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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis 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 encouraged to contribute information and experiences from their home jurisdictions.

The aims of this module are to:

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;

Consider the impact and limits of markets, community norms, technological restrictions and law, in regulation of the Internet and virtual communities;

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;

Evaluate the adequacy of existing national, regional, international and alternative rules in cognate areas like cybercrime, cloud computing and online privacy.
Course description 1. Introduction to cyberspace & cyberlaw
2. Regulation
3. IP protection for software
4. Copyright in Cyberspace: introduction
5. Copyright in cyberspace: P2P, downloading and enforcement
6. Content liability
7. Trademarks, the internet and domain names
8. Cybercrime
9. Online Privacy
10.Cloud computing
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 must have regular and reliable access to the Internet.

Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 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 assessments will be outlined to students within the individual modules at the start of each semester.
Feedback Students can expect to receive timely feedback on their assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify, contribute to and advance the key areas of debate, from a legal perspective, in respect of the Internet and computers;
  2. Form a view on the relevancy and adequacy of law and alternatives in advancing these debates, including regarding enforcement and dispute resolution; and:
  3. Analyse the extent to which control over and liability in respect of hardware, software, data and website content can have negative consequences for individuals and corporations and wider society.
Reading List
'Law & the Internet' edited by Lilian Edwards & Charlotte Waelde (Hart Publishing, 2009).

A list of key module readings will be available in advance of the module. Detailed reading lists are then available each week.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:
1. Research and enquiry, through e.g. selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;
2. Personal and intellectual autonomy, e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;
3. Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form;
4. Personal effectiveness, e.g. working constructively as a member of an online community;
5. Students will also develop their technical/practical skills, throughout the module, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of another¿s arguments.
Special Arrangements This course is taught by distance learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by distance learning.
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 9704
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