Computer Law — Course Reference

Instructor: David G. Kay, 5056 Donald Bren Hall. Office hours: Officially Wednesdays after class, but feel free to drop by any time or send electronic mail to kay.

Meeting place and times: Wednesdays from 9:00 to 11:50 in ICS 243.

Course requirements: Reading and attending class to discuss the course materials; a term project on a computer law topic of your choice, presented orally (half talk, half discussion); one take-home final exam (out at the end of the ninth week, due at the start of finals week).

Readings: I'll assign readings as we go. Most will be on-line; I'll arrange access to the others. The course home page is The course Email list is; feel free to post questions or comments.

Approximate course outline:

Week 1

April 2

Overview of computer law and the course
Background on the legal system, legal principles and reasoning
Sources of law
Courts and jurisdiction

Week 2

April 9
Protecting intellectual property rights in computer software:
Copyright, patent, trade secret

Week 3

April 16
Current intellectual property issues

Week 4

April 23
Contracting for computer systems and services
Free speech and other constitutional issues in cyberspace
Privacy protection
Fair information practices and fair credit reporting legislation

Week 5

April 30
Liability for system malfunction
Computer-related litigation and computer-based evidence

Week 6

May 7
Computer crime and computer abuse
Professional ethics
Transborder data flow and international information policy
Electronic fund transfer systems
Computer applications in law practice

Week 7

May 14
Project presentations

Week 8

May 21
Project presentations

Week 9

May 28
Project presentations

Week 10

June 4
Project presentations and epilogue

David G. Kay,