LWMTWB-Internet Law

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Basak Bak
Email: basak.baktezgel@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module explores the issues related to the law and regulation of the ‘borderless’ internet. These include allocation of jurisdiction; e-privacy and data protection; liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for online crimes and infringements; regulation of domain names; legal issues of cloud computing, software licensing and ‘open source’ distribution; data ownership, big data and mass digitization projects; freedom of speech on the internet and intellectual property issues of the information society.

This module aims to provide students with advanced knowledge of the legal, regulatory and policy issues of the cyberspace. In particular, the module aims to enable students to appreciate and critically assess the function of the law in the online environment by reference to the different areas of law that are affected. These mainly include: criminal law, consumer law, data protection, human rights and intellectual property law.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the key legal issues of the internet and the ability to critically assess current issues of internet regulation;

  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply elements of consumer law, criminal law, human rights, intellectual property law and data protection to issues arising from the use of the internet and technology applications or services enabled by the inter net;

  3. Demonstrate the ability to ascertain the substantial law from legislation, case law and secondary literature, as applied to the internet.

Additional outcomes:

In addition to those listed in the School’s ‘core skills statement’, the module will encourage the development of:

  • High-level oral communication skills through reflective, analytical class discussion.

  • Advanced critical reading skills in relation to primary and/or secondary sources

Outline content:

The module will cover topics such as: 

  1. The legal nature of the internet as a borderless and cross-jurisdictional environment and overview of internet governance and regulation issues, including the regulation of internet protocols and domain names.

  2. Liability of internet service providers for crimes and infringements committed by internet users.

  3. Computer-related crimes, such as fraud, identity theft, online libel and defamat ion; freedom of speech on the internet, censorship.

  4. Cybersecurity, digital rights, trans-border data flow, cloud computing, geoblocking, big data and internet of things.

  5. Copyright infringement on the internet.

  6. Regulation of online business models, search engines, social networks, mass digitisation and online libraries.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:

  • A list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.

  • 6 x 2-hour seminars in the Autumn term. Seminars are discussion based classes.

  • Assessed work that will be used to develop students' skills and knowledg e.

  • An electronic discussion board will be available for students enrolled in this module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 12
Guided independent study: 88
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
1 assessed essay of 8 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law's Assessed Work Rules)

Formative assessment methods:

1 optional non-assessed essay of 4 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules) and/or 1 optional non-assessed book review of 2 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules)

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 

2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 

4) Printing and binding: 

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

Last updated: 15 June 2022


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