• This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Copyright.
  • The Copyright Outline allows you to search for terms of art that correspond to topics you are studying to find suggestions for related CALI Lessons.
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Architectural Works

This lesson explores the protection of architectural works (building designs) both under the 1976 Copyright Act and after adoption of the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990. It assumes familiarity with the rules applicable to useful articles, the idea-expression dichotomy, and basic copyright infringement analysis, including its application to selection and arrangement compilations. It can be used either as a stand-alone treatment or to supplement in-class discussion when constrained by time.

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This lesson addresses the protection afforded to compilations (including collective works) under United States copyright law. It deals with the issues of what constitutes sufficient originality (including special focus on factual compilations) and the extent and ownership of the resulting copyright (in particular, as regards collective works). It assumes a general understanding of the originality requirement and basic copyright infringement analysis.

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Contributory and Vicarious Liability

This lesson examines the two types of secondary liability in copyright law -- contributory infringement and vicarious liability. Before attempting this lesson, students should be familiar with the exclusive rights that belong to a copyright owner, and should understand the concept of direct infringement. Note: This lesson was written while the Supreme Court was still considering MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., cert. granted, 125 S. Ct. 686 (2004), the outcome of which may alter the standard for contributory infringement.

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Copyright and the Open Source Movement

This lesson will introduce you to the GNU/Linux operating system and its interaction with Copyright Law.

You can complete this lesson without any exposure to the law of copyrights, but the other CALI lessons on copyright will explore basic copyright concepts.  This lesson will be helpful to students studying concepts of ownership in the copyright context. After this lesson and the model answers to the essay questions, you will understand the interaction between current copyright and licensing law and the open source movement's freedom.

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Copyright Duration

This lesson deals with copyright duration, an arcane, technical and somewhat laborious subject that is not always covered in depth in copyright law or intellectual property law courses. Therefore, it is assumed that this is the student's initial exposure to the subject matter. Nevertheless, copyright duration is one of the few areas of copyright law that is filled with certitude.

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A Copyright Primer

Copyright Law may seem shrouded in mystery: how can you create, transfer, and protect property interests in something intangible? This lesson provides an overview of how it is done, focusing on copyright protection for music. This focus takes advantage of the multimedia capacity of the program; for example, you can listen to two musical works to determine whether one infringes the other, and you can listen to the parody version of "Pretty Woman" that figured in a decision of the United States Supreme Court.

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Copyrights in Sound Recordings

This lesson introduces the user to the copyright issues that pertain to sound recordings. The lesson illustrates the difference between sound recordings and other works, the nature of the exclusive rights granted to the owners of sound recording copyrights, some of the problems resulting from the interaction of sound recording copyrights with other copyrights, and key limitations on sound recording copyrights.

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The Distribution Right

This lesson provides an introduction to one of the Copyright Act's section 106 exclusive rights, the distribution right. As you will glean from the lesson, the distribution right covers the copyright owner's exclusive right to distribute copies or phonorecords of copyrighted works by means of sale, transfer of ownership, or by rental. In addition, the distribution right creates a statutory right called the right of first publication.

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Fair Use and Parody

This lesson explores the application of the fair use doctrine, a defense to copyright infringement, in the special context of parody, based on the guidance provided by the Supreme Court in Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994). The lesson builds on the foundation established in CALI Lesson CPY08, Fundamentals of Fair Use, using a series of hypotheticals and a final essay.