|Copyright © Rob Kall, All Rights Reserved. Do not duplicate or post on youtube or other sites without express permission. Creative commons permissions for this site do not apply to audio content or transcripts of audio content.|
flickr image by Joi Ito
Lawrence Lessig is co-founder of Change Congress, an organization formed in 2008 to fight corruption by removing the undue influence of special interests on our political system.
Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a Professor at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.
Professor Lessig 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."
Professor Lessig is the author of Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). He chairs the Creative Commons project, 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 columnist for Wired.
Professor Lessig earned a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.
Professor Lessig teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, and the law of cyberspace.
For more information, please see Steven Levy's profile of Professor Lessig in the October 2002 issue of Wired: Lawrence Lessig's Supreme Showdown or see his curriculum vitae.
(born June 3, 1961) is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.
He is a director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a professor of law at Harvard Law School. Prior to rejoining Harvard, he was a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons, a board member of the Software Freedom Law Center and a former board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
At the iCommons iSummit 07 Lessig announced that he will stop focusing his attention on copyright and related matters and will work on political corruption instead. This new work may be partially facilitated through his wiki -- "Lessig Wiki" -- which he has encouraged the public to use to document cases of corruption. In February 2008, a Facebook group formed by law professor John Palfrey encouraged him to run for Congress from California's 12th congressional district, the seat vacated by the death of U.S. Representative Tom Lantos. Later that month, after forming an "exploratory project", the decision was made not to run for the vacant seat.
Despite having decided to forgo running for Congress himself, Lessig remained interested in attempting to change Congress to reduce corruption. To this end, he worked with political consultant Joe Trippi to launch a web based project called "Change Congress". In a press conference on March 20, 2008, Lessig explained that he hoped the Change Congress website would help provide technological tools voters could use to hold their representatives accountable and reduce the influence of money on politics. He is a board member of MAPLight.org, a nonprofit research group illuminating the connection between money and politics.
Lessig has known president Barack Obama since their days teaching law at the University of Chicago, and had been mentioned as a candidate to head the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the telecommunications industry. However, this position is now held by Julius Genachowski. 
At his talk at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival, Professor Lessig talked about Forbin Problems in a talk entitled Will Technology Change Our Lives?  and also about his idea that the American public has lost faith in the central institution of our democracy, Congress.
- Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (2000) ISBN 978-0-465-03913-5
- The Future of Ideas (2001) ISBN 978-0-375-50578-2 - available as a free Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical (by-nc) licensed download 
- Free Culture (2004) ISBN 978-1-59420-006-9 - available as a free Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial licensed download 
- Code: Version 2.0 (2006) ISBN 978-0-465-03914-2 - available as a free Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (by-sa) licensed download 
- Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (2008) ISBN 978-1-594-20172-1 - available as a free Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (by-nc-nd) licensed download 
Interview prep topics:
Top Down vs Bottom up culture John Phillip Souza
read only society
regulating finance institutions vs web freedom
copyright, creative commons
electronic freedom foundation
code is law
clerked for Scalia
freedom of speech
future trends on web
Wealth of Networks, Yochai Benkler
future vision of web and new media-- better phone system, more real-time sensitive
Size: 24,252,028 -- 1 hrs, 7 min, 22 sec
You will need the Flash plug-in to use the Listen button.