TOPICS IN COMMERCIAL LAW: E-COMMERCE LAW
MONDAY 3:30 TO 5PM
WEDNESDAY 3:30 TO 5PM
UBC’s Point Grey Campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. The land it is situated on has always been a place of learning for the Musqueam people, who for millennia have passed on in their culture, history, and traditions from one generation to the next on this site.
Course Title Course Code Number Credit Value
Topics in Law: E-commerce law LAW447 3
None. But the students are better prepared to discuss the uniqueness of the cyberspace and apply their knowledge to specific issues in e-commerce. For those of you who want to learn various freedom of expression issues in the cyberspace, please take LAW425D.001 Cyberspace law: Freedom of Expression in the Cyberspace.
Course Instructor(s) Contact Details Office Location Office Hours
Prof. Shigenori Matsui (SM)
Professor of Law
University of British Columbia,
Peter A. Allard School of Law
1822 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Monday 12:30 to 14:00
Thursday 10:30 to 12:30
If I was not in my office during office hours, please come again. If the student needs an appointment, please feel free to ask for an appointment by e-mail.
This course is a new course designed to learn about the various legal issues rising from the development of the e-commerce. The course will start the examination of the general characteristics of e-commerce and the framework of e-commerce law with the background knowledge on computer technology and information network (pre-reading). Here we will pay a special attention to the rise of social network and its impacts on e-commerce. The course will then examine the various legal issues for starting up e-commerce: registration of a company, opening website and/or offering products or service on the platforms, such as online shopping mall, including the legal issues on domain name, management of website and restrictions on offered products or services. Then, the course will turn attention to contractual issues, including application of contract law to e-commerce and the validity of e-signature as well as legal issues on payment. This part also examines the consumer protection measures for on-line customers. The next part will examine the legal issues on on-line advertisement, including un-solicited e-mail and regulation on on-line advertisement. The course will then examine the legal liability for breach of contract and for torts. This part also explores the liability of intermediary and the dispute-resolution mechanism. The course will move on to examination of privacy and data protection. This part will start from the examination of personal information protection legal scheme and then discuss some of the legal issues on protection of personal information for e-commerce, necessity of encryption and the legal system to secure the network. The final part will cover emergent issues, involving the issues in the e-gaming, sharing economy and cryptocurrency.
This course is an experimental course to define the e-commerce law and provide sufficient legal knowledge for students who want to learn about on-going and emerging legal issues in e-commerce.
SCHEDULE OF TOPIC
Course Outline (tentative, subject to change)
chapter 1 foundation of the information technology (pre-reading)
chapter 2 network and the cyberspace (pre-reading)
chapter 3 characteristics of e-commerce
what is e-commerce?
Internet shopping or on-line shopping, e-marketplaces
role of agent
chapter 4 rise of social network
what is social network?
social network’s impacts on e-commerce
legal issues for social network
liability of social network platforms
chapter 5 e-commerce law
how legal system should respond to the rise of cyberspace?
doing business online: applicable law and possible jurisdictions
federal and provincial business corporation laws
incorporation and registration of business for doing business in Canada
consumer protection regulation
trade barriers within Canada
International law and Canadian Law
part 1 starting up e-commerce
chapter 6 opening website and starting e-commerce
how can you register your business?
how can you open a website?
what is domain name?
how can you acquire a domain name?
trade mark restrictions
other restrictions on domain name
merits and demerits of opening a shop on the platforms
chapter 7 management of websites
importance of website management: accessibility, accuracy and importance of increasing the traffic
websites and copyright
online sale of used materials or online auction and copyright
chapter 8 limitation on service and products: various restrictions
government bans on particular services
government regulation on certain services
banking, security transaction, insurance
copyright and trademark issues
pirate copies or knock-offs
services which could infringe copyright
restrictions on particular type of transactions
part 2 e-commerce contract
chapter 9 contract issues
offer and acceptance
when was the contract made?
choice-of-law and jurisdiction clause
validity of electronic contract and digital signature
errors during the contract
chapter 10 e-commerce and consumer protection
protection for consumer contract
deceptive contract practices and unfair business activities
Consumer Review Fairness Act (US)
unfair or untrue review
remedies for consumers
chapter 11 payment issues
how is the payment made?
credit card, and other method of payment
cancellation of contract and its effect on the payment issues
if there is a problem during the payment
part 3 online advertising
chapter 12 un-solicitated e-mails
anti-spam legislations: different approach
Canadian anti-spam policy
mid-term break (February 15 to 19)
chapter 13 online advertising
on-line advertisement scheme
regulation of on-line advertisement
false and misleading on-line advertisement
responsibility for carrying false or misleading on-line advertisement
part 4 liability
chapter 14 contract law liability
failure to perform duties
chapter 15 tort liability
which law should be applied?
chapter 16 liability of intermediary
liability of platforms
when the shops on the platforms were inadequate?
platform’s obligation to monitor and supervise the shop?
chapter 17 dispute resolution
terms and conditions—limits of jurisdiction and choice of law
non-judicial dispute resolution mechanism
arbitration and conciliation
part 5 privacy and data protection
chapter 18 privacy and personal information protection
importance of privacy and personal information protection
privacy acts and personal information protection legislations
some examples of invasion of privacy and breaches
pitfalls for business companies
chapter 19 encryption
need for secured transaction and use of encryption
government regulation on encryption
other measures to secure the security
chapter 20 big data
collection and use of big data
merits and risks
how to utilize the big data
chapter 21 network security
necessity of securing the network security
applicability of various criminal Code provisions
necessity of introducing a ban on network hacking and breach
part 6 future of the e-commerce law
chapter 22 e-gaming and e-sports
what is e-gaming and e-sports
chapter 23 sharing economy
what is sharing economy
Uber and Airbnb
legal questions presented by the acceptance of shared economy
chapter 24 cryptocurrency
what is cryptocurrency?
is it a money, security or just a service?
attempts to regulate cryptocurrency
some problematic transactions
future of cryptocurrency
Course objective: To Learn various legal issues implicated by the rise of the cyberspace and e-commerce.
course structure: This course meets twice a week on Monday, from 15:30 to 17:00 and on Wednesday, from 15:30 to 17:00 in room 122
Although this is a course, I expect everyone to participate in the class just as a seminar. I hope to have an active and enlightened discussion in the classroom.
The course will examine various specific cases and issues implicated by the rise of the cyberspace and e-commerce. The students are supposed to discuss and share their opinions on each issue and explore further implications on related issues. The students will obtain the basic knowledge and skills to face new issues and possible future cases throughout these discussions.
I EXPECT THAT ALL OF THE STUDENTS WILL READ THE ASSIGNMENT FOR EACH CLASS AND COME TO THE CLASS FOR DISCUSSION. I WILL EXPECT ACTIVE STUDENT PARTICIPATION IN THE CLASS DISCUSSIONS.
Textbook: Andrew Murray, Information Technology Law (Oxford 2019)
Reading materials to be distributed
Other textbooks which might be useful for the students (not mandatory)
James Grimmelmann, Internet Law: Cases and Problems (7th ed. Semaphore Press 2017)
Ian J. Lloyd, Information Technology Law (Oxford 2017)
ASSESMENT OF LEARNING
Class participation 30% and final assignment 70%. Students will be evaluated based upon the class participation and final essay paper. The essay paper will be assigned 70% of total evaluation and the class performance will be assigned 30% of total evaluation.
Class participation: Class participation mark is evaluated based upon the class attendance, performance as a student moderator and the degree of active participation in the class discussion. Each student is required to attend the class after reading assigned materials and is encouraged to participate in the class discussions. Regular attendance and active participation are especially import to provide you with deeper knowledge and understanding. During the classroom discussions, we will pick up many specific issues, including new issues and new judgments, and discuss how we should resolve the cases. With respect to major issue for discussion, we might pick up the student moderator to moderate the discussion. If you miss too many classes, you will not be eligible to submit your final paper.
Final paper: With respect to final paper, each student should choose a particular topic from the areas covered by this course and submit the outline of the paper by the end of February (you can just send an e-mail outlining your paper) and then write a substantial paper (roughly 15 pages—this is merely a suggestion and is not the minimum or maximum limit) by the end of submission deadline (4:00 p.m. of the final day of the examination, April 27, 2021). Please send your paper with your email to me. But please make sure to keep your original copy with you just in case and make sure to receive my reception e-mail.
You do not have to pick up the topic discussed in the class. You can pick up any subject that might be relevant to our course. I will be happy to advise you on your choice of topic and you should talk with me before finalizing your outline. The paper will be evaluated based on the choice of topic, the extent of the research, the organization and structure of analysis, the analytical skill, the writing skill and the overall persuasiveness. I don’t care what format you would choose, what citation method or citation style you would prefer to use or how long you would choose to write. All I will care is the substance of your research, writing and analysis.
After separately evaluating class participation mark and paper mark, I will add these marks to produce tentative final mark. Then, in order to comply with the law school’s grading policy, sometimes I will have to add final adjustment to reach the final marks to be submitted.
For the law school’s grading policy, see http://www.allard.ubc.ca/sites/www.allard.ubc.ca/files/uploads/registration/grades_dist_1819.pdf.
For the law school policy on late submission, see http://www.allard.ubc.ca/sites/www.allard.ubc.ca/files/uploads/JD/penalties_for_late_assignments.pdf#search=%27UBC+law+school+late+submission%27.
For the law school’s academic concession policy (including deferral of exam or extension of deadline of submission of paper), see http://www.allard.ubc.ca/sites/www.allard.ubc.ca/files/uploads/registration/grades_dist_1819.pdf.
UBC provides resources to support student learning and to maintain healthy lifestyles but recognizes that sometimes crises arise and so there are additional resources to access including those for survivors of sexual violence. UBC values respect for the person and ideas of all members of the academic community. Harassment and discrimination are not tolerated nor is suppression of academic freedom. UBC provides appropriate accommodation for students with disabilities and for religious observances. UBC values academic honesty and students are expected to acknowledge the ideas generated by others and to uphold the highest academic standards in all of their actions.
Details of the policies and how to access support are available on the UBC Senate website.
All the class instructions and distributed materials can be shared among other participants of the class but cannot be published or distributed without permission. No recording is permitted without permission.
Updated April 23, 2020