Ben Sheffner is a copyright attorney who has represented movie studios, TV networks and record labels. Sheffner currently works as an attorney in the NBC Universal Television Group, which is 20% owned by Vivendi, the parent of Universal Music Group.

More than a decade after the launch of Napster, the recording industry's complicated legal relationship with Web-savvy music fans seems no closer to resolution. But a number of cases winding their way through the courts may bring a bit of clarity in 2010 to one particularly fuzzy area of the law: fan-created online videos that contain music.

The major labels have all worked out deals with YouTube to split ad revenue with the site after a user uploads a music video. But considering that labels don't issue explicit licenses to users and YouTube continues to warn against uploading copyrighted material, it isn't clear whether the labels actually want fans to upload their music in the first place. Meanwhile, other copyright owners who don't have deals with YouTube, such as Viacom and music publisher Bourne, are still pursuing copyright infringement suits against the video-sharing giant.

Click here to read Ben Sheffner on the latest suits filed and the legal issues involved.