Information Technology Contracting Law

Subject LAWS70362 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

October, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 12-Sep-2016
Teaching Period 10-Oct-2016 to 14-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 11-Jan-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 31-Mar-2016
Census Date 10-Oct-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 02-Dec-2016

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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

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.


Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 1
November, Semester 2
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 Student Equity and Disability Support.


Mr Jonathan Gill



Mr Jonathan Gill (Coordinator)
Mr Michael Carrick

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 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
  • 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 will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles related to the contracting for the development and exploitation of information technology products and services, (including recent developments in this field of law and practice) (“those Legal Principles”)
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of those Legal Principles
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding the contractual, copyright and other legal issues that arise in relation to the development and exploitation of information technology products and services
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the issues that arise in relation to the development and exploitation of information technology products and services
  • Have an advanced understanding of relationship between the legal issues that arise and the commercial environment in which information technology products and services are developed and exploited
  • Have a detailed understanding of the law and its impact on the development of information technology products and services
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to information technology contracting law and to critically evaluate existing legal principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding to information technology contracting law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of information technology contracting law.
  • Class participation (10%)
  • Take-home examination (5,000-6,000 words as specified in the subject reading guide) (90%) (25 - 28 November)
  • 8,000 word research paper (90%) (11 January 2017) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Communications Law
Graduate Diploma in Construction Law
Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Commercial Law
Master of Construction Law
Master of Intellectual Property Law
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law

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