Ethics & Law in New Media

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Redaktsioon seisuga 7. aprill 2008, kell 14:13 kasutajalt Kakk (arutelu | kaastöö)
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In short

  • EMIM/IMKE joint e-course, due autumn term 2008
  • 3.5 Estonian CP (AP), 5.0 ECTS
  • Ends with guided assessment, tasks include a course paper, blogging and online discussions
  • Instructor: Kaido Kikkas


  • To increase the level of concern related to the uneven distribution of technology, networks and education, and the consequent problems with respect to gender, age, democracy and economy.
  • To promote awareness of ethical problems and dilemmas in today's society where media and IT are ubiquitous, thus making the consequences of questionable ethical decisions the more profound.
  • To encourage awareness of political processes boosted by new media technologies (direct participation), empowering feature of new media technologies for minority groups (e.g people with disabilities), as well as consideration of the influence of media in the new media context.
  • To guide the students toward new media solutions that avoid digital divides in terms of considerate design, and by taking into account the constraints of various special groups.
  • To allow students to obtain adequate insight into today's IPR issues, covering both traditional approaches (copyright, licenses, patents) and new community-based developments (FLOSS, Creative Commons, content communities)


As it is, the course has got two distinct topics, while references are made between them as well.

I Ethical issues in information society

  1. Ethics in turbulent times
  2. Towards the information society and networked world
  3. Censors vs Cyberspace
  4. Online Privacy vs the Big Brother
  5. Rid the fools of their money – the online world of crime and fraud
  6. The Digital Divide
  7. Ubicomp – good or bad?
  8. The Hacker Ethic in a Networked World
  9. The Empowerment: Different People, Digital World
  10. From Hacktivism to Cyberwar
  11. Global networks in global politics (social movements, participatory democracy and the Net)
  12. Social software, social engineering (social aspects of online manipulation)

II Legal matters and new media

  1. Intro: the author vs the information society
  2. The history and development of copyright
  3. The proprietary world: the WIPO approach to intellectual property
  4. More WIPO: Contracts and licenses
  5. The hacker approach: the development of free licenses
  6. The Millennium Bug in the WIPO model
  7. One Microsoft Way: the world of proprietary software
  8. The digital enforcement: DRM and others
  9. The uneasy alliance: Free Software vs Open Source
  10. The content models: Creative Commons
  11. Hybrid approaches
  12. What about the future?

Independent tasks include reading, analysis of various materials


Nothing compulsory, the following falls under the replacement literature:

Books on paper

  • George, J.F. (2003) Computers in Society: Privacy, Ethics and the Internet. Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey
  • Himanen, Pekka (2002). Hacker Ethic. New York: Penguin Books
  • Levy, Steven (2001). Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Updated edition. New York: Penguin Press
  • Theobald, Robert (1998). Reworking Success: New Communities at the Millennium. Fourth Printing. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers

Online books


Other online material