Concise definitions of legal terms used on the Digital Media Law Project site. (The glossary is currently a work-in-progress. Please use our contact form to suggest additional terms for this glossary.)

Civil search for term

In terms of actions under law, civil refers to conflicts between private individuals.

Commercial misappropriation search for term

A category of invasion of privacy where one's name or likeness is used without permission for commercial purposes.

See also: Right of publicity
Common law search for term

Law that is derived from judicial decisions instead of from statutes. Early American common law was taken from English common law.

Compensatory damages search for term

Damages awarded by a court to compensate a plaintiff for the actual harm suffered.

See also: Damages
Conversion search for term

Conversion is a tort that exposes you to liability for damages in a civil lawsuit. It applies when someone intentionally interferes with personal property belonging to another person.

Synonyms: For more information see the Conversion section of the legal guide.
Copyright search for term

A property right in an original creative work. Owning a copyright gives the copyright holder the exclusive right to, among other things, copy and display the work.

See also: Copyright infringement, Copyright notice, Fair use, Intellectual property Synonyms: For more information see the Copyright section of the legal guide.
Copyright infringement search for term

The act of tortiously exercising one or more of the exclusive rights held by a copyright owner.

See also: Copyright Synonyms: For more information see the Copyright Infringement section of the legal guide.
Copyright license search for term

A license is a grant of permission to exercise the copyright holder's rights under copyright. In copyright terminology, there are non-exclusive and exclusive licenses.

Synonyms: For more information see the Understanding the Difference Between a Transfer and a License section of the legal guide.
Copyright notice search for term

A notice that a work is copyrighted. Generally, the copyright notice appears either as a © or as the phrase "all rights reserved."

See also: Copyright
Corporation search for term

An organization formed with the approval of a state governmental entity to act as an artificial person to carry on business or other activities.

Synonyms: For more information see the Corporation section of the legal guide.
Cross claim search for term

A claim brought by a plaintiff against a co-plaintiff or brought by a defendant against a co-defendant.

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