Computer Law — Course Reference

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

Meeting place and times: Thursdays from 9:00 to 11:50 in 1420 Donald Bren Hall.

Course requirements: For everyone, reading and attending class to discuss the course materials and a take-home final exam (out at the end of the ninth week, due at the start of finals week). For those who want a letter grade (rather than SU), a term project on a computer law topic of your choice, presented orally (half talk, half discussion); we will take signups for these in Week 2.

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

Approximate course outline (slides):

Week 1

April 1

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 8
Protecting intellectual property rights in computer software:
Copyright, patent, trade secret

Week 3

April 15
More on intellectual property

Week 4

April 22
Current intellectual property issues
Contracting for computer systems and services

Week 5

April 29
Free speech and other constitutional issues in cyberspace
Privacy protection
Fair information practices and fair credit reporting legislation

Week 6

May 6
Liability for system malfunction

Week 7

May 13

Professional ethics
Computer-related litigation and computer-based evidence
Computer crime and computer abuse

Week 8

May 20
Project presentations

Week 9

May 27
Project presentations

Week 10

June 3
Project presentations and epilogue

David G. Kay,