Geoffrey Sampson


Law for Computing Students

by Geoffrey Sampson


The days when computing graduates took jobs which involved sitting in a back room hacking code all day vanished with the twentieth century. Nowadays, employers are looking for recruits who combine technical knowledge with business savvy, so that they can actively find ways of exploiting information technology to advance their organization’s goals.

One important part of understanding how a business works is a broad general awareness of the legal environment within which the business (and its partners and competitors) are operating.

This textbook aims to introduce computing students in a painless, readable fashion to the basics of law as it applies to information technology. It is published online, free for readers to download and print off anonymously (under a novel publishing model, financed through advertising by companies looking to recruit graduates).

After surveying the fundamentals of how English law works, the book looks in turn at the areas of law which are most significant for IT-related aspects of (private- or public-sector) business. The book certainly won’t substitute for taking professional advice when a specific problem arises (that is not its purpose) – but it will show what IT issues are liable to throw up legal problems, and help the reader understand how law impacts on the companies he works for as a graduate.

IT law is changing rapidly as the technology itself evolves. A student needs not only to learn something about the law as it stands, but also to gain a feeling for the trends and pressures that are influencing the development of law as it relates to our profession. That is part of what this book offers. The legal rules discussed are illustrated via concrete details of real cases, which adds human interest to the consideration of dry abstract principles.

This new edition of the book (December 2017) is heavily updated, with discussion of the legal implications of Brexit for the IT industry, “fake news” and regulation of social media, and more.

Chapter titles:

  1. Introduction
  2. The nature of English law
  3. Faulty supplies
  4. Intellectual property
  5. Law and rapid technical change: a case study
  6. Personal data rights
  7. Web law
  8. Regulatory compliance

203 pp.

Published online and free to readers under the “BookBoon” imprint by Ventus of Denmark — claimed to be the biggest e-book publisher in the world. For international third-party comments on BookBoon’s novel model of textbook publishing, see e.g. write-ups on the sites of The Daily Maverick or Campus Technology.

ISBN 978-87-403-1972-9

Geoffrey Sampson

last changed 5 Dec 2017