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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Information Technology Law (LAWS11163)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLaw Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course responds to the immense impact computers and the Internet have had, and are having, on substantive law. 'Computer law' has developed since the Seventies from a patchwork of applications of ordinary rules of contract, criminal, and commercial law, to what is largely accepted to be a rapidly growing specialist cognate discipline. It has now expanded to embrace the "new" field of ┐cyberlaw┐ that focuses on the legal regulation of the Internet.
This course will examine the legal ramifications of cyberspace and the digitisation and virtualisation of everyday activities, including topics such as regulation by law and code, intellectual property in cyberspace, content liability, trademarks, the internet and domain names, cybercrime, online privacy and cloud computing.
Themes relevant throughout the course will be discussed such as globalisation, enforcement, regulatory forms (including self-regulation and soft law) and the competing lobbies for consumers, corporations, regulators, rights-holders and cyber-libertarians.
A further focus will be the extent and need for interaction between themes and legal fields.
Sources will be drawn from the legal systems of Scotland, England, the UK, the US and the EU, and students will be encourage to contribute information and experiences from their home jurisdictions.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students should have regular and reliable access to the Internet.

Print consumables (paper and ink) would be recommended to provide hard copy of some on screen text and materials (e.g. articles).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesPlease contact the distance learning team at
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Class Delivery Information This course is taught by distance learning.
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The aims of this module are to:
1. Explore the wealth of legal issues associated with the regulation of cyberspace and the use of ICT systems, particularly in the light of increasing convergence of technologies and offerings;
2. Consider the impact and limits of markets, community norms, technological restrictions and law, in regulation of the Internet and virtual communities;
3. Assess the needs of commerce and consumers, citizens and states in respect of private and public transactions on the internet, and the role which is, should and can be played by law;
4. Evaluate the adequacy of existing national, regional, international and alternative rules in cognate areas like cybercrime, cloud computing and online privacy.

By the end of the module the student should be able to:
1.Identify, contribute to and advance the key areas of debate, from a legal perspective, in respect of cyberspace and ICT systems;
2. Form a view on the relevancy and adequacy of law and alternatives in advancing these debates, including regarding enforcement and sanctions;
3. Analyse the extent to which control over and liability in respect of ICT systems, software, data and website content can have negative consequences for individuals, corporations and wider society.

Assessment Information
One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one individual assignment (20%); contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%). Requirements for all module assessment will be outlined to students within the individual modules at the start of each semester.
Special Arrangements
This course is taught by distance learning.
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 1. Introduction to cyberspace & cyberlaw
2. Regulation
3. IP protection for software
4. Copyright in Cyberspace: introduction
5. Copyright in cyberspace: downloading, blocking and filtering
6. Cybercrime
7. Content liability
8. Trademarks, the internet and domain names
9. Online Privacy
10.Cloud computing
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsCyberlaw. Software. E-commerce. Domain names. Online privacy. Cybercrime.
Course organiserMs Judith Rauhofer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 4411
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