators for their thoughts on the litigation. Douglas Lichtman, who will be teaching at UCLA Law School this fall and serves as an adviser to Viacom, predictably stands on that company’s side of the debate. Jason Schultz, a staff attorney at San Francisco’s Electronic Frontier Foundation, also predictably, offers an argument in favor of YouTube’s position. Other members of the intellectual property community, of course, will form their own opinions about the case and its implications for the future of copyright law. Hopefully, this magazine can contribute a little bit when it comes to helping you form your opinion.

— Steven Pressman [email protected]

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