Not available in 2013/14
LL4S5      Half Unit
Piracy, Content and Ownership in the Information Society

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Andrew Murray NAB7.11


This course is available on the MSc in Law and Accounting, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

Course content

One of the most contentious and complex areas of online activity is the conflict between content providers and consumers. Providers spend considerable amounts on developing and delivering a variety of content, including entertainment content, branded content and business content. Consumers often erroneously, feel "information ought to be free" and take content without payment, an activity known as piracy. This is an embedded schism in internet society and this course will examine key flashpoints including: proprietary vs. open software; file sharing and aggregation; trade mark disputes including ADR for domain name disputes; software patents and the database right. At the end of the class students should have a valuable insight to, and understanding of, the legal foundations of these disputes and the attempts of regulators to broker a resolution. This class will take a critical approach to both the problem and the proposed legal/regulatory solutions.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to contribute to a series of class and online exercises, and to submit to one one-hour mock exam.

Indicative reading

Murray: Information Technology Law: The Law and Society (OUP, 2010) Edwards & Waelde (eds): Law and the Internet 3rd ed (Hart, 2009) Bently and Sherman: Intellectual Property Law 3rd ed (OUP, 2008) Lessig: Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity (Penguin,2005) Lessig: Remix - Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (Bloomsbury, 2008) Boyle: The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (Yale UP, 2009) Netanel: Copyright's Paradox (OUP, 2010)


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills