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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Software and the law (LAWS10268)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the legal protections and requirements applicable to the production, dissemination, and commercial exploitation of software.
Course description This course will examine how software is generated, protected and commercialised. It will explore the intellectual property protection afforded to software via copyright, patents or trade secrets. It will also explore more complex issues of ownership, such as in the employment context or when AI is used to generate software. The course will explore the requirements imposed on software development with respect to data protection and information security. It will also look at liability issues for software providers and risk assessments and classification of software using AI. Lastly, the course will explore competition law issues relevant to software marketplaces, the definition and compliance with interoperability requirements as well as technical standardisation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 5,000-word essay at the end of the semester (worth 100% of the final mark)
Feedback Individual participation via electronic voting during seminars:
During seminars, students will be asked, via the electronic voting system Top Hat/Mentimeter, to answer questions relating to the seminars and their associated reading lists. Although some of those questions will assess factual knowledge, most questions will be on general policy issues or on essay-writing techniques and will allow for multiple correct answers. The main aim of this assessment is to elicit class discussion and to help develop critical analysis skills. So, although students will be marked individually both for participating in the vote and on the correctness of their answers, the assessment is designed to enable learning not only from the course organiser┬┐s feedback but also through class discussion.

┬┐ A group exercise during one of the seminars for the course: In the group exercise during one of the seminars for the course, student groups will analyse an essay question that will be provided in advance. Feedback will be provided to each group on the analysis offered by them and general feedback will be provided on issues of technique and approach.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of substantive UK and European Intellectual Property, Data Protection and Competition laws applicable to software
  2. Think critically about software law in practice
  3. Participate in contemporary debates surrounding the regulation of software
Reading List
Reading lists will be made available in due course on a weekly basis.
Additional Information
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 course, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of another's arguments.
KeywordsSoftware,Intellectual Property,Copyright,Trade Secrets,Patents,Privacy,Privacy by Design,Dat
Course organiserMr Nicolas Jondet
Tel: (0131 6)51 4528
Course secretaryMiss Susie Morgan
Tel: (0131 6)50 2339
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