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Legal Challenges in the Digital Community, 15 hp

Engelskt namn: Legal Challenges in the Digital Community

Denna kursplan gäller: 2017-01-16 och tillsvidare

Kurskod: 2JU126

Högskolepoäng: 15

Utbildningsnivå: Avancerad nivå

Huvudområden och successiv fördjupning: Rättsvetenskap: Avancerad nivå, har endast kurs/er på grundnivå som förkunskapskrav

Betygsskala: För denna kurs ges betygen VG Väl godkänd, G Godkänd, U Underkänd

Ansvarig institution: Juridiska institutionen

Beslutad av: Prefekten, 2013-12-04

Reviderad av: Prefekten, 2016-12-05


The course highlights areas of law where traditional legal thinking has been challenged by the rise of the digital community. Particular emphasis will be placed on legal analysis and discussion of intellectual property rights, privacy, publicity, issues of jurisdiction, and governance and control of the Internet. The course approaches these issues from an international as well as European and Swedish perspective, analyzing the tension between law and technology as a global phenomenon.

The course will cover five major themes:

(1) Geographic dissolution in a geographically defined legal order
This theme will cover conflicts between the digital community, which is independent of territorial borders, and law, which have a local nature. Issues relating to conflicts of law on the Internet will be one important question within this section

(2) Public and private in the digital community
This theme will cover the relationship between the state, government agencies, private undertakings, and the individual in the digital community. This will cover, inter alia, data privacy questions, and government use of digital tools. This theme also approaches issues relating to freedom of speech and the legal boundaries and balancing of this freedom online.

(3) Risks and threats online
This theme will cover the dark sides of the Internet, different threats and risks affecting the internet and the legal framework surrounding them.

(4) Ownership and sharing in the Internet age
This theme will cover the relationship between different ideas on ownership and free exchange. This will cover questions such as DRM, software license agreements, open source, creative commons, copyright vs. remix culture, ownership over personal data, intermediary liability, etc.
(5) Neutrality and governance
This theme will cover private and public governance of the internet, and questions of neutrality. This will include questions relating to (a) private internet governance; and (b) code as a lawmaker, or code as law.

Förväntade studieresultat

After completing the course students should have acquired:

- An understanding of the legal issues that may arise in relation to digital networks based on the course themes, especially from the perspective of Swedish, European and international law.
- An ability to analyze and argue current legal issues affecting the digital community, especially within the areas mentioned above.
- An advanced knowledge of national and international law in areas affecting individual legal rights and opportunities in the digital society and a knowledge of the economic, political and cultural issues that affect this.
- Thorough knowledge of a specific problem area and an ability to present an in-depth legal analysis, and argue for solutions, in written and oral form in this area.


Univ.: A minimum of 90 university credits in one main field of social sciences studies, systems science or computer science including an individual essay carrying at least 15 university credits, or 120 university credits from the Law Programme, or equivalent qualifications. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A (IELTS (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 5.5 and no individual score below 5.0. TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) with a minimum total score of 530 and a minimum TWE score of 4. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) with a minimum total score of 72 and a minimum score of 17 on the Writing Section). Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Undervisningens upplägg

Teaching is mainly done through written assignments and tutorials. Active participation in discussions at tutorials is crucial as is submitting written assignments. The final individual research paper will be discussed at a final seminar. All instruction and discussion will take place in English.


Examination takes place through fulfilment of two parts, partly the compulsory course elements specified in component 1 below, partly writing a research paper specified in component 2 below.

Component 1
Active participation in tutorials.
Fulfilment of written assignments.

Component 2
At the end of the course, students should write and submit an individual research paper.

A passing grade on the activities under components 1-2 above is required to receive a passing grade for the course as a whole. For component 1 the grades Fail (U) or Pass (G) can be awarded. On the research paper the grades awarded are Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG).

On the entire course, the grades given are Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG). The grade for the course as a whole is based on the result of the research paper and awarded after the completion of all compulsory course elements.

The appointed examiner may decide to use other forms of examination if required by particular circumstances. A student who has not received a passing grade on a test will be afforded an opportunity for re-examination. A student who has passed examination may not be re-examined. A student who has taken two tests for a course or segment of a course, without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless special reasons exist. A written request for change of examiner is submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Education.

Students who have participated in but failed a test, including essays, seminars, written and oral assignments et cetera, but not including the final written, take home or oral test of the course, have the right to do a make–up assignment in order to reach the grade Pass (but not higher grades). The student may still achieve a higher grade than Pass on the course overall, if all requirements for the grade in question are fulfilled. The make-up assignment must be completed no later than two months after the student learned of the failed grade and using the same form of examination.
Academic credit transfer
Students have the right to apply to have a previous education or experience evaluated for transfer of credits. For more information, see: www.umu.se/utbildning/antagning/tillgodoraknande


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