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  • 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.


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.

Fundamentals of Fair Use

Because copyright creates ownership rights in original expression, the private property interests of copyright owners sometimes come into conflict with the public's interest in disseminating knowledge, expressing ideas, or simply enjoying, sharing, and building upon the protected expression. This lesson introduces the basic concept of fair use in copyright law, and offers numerous examples to test the student's ability to apply the balancing test of 17 U.S.C. § 107.

Joint Works

This lesson explores the concept of a "joint work" in copyright law, including the legal standards which determine whether a work has been jointly authored as well as the legal consequences that attach to this characterization.

Limitations on the Distribution Right

This lesson follows the Distribution Right lesson, CPY16. This lesson can best be characterized as the Limitation on the Distribution Right. Colloquially referred to as the First Sale Doctrine, 17 U.S.C. section 109 provides that the copyright owner's exclusive right of distribution and consent to that distribution effects the transfer of the rights in that copy or phonorecord, so long as the transfer was of a lawful copy or phonorecord embodying the copyrighted work.

Ownership of Copyright: Works Made for Hire

This lesson reviews the threshold principles of ownership by analyzing the "works made for hire" doctrine codified in the Copyright Act of 1976. In addition to an analysis of the current Copyright Act, this lesson will review the rules and doctrine of "works made for hire" under the Copyright Act of 1909. The review of both Acts is crucial to a proper determination of copyright ownership for original works of authorship created before January 1, 1978 and for those copyrighted works created on or after January 1, 1978.

A Primer on Copyright Infringement

This lesson is an introduction to the principles governing copyright infringement. After completing this lesson, you will be familiar with the standard used to determine liability for copyright infringement. Specifically, the lesson will introduce the elements necessary to support a claim of copyright infringement, which include assessments of copying, access, probative resemblance, striking similarity, improper appropriation, and substantial similarity.

Rights of Public Performance and Display

This lesson explores a copyright holder's right to control the performance and display of the related work of authorship. The lesson provides a broad overview of the rights with the exception of sound recordings, which are the subject of CALI lesson "Copyrights in Sound Recordings, CPY14." It can be used (1) as stand alone coverage of the topic, or (2) to expand or reinforce in-class discussion.

Statutory Interpretation

This lesson introduces the student to the doctrine and processes involved in interpreting state and federal statutes.  Statutes are a critical part of every substantive area of the law, so this is important background for every student, legal professional, lawyer and judge.

Useful Articles

This lesson deals with the "useful article" limitation on protection of pictorial, graphic and sculptural works under copyright law. It assumes a general understanding of the policy objectives of intellectual property law, works of authorship, the test for determining if a work of authorship is protectable and the basic rights afforded. The lesson can be used either as an introduction to the exclusion or to supplement or reinforce in-class coverage.