Intellectual Property and Web Copyright Infringement – Legal English!


No one loves the internet more than me.  Of course, I also LOVE the law and teaching English!  So let’s have a little fun with this excerpt from an article by Jonathon Bick entitled, Web Copyright Infringement: An Emerging White Collar Crime.  (Published December 30, 2014 in Corporate Counsel).  Just click the links in the below paragraphs for definitions.

Both whitecollar criminal prosecution and civil remedies thwart the unauthorized use of copyrighted material. Traditionally, injunctions and damages are more commonly used than criminal prosecution to frustrate infringements. However, the increasing use of the Internet for infringement activities makes criminal sanctions a better deterrent than traditional civil actions, thus Internet copyright infringement is emerging as a whitecollar crime.

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The Players: Who are the People in the Courtroom? – Part 1

When I teach English to Lawyers, one of the first requests I always get is to review who the people are in a courtroom scenario. If you ever watch legal TV shows, you may already know most of the players.  Frankly, in the legal system, there are a lot of participants.  So learning the English names of these people is sometimes difficult because sometimes they are more advanced English terms due to the fact that their participation in the legal system is a little more complicated.  For example, in order to teach who an Appellant is requires some knowledge (by the instructor) of what the appeal system is.  It becomes even more complicated when we discuss the parties in pleadings like the Cross-Complaint.

If you are a beginner to Legal English, I have found a great webpage for you.  The page lists the basic parties to a law suit and the participants in the Court.  It provides a short vocabulary list with definitions, a vocabulary review (fill-in the blanks in a paragraph), and definitions for additional relevant terms.

So, if you are looking for practical definitions and usage of terms like:  defendant, prosecutor, jury, or deliberate, go ahead and click the link!  Learn the legal vocabulary and take the quiz!!

Legal & Law Idioms

Do you know what it means to be “a case of mistaken identity?”  How about the idiom, “to crack down” on something?  Have you ever watched an American television show where someone wants to make a “citizen’s arrest and wondered what they meant?”  Do you have trouble with Latin terms, like “caveat emptor!”

If you are confused by these terms, phrases and idioms or want to learn more, check out this website, The Idiom Connection.  After studying the list of idioms provided on the website, take the quiz at the bottom of the page!