Computer Law — Course Reference

Instructor: David G. Kay, 5056 Donald Bren Hall. Office hours: Feel free to drop by any time or send electronic mail to kay.

Meeting place and times: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:50 in ICS 259.

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 (talk plus 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

January 7/9

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

Week 2

January 14/16 Protecting intellectual property rights in computer software:
Copyright, patent, trade secret
Week 3

January 21/23 More on intellectual property
Week 4

January 28/30 Current intellectual property issues
Contracting for computer systems and services
Week 5

February 4/6 Free speech and other constitutional issues in cyberspace
Privacy protection
Fair information practices and fair credit reporting legislation
Week 6

February 11/13 Liability for system malfunction
Week 7

February 18/20 Professional ethics
Computer-related litigation and computer-based evidence
Computer crime and computer abuse
Project presentations. Thursday: Anshu Singh (E-Waste and Recycling) and Moury Bidgoli (Cybercrimes: ID Theft and Cyberbullying

Week 8

February 25/27 Project presentations. Tuesday: Saltanat Mashirova (Writing and Spreading Viruses) and Xinning Gui (Antitrust Law in China). Thursday: Alex Yuktanon (Extraterritorial Rights on the Internet) and Siva Thirunavukkarasu ( Copyright Case)
Week 9

March 4/6 Project presentations. Tuesday: Rohan Gopalakrishnan (International Copyright) and Rohan Achar (Automated Administration of Justice). Thursday: No class.
Week 10

March 11/13 Project presentations. Tuesday: Sonali Madireddi (Legal Aid for the Disadvantaged) and Vaibhav Saini (Source Code Clones in Open Source Software).
Thursday: Epilogue

David G. Kay,