Civil and Criminal Law

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Legal Concepts Worksheet
University of Phoenix

Legal Concepts Worksheet
ConceptApplication of Concept to the Issue of DownloadingReference to Concept in Reading

Civil Law & Criminal Law

Downloading music illegally can be brought under the envelope of either the civil law or the criminal law. The individual(s) or the entity(ies) that own the property(music) can file a civil lawsuit against the website that offers music for downloading. In other case a criminal case can be brought against those who download and use the music. “Civil cases may include suits for breach of contract or tort cases, such as suits for personal injuries. Typically, they involve a request for damages or other appropriate relief that does not involve punishment of the wrongdoer. Criminal cases involve a representative of government attempting to prove the wrong committed against society and seeking to have the wrongdoer punished by the court system.” (Reed et al., 2005, chapter 1)

Federal and State Courts

The matter of illegal downloading of music and movies is generally a federal matter governed by various copyright laws. The matter is heard in federal courts.

“State "copyright" laws exist, but they are limited to works that cannot be protected under federal copyright law.” (Radcliffe & Brinson, 1999).

“The judicial power of the federal courts has been limited by Congress. Essentially, it extends to matters involving (1) questions of federal law (federal question cases), (2) the United States as a party, (3) controversies among the states, and (4) certain suits between citizens of different states (diversity of citizenship).” (Reed et al., 2005, Chapter 3)

Copyright Law

The Copyright Act of 1976 "went into effect on January 1, 1978" (Radcliffe & Brinson, 1999).

This copyright law protects "work of authorship" (Radcliffe & Brinson, 1999). As defined by the copyright law, these works of authorship...
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