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LS452U: LAW OF THE DIGITAL ECONOMY (2022-2023)

Last modified: 28 Oct 2022 12:00


Course Overview

The course aims to introduce students to the legal aspects of the digital economy. The course will first explore the historical and economical dimension of the ‘platformisation’ of the digital market, to then dig into the relevant areas of law invested by the “disruptive” intervention of online platforms. The course will have a focus on domestic and European Law.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 25 credits (12.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Rossana Ducato
  • Dr Claudio Lombardi

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Law (LS) or Bachelor Of Laws With International Exchange (With Honours)
  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • Any Undergraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

Yes

One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.


Course Description

The digital economy is now largely characterised by the role played by intermediary gatekeepers, such as online platforms. The European Commission has defined the latter as “an undertaking operating in two or (multi)-sided markets, which uses Internet to enable interaction between two or more distinct but interdependent groups of users so as to generate value for at least one of the groups”. These business models (Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, Amazon are some examples of them) do not operate as merely passive carriers, but they are creating new markets and reshape Internet governance mechanisms. While their existence can potentially entail new job opportunities and consumer choices, their increasing market power and gatekeeping function is raising several concerns from a legal point of view. Through private ordering, platforms can influence consumer behaviours, include or exclude competitors, curate and select the content that one can access online.

The course aims to critically discuss the emerging legal challenges raised by online platforms in the digital economy, their current regulation at the domestic and European level (through the lenses of consumer protection, competition law, data protection, intellectual property, contract law), and the ongoing initiatives to create a level playing field for the actors operating in the digital economy.

The course will be organised around six main topics, such as:

1) The origin of the platform economy: historical and economic background;
2) E-commerce and intermediary liability;
3) Content curation, content moderation, and the fight to illegal content;
4) Transparency in online marketplaces: rankings, recommender systems, and personalised pricing;
5) Platform power and competition law;
6) Platform governance and corporate governance.


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 - 35, 39

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks 30 Feedback Weeks 33

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

The feedback will be provided in written form and in accordance with the Common Grading Scale. The feedback will be provided within three weeks as of submission, in accordance with the School’s and University’s policies. 

Word Count 2500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandTo gain knowledge and understanding of the legal framework applicable to the platform economy.
ProceduralApplyTo apply the knowledge and concepts acquired in concrete case scenarios, such as personalised pricing, content moderation, abuse of dominant position.
ReflectionCreateTo communicate orally and in writing information, advice and choices in an effective and persuasive manner.

Exam

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks 39 Feedback Weeks 42

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Online Exam. Three questions at 800-words each.

The feedback will be provided in written form and in accordance with the Common Grading Scale. The feedback will be provided within three weeks as of submission, in accordance with the School’s and University’s policies.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandTo gain knowledge and understanding of the legal framework applicable to the platform economy.
ProceduralApplyTo apply the knowledge and concepts acquired in concrete case scenarios, such as personalised pricing, content moderation, abuse of dominant position.
ReflectionAnalyseTo analyse the conflict between different areas of law in the digital sphere, e.g. freedom to conduct a business and intellectual property rights.
ReflectionCreateTo communicate orally and in writing information, advice and choices in an effective and persuasive manner.
ReflectionEvaluateTo evaluate the legal implications of platform economy, their impact on society and the potential paths for regulation.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Resit failed element in same format.

Assessment Type Summative Weighting
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Resit is only available in the event of Good Cause or Medical Certificate.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionCreateTo communicate orally and in writing information, advice and choices in an effective and persuasive manner.
ReflectionAnalyseTo analyse the conflict between different areas of law in the digital sphere, e.g. freedom to conduct a business and intellectual property rights.
ProceduralApplyTo apply the knowledge and concepts acquired in concrete case scenarios, such as personalised pricing, content moderation, abuse of dominant position.
ConceptualUnderstandTo gain knowledge and understanding of the legal framework applicable to the platform economy.
ReflectionEvaluateTo evaluate the legal implications of platform economy, their impact on society and the potential paths for regulation.

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