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How to tread ICT terrain softly



The book, Introduction to Computer Law in Nigeria (Ink-Spire Ventures Ltd, Lagos; 2015) written by Femi Daniel focuses on the crimes perpetrated with the aid of the computer. It also documents the laws and ethics regulating the use of the computer and the Internet in transmitting and utilizing information. In a world regarded as a global village, the importance of the electronic media, especially the Internet, cannot be over-emphasised. It has reduced the distance between people and made interaction easier and faster for netizens.

The author details the significance of the computer and the ills it causes in day-to-day living. He explains that the computer does not only refer to desktop or laptop hardware but to every object that could be controlled by a programmed code also known as software. He further evaluates the impact of the Internet on the Laws of Public Morality, Defamation and Intellectual Property Infringement (otherwise known as Copyright Infringement). He gives a brief history and development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) by saying, “the rise of the Internet was borne out of the competitive spirit of the Cold War era”.

The book examines the functions of the various bodies regulating the Nigerian Information Technology sector and the term ‘contract’ as a promise or set of promises the law will enforce. Also discussed is the five elements that make a contract valid to include offer, acceptance, consideration, intention to create legal relations and capacity contracts. In addition, he explains the shrink wrap contract as an unsigned license agreement indicating acceptance by the user as soon as he opens the shrink wrap package while a click wrap contract is one used with software licenses whereby a user must agree to the terms and conditions before using the product or service. He also analyzes the legal implications of cyber contracts.

The author further emphasizes the ease, swiftness and other benefits associated with electronic banking that has made the computer and other telecommunications equipment vital in the Nigerian banking sector. He goes ahead to enumerate the various forms of electronic banking. Daniel further elaborates on Intellectual Property Rights (Copyright) in an Information Technology context where he states that the protection of copyright is not an easy task with the rise of digital technology in which streaming sites, cyber lockers, internet piracy infringe upon copyright works.

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