Information Technology Contracting Law

Subject LAWS70362 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Information technology is critical to almost all modern organisations and processes. The development, acquisition and use of such technology raises a myriad of complex legal issues extending beyond conventional contractual issues and includes ownership rights, rights of use and risk management. This subject explores those issues with a particular emphasis on contracting and intellectual property issues associated with the development and sourcing of information technology products and services. Both lecturers are information technology lawyers with extensive practical experience acting for both providers and purchasers of such products and services.

Principal topics will include:

  • Overview of information technology and the Australian information technology development industry
  • Roles and relationships of the various parties to information technology agreements
  • Copyright protection afforded to technology products and services, including online products and services
  • Open source licensing arrangements
  • Patent protection afforded information technology products and services (including business process and innovation patents)
  • Employees and contractor rights and obligations in the context of the creation and development of information technology
  • Software creation, development and exploitation
  • Hardware supply arrangements
  • Network management, security and maintenance
  • Website development, maintenance and liability
  • Database and content management issues
  • Risk allocation and management of information technology contracts (including insurance and escrow arrangements).
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand the legal issues associated with the major platforms for the delivery of information technology
  • Understand the legal principles affecting the development and exploitation of information technology products and services
  • Be able to critically evaluate the contractual documentation associated with information technology development, service provision and exploitation
  • Be aware of, and critically evaluate, risk allocation in information technology contracts and arrangements.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • Take-home examination (90%)
  • 8,000 word research paper (90%) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator
Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

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