Book Reviews

Information Technology Law: The Law and Society

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Author: Andrew Murray

Price: 37.99

Edition: 2nd Edition (August 2013)

ISBN: 978-0-19-966151-0

Buy from OUP: Click Here

There can be no doubt that information technology law is one of the most fast moving areas of law.  As technology continues to advance and develop, so must the law.  This second edition of Information Technology Law: The Law and Society aims to tackle this issue by systematically examining how the law and legal processes in the UK, which is designed to meet the needs of a traditional physical society, interacts with the modern 'information society' and the fast moving process of digitisation.  What you have is an engaging and thought-provokingly worthwhile account of this complicated issue.

Written by Andrew Murray, Information Technology Law: The Law and Society is split into seven parts: information and society; governance in the information society; digital content and intellectual property rights; criminal activity in the information society; e-commerce; privacy in the information society; and future challenges for information law.  Each part has a number of chapters.  For example, the part on e-commerce has chapters on: branding and trade marks in the information society; electronic contracts; and electronic payments and taxation.  The part on privacy in the information society has chapters on: data protection; and data and personal privacy.

One of the first things which strikes you when reading Information Technology Law: The Law and Society is the sheer breath of material it covers.  For example, it looks at issues like electronic money, including its development over the years to allow, crucially, payments in different ways (like payments using a mobile phone), super-injunctions and the use of social media (and its criminalisation most recently seen following the riots in 2011).  The fact that so much ground is covered does not mean, however, that the text feels disjointed; in fact, it is both well-written and engaging.  It is also extremely thought-provoking with Murray challenging the law throughout the text.

If you are looking for a textbook on information technology law which explains the law, its development and its limitations, then Murray's Information Technology Law: The Law and Society is an excellent resource.  It has an online resource centre which, by the time of this review, is already packed with a number of additional resources (which increases the longevity of a text in a fast-moving area of law like IT law).  It is hoped that these updates continue until the next edition is published.  In the meantime, Information Technology Law: The Law and Society is an important and engaging contribution to this fast moving area of law. 

Reviewed on 19 October 2014

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