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Study information

Internet Law

Module titleInternet Law
Module codeLAW3188
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Dr Robin Pierce (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The Internet has been described as a medium that neither is, nor should, nor could be controlled. And yet, legislators undertake efforts to regulate aspects of the Internet’s use. Since there is no transnational framework regulating all Internet transactions, this module tackles select global issues, examining their regulation in various jurisdictions. These include specificities of: online contracts (digital content; e-commerce); intellectual property rights online (geo-blocking; Digital Rights Management); the role and regulation of online intermediaries (social media; online marketplaces); and digital identity and online payments. This module complements other available optional modules, e.g. Intellectual Property, and Technology and Human Rights Law.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims at providing you with a thorough understanding of select issues arising from the development of the Internet and the increased popularity of online transactions. The focus of the module will be on the societal shift that the development of the Internet brought about and the resulting need for policymakers to accommodate the new market trends in their law-making. Various areas of law struggle to accommodate the rise of the Internet and online transactions, either by attempting to stretch the interpretation of the existing regulatory framework to cover the newly identified in online transactions issues, or by devising new rules applicable specifically to the digital market. The module aims to provide you with the necessary legal, theoretical and contextual background in order to analyse effectively the rationales, application and limits of various rules adopted by legislators while regulating the Internet. Due to the comprehensive framework of discussed issues, touching upon different areas of private law, you will improve your academic analytical skills, but also learn to engage critically with law in context.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and a thorough understanding of the main areas of Internet law;
  • 2. identify, explain and critically evaluate the main legal instruments regulating Internet law;
  • 3. demonstrate critical awareness of a wide range of social, moral, pragmatic and economic implications of regulating Internet law;
  • 4. compare, analyse and synthesise the principal rules and theories relating to Internet law.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of a range of legal concepts, values, principles, institutions and procedures, and explain the relationships among them, as well as their limits;
  • 6. demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of legal concepts and their contextual, social and commercial implications;
  • 7. apply legal knowledge to a problem/case study and suggest a conclusion supported by relevant arguments;
  • 8. integrate and assess information from primary and secondary legal sources using appropriate interpretative techniques.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. manage relevant learning resources/information and develop own arguments and opinions with minimum guidance;
  • 10. communicate and engage in debate effectively and accurately, in a manner appropriate to the discipline.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • introduction to the issues and the concept of Internet law;
  • different issues related to concluding contracts online, specifically online contracts of sale. Among discussed issues: privacy policies; terms of use; digital content; social media; information requirements and provision of information online; non-conformity; right of withdrawal; lack of supply;
  • the role, rights and obligations of online intermediaries, and whether these should differ based on the type of online intermediary (social media, P2P platforms, online marketplaces, Wikimedia, others);
  • an introduction to the digital identity issues and systems of online payments; e-Money Directive; Payment Services Directive; fraudulent transactions; and
  • issues of intellectual property online: copyright law online; geo-blocking; usage restrictions; licenses; fair use; Digital Rights Management; domain names; virtual property

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2211 X 2 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities64 x 1.5 hour seminars
Guided independent study42Individual reading and lecture preparation
Guided independent study20Seminar preparation
Guided independent study20Formative assessment preparation
Guided independent study40Summative assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1,250 words1-10Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay100Essay (2,500 words)1-10August/September re-assessment period

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay (2,500 words) (100%)1-10August/September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Savin, EU Internet Law (2018 Edward Elgar)
  • Special issues of the Journal of European Consumer and Market Law (EuCML), 1/2016 on sharing economy(and various article in this journal related to the liability of online intermediaries)
  • S. Gijrath, S. van der Hof, A.R. Lodder, G-J. Zwemme (eds.), Concise European Data Protection, E-Commerce and IT Law (2018 Wolters Kluwer)
  • L. Edwards, Law, Policy and the Internet (2018 Hart Publishing), ch. 1-2, 9-12
  • V. Eubanks, Automating Inequality (Macmillian 2018)
  • S. Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression (New York University Press 2018)
  • N. Bonde Thylstrup, The Politics of Mass Digitization (The MIT Press 2019)
  • A. White, Digital Media and Society: Transforming Economics, Politics and Social Practices (Palgrave 2014)
  • L. Lessig, Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy (The Penguin Press 2008)
  • M. Lemley, ‘IP in a World Without Scarcity’ [2015] 90 New York University Law Review 460-515
  • C. Jensen, ‘The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Copyright, Digital Technology, and Social Norms’ [2003] 56 Stanford Law Review 571-570
  • W. Dutton, A. Dopaka, M. Hills, G. Law and V. Nash, ‘Freedom of Connection – Freedom of Expression: The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet’ (UNESCO 2010)

Key words search

Internet; data protection; privacy; intellectual property; competition law; conflict of laws; contract law; sales law

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

LAW1004 The Law of Contract; LAW2103 EU Law

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date