LL4S5      Half Unit
Regulation of Digital Creativity and Investment

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Martin Husovec

Other Staff Involved: Prof Andrew Murray NAB 6.08


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.

Course content

The course examines how law and other regulatory systems incentivise creativity and investment in the digital space and with what consequences. Legislatures around the world constantly face the question of what intangible assets to protect and how to support social progress. The general intuition is that protecting from imitation is necessary to incentivise creativity and investment that are in everyone’s interest. Several recent examples include potential protection of data, AI-generated creations, computer programs, and digital news.

The course provides a broad view of how legal incentives, social norms, technical architecture, and markets shape the legal design of new forms of protection of intangible assets. It draws on a number of recent policy developments in Europe and around the world to study when and by what means legislators decide to protect new digital assets from imitation and appropriation. It explores how legislators, regulators and industries interact in their attempts to develop a coherent and flexible body of law and regulatory practice.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

• critically evaluate ongoing developments in law relating to IPRs and the digital environment.

• display an understanding of how these developments relate to one another.

• examine areas of doctrinal, academic and political debate surrounding rules and theories;

• evaluate those rules and theories in terms of internal coherence and practical outcomes;

• draw on the analysis and evaluation contained in primary and secondary sources.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Lent Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

Murray: Information Technology Law: The Law and Society 4ed (OUP, 2019)

Suzanne Scotchmer, Innovation and Incentives (MIT Press, 2004)

Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (Public Affairs, 2015)

Justin Pila and Paul Torremans, European Intellectual Property Law (OUP 2019)


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills