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Lawrence Lessig

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Lawrence Lessig, the renowned copyright and intellectual property rights author and Stanford Law School professor, will present a talk titled, "Remix -- Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy," on Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m. in Bucknell University's Trout Auditorium.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Eric Faden, assistant professor of English at Bucknell, called Lessig a leading legal scholar who’s rethinking how culture and its laws can adapt to new technologies.

Changing rules
"Today’s students are already media producers. They’re blogging, ripping and mixing mp3s, and editing DV video," said Faden. "Yet, our country's legal system hasn't caught up to how these new forms have changed the rules. Professor Lessig's talk will show us what some of the legal implications and possibilities may be."

Lessig, among his many credits, is the founder of Stanford's Center for Internet and Society, a public interest technology law and policy program that brings together scholars, academics, legislators, students, programmers, security researchers, and scientists to study the interaction of new technologies and the law and to examine how the synergy between the two can either promote or harm public good like free speech, privacy, public commons, diversity, and scientific inquiry. 

Fair Use Foundation
He also formed Stanford’s Fair Use Foundation, which provides legal aid to scholars and filmmakers who use copyrighted material under the "Fair Use" provision. One of the foundation’s first clients was Faden and his film "A Fair(y) Use Tale."

He also represented Web site operator Eric Eldred in the ground-breaking case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. He has won numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, and was named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries, for arguing "against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online."

Lessig is the author of Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001), Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999), and Code 2.0 (2006).

Creative Commons
He is chair the Creative Commons, a San Francisco nonprofit organization that has helped to promote his open approach to copyright, and serves on the board of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge. He is also a former columnist for Wired magazine.

Lessig is in the midst of shifting intellectual gears to tackle money-influenced corruption in politics.

"Money corrupts the process of reasoning. (Legislators) get a sixth sense of how what they do might affect how they raise money," Lessig said at a recent technology conference. Issues like healthcare reform, global warming, and immigration can't be solved "until we solve the money problem."

Change Congress
In February, he considered a run for a Congressional seat in California's Silicon Valley based on his Change Congress platform. He decided against running, fearing a defeat in a political campaign would harm the greater objective of quashing the influence of deep-pocketed lobbyists on Washington, D.C., lawmakers. || Video: Lessig on not running

The Stanford professor earned bachelor's degrees in economics and management from the University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in philosophy from Cambridge, and a law degree from Yale.

Born in South Dakota, Lessig grew up in Williamsport, Pa., where his father, an engineer, bought a steel-fabricating company.

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted March 12, 2008
Updated March 17, 2008

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