Lawrence Lessig

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Lawrence Lessig
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{{Distinguish|Lawrence Lessing}}{{Use mdy dates|date=August 2015}}

|birth_place = Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S.|death_date = |death_place = Democratic Party (United States)>DemocraticBettina Neuefeind|1999}}|children = 3University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor of Arts>BA, Bachelor of Science){{nowrap>Trinity College, Cambridge (Master of Arts)}}Yale University (Juris Doctor>JD)|blank1 = Institutions|data1 = University of ChicagoStanford UniversityHarvard|Official website}}}}Lester Lawrence Lessig III (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic, attorney, and political activist. He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.WEB,weblink Harvard Law School Faculty Lawrence Lessig, Lessig was a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for president of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but withdrew before the primaries.Lessig is a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications. In 2001, he founded Creative Commons, a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon and to share legally. Prior to his most recent appointment at Harvard, he was a professor of law at Stanford Law School, where he founded the Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He is a former board member of the Free Software Foundation and Software Freedom Law Center; the Washington, D.C. lobbying groups Public Knowledge and Free Press; and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.Lessig, Lawrence. "In Defense of Piracy". The Wall Street Journal. October 11, 2008.As a political activist, Lessig has called for state-based activism to promote substantive reform of government with a Second Constitutional Convention.NEWS, Alesh Houdek, Has a Harvard Professor Mapped Out the Next Step for Occupy Wall Street?, The Atlantic, Lawrence Lessig's call for state-based activism on behalf of a Constitutional Convention could provide the uprooted movement with a political project for winter, November 16, 2011,weblink November 17, 2011, In May 2014, he launched a crowd-funded political action committee which he termed Mayday PAC with the purpose of electing candidates to Congress who would pass campaign finance reform.Naureen Khan, May 2, 2014, Al Jazeera, May Day PAC wants to end all Super PACs, Accessed May 7, 2014, "kick-start May Day PAC, which, if successful, will help elect enough like-minded lawmakers to Congress in 2014 and 2016 to pass campaign finance reform ... 'Yes, we want to spend big money to end the influence of big money,' Lessig said" Lessig is also the co-founder of Rootstrikers, and is on the boards of MapLight and Represent.Us.Maplight. "Board Members" at He serves on the advisory boards of the Democracy CaféPenn Alum Lawrence Lessig to Speak at National Constitution Center for Democracy Café Penn News, March 14, 2013 and the Sunlight Foundation.Board and Advisory Board {{webarchive|url= |date=October 16, 2010 }} Sunlight Foundation, February 14, 2011In August 2015, Lessig announced that he was exploring a possible candidacy for President of the United States, promising to run if his exploratory committee raised $1 million by Labor Day.WEB,weblink Harvard professor hits $1M benchmark for White House bid,, WEB,weblink Why Exactly Is Lawrence Lessig Considering Running for President?, National Journal, August 11, 2015, August 11, 2015, Foran, Clare, After accomplishing this, on September 6, 2015, Lessig announced that he was entering the race to become a candidate for the 2016 Democratic Party's presidential nomination.NEWS, Walker, Hayley, Harvard Professor Larry Lessig Says He's Running for President,weblink September 6, 2015, ABC News, September 6, 2015, Lessig has described his candidacy as a referendum on campaign finance reform and electoral reform legislation. He stated that, if elected, he would serve a full term as president with his proposed reforms as his legislative priorities.NEWS,weblink Lawrence Lessig Withdraws 'Totally Stupid' Plan To Resign Presidency, Marans, Daniel, October 17, 2015, Huffington Post, 31 October 2015, He ended his campaign in November 2015, citing rule changes from the Democratic Party that precluded him from appearing in the televised debates.VIDEO,weblink The Democrats have changed the rules, 2015-11-02,, (File:IntervjuLessig.ogv|thumb|300px|Interview with Lawrence Lessig in 2009)

Academic career

Lessig earned a B.A. degree in economics and a B.S. degree in management (Wharton School) from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Cambridge (Trinity) in England, and a J.D. degree from Yale Law School in 1989. After graduating from law school, he clerked for a year for Judge Richard Posner, at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Illinois, and another year for Justice Antonin Scalia at the Supreme Court.WEB, Lawrence, Lessig, Curriculum Vitae,weblink July 25, 2010, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 7, 2010, Lessig started his academic career at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was professor from 1991 to 1997. As co-director of the Center for the Study of Constitutionalism in Eastern Europe there, he helped the newly-independent Republic of Georgia draft a constitution.WEB,weblink Center helps Eastern European countries shape constitutions, January 13, 2016, From 1997 to 2000, he was at Harvard Law School, holding for a year the chair of Berkman Professor of Law, affiliated with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. He subsequently joined Stanford Law School, where he established the school's Center for Internet and Society.WEB, Lawrence, Lessig, Short Biography,weblink, July 25, 2010, yes, July 22, 2010, Lessig returned to Harvard in July 2009 as professor and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.NEWS, Lawrence Lessig named professor of law at HLS, director of Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics,weblink July 25, 2010, Harvard Law School, December 12, 2008, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 10, 2009, In 2013, Lessig was appointed as the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership; his chair lecture was titled "Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age."Lessig on "Aaron's Laws – Law and Justice in a Digital Age". YouTube (2013-02-20). Retrieved on 2013-09-19.Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review – A summary of Lawrence Lessig's Chair Lecture at Harvard Law School. Retrieved on 2013-09-19. {{webarchive |url= |date=January 16, 2014 }}

In popular culture

Lessig was portrayed by Christopher Lloyd in "The Wake Up Call", during season 6 of The West Wing.WEB,weblink Lessig portrayed on tonight's West Wing, Boing Boing,

Political background

File:Jonathan Zittrain and Lawrence Lessig (Google DC, March 20 2008).jpg|thumbnail|Lessig speaking with Harvard internet law professor Jonathan ZittrainJonathan ZittrainLessig has been politically liberal since studying philosophy at Cambridge in the mid-1980s. By the late 1980s, two influential conservative judges, Judge Richard Posner and Justice Antonin Scalia, selected him to serve as a law clerk, choosing him for his supposed "brilliance" rather than for his ideology and effectively making him the "token liberal" on their staffs.WEB,weblink Supreme Court Clerk Hiring: Is It Becoming More Political?, Above the Law, January 13, 2016, Posner would later call him "the most distinguished law professor of his generation."WEB,weblink Lawrence Lessig's Supreme Showdown, Steven Levy, October 1, 2002, WIRED, January 13, 2016, Lessig has emphasized in interviews that his philosophy experience at Cambridge radically changed his values and career path. Previously, he had held strong conservative or libertarian political views, desired a career in business, was a highly active member of Teenage Republicans, served as the youth governor for Pennsylvania through the YMCA Youth and Government programWEB,weblink YMCA Youth and Government Pennsylvania (PA State YMCA),, 2011-01-23, in 1978, and almost pursued a Republican political career.What was intended to be a year abroad at Cambridge convinced him instead to stay another two years to complete an undergraduate degree in philosophy and develop his changed political values. During this time, he also traveled in the Eastern Bloc, where he acquired a lifelong interest in Eastern European law and politics.Lessig remains skeptical of government intervention but favors some regulation, calling himself "a constitutionalist." On one occasion, Lessig also commended the John McCain campaign for discussing fair use rights in a letter to YouTube where it took issue with YouTube for indulging overreaching copyright claims leading to the removal of various campaign videos.WEB, Lessig, Lawrence,weblink McCain/Palin to YouTube: Get real (Lessig Blog),, 2008-10-13, 2011-01-23, yes,weblink" title="">weblink May 21, 2011,

Internet and computer activism

File:Lawrence lessig, joi ito.jpg|thumbnail|Lessig with fellow Creative Commons board member Joi ItoJoi Ito

"Code is law"

In computer science, "code" typically refers to the text of a computer program (the source code). In law, "code" can refer to the texts that constitute statutory law. In his 1999 book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Lessig explores the ways in which code in both senses can be instruments for social control, leading to his dictum that "Code is law." Lessig later updated his work in order to keep up with the prevailing views of the time and released the book as (Code: Version 2.0) in December 2006.

Remix culture

Lessig has been a proponent of the remix culture since the early 2000s.WEB,weblink 2004-11-18, 2016-02-27, Remix Is a Cultural Right, Lessig Says,,weblink" title="">weblink March 6, 2016, yes, In his 2008 book RemixRemix on lessig.orgRemix {{webarchive|url= |date=April 2, 2016 }} on he presents this as a desirable cultural practice distinct from piracy. Lessig further articulates remix culture as intrinsic to technology and the Internet. Remix culture is therefore an amalgam of practice, creativity, "read/write" culture and the hybrid economy.According to Lessig, the problem with the remix comes when it is at odds with stringent US copyright law. He has compared this to the failure of Prohibition, both in its ineffectiveness and in its tendency to normalize criminal behavior. Instead he proposes more lenient licensing, namely Creative Commons licenses, as a remedy to maintain "rule of law" while combating plagiarism.BOOK,weblink The social media reader, Lessig, Lawrence, New York University Press, Mandiberg, Michael,, 2012, 9780814764077, New York, 155–169, REMIX: How Creativity is Being Strangled by the Law, 778455386,

Free culture

File:Aaron Swartz and Lawrence Lessig.jpg|thumbnail|right|Lessig and Aaron Swartz in 2002 at the launch party for Creative CommonsCreative CommonsOn March 28, 2004 he was elected to the FSF's board of directors.WEB,weblink Leadership – Free Software Foundation,, 2011-01-23, He proposed the concept of "free culture".WEB,weblink free_culture,, 2011-01-23, He also supports free and open-source software and open spectrum.WEB,weblink Spectrum Policy: Property or Commons?,, 2003-03-02, 2011-01-23, At his free culture keynote at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention 2002, a few minutes of his speech was about software patents,WEB,weblink free_culture,, Lessig discusses software patents from time 17:38 to 20:38 of the audio recording which he views as a rising threat to free software, open source software and innovation.In March 2006, Lessig joined the board of advisors of the Digital Universe project.WEB,weblink Digital Universe Adds Leading Internet Expert Lawrence Lessig to Board of Advisors, California,, 2006-03-13, 2011-01-23, A few months later, Lessig gave a talk on the ethics of the Free Culture Movement at the 2006 Wikimania conference. In December 2006, his lecture On Free, and the Differences between Culture and Code was one of the highlights at 23C3 Who can you trust?.WEB,weblink commons, 2011, google video docid=7661663613180520595, 2014-02-07, Lessig claimed in 2009 that, because 70% of young people obtain digital information from illegal sources, the law should be changed.VIDEO, Lawrence Lessig, Colbert Nation,weblink Comedy Central, January 8, 2009, 2:16, 2009-05-19, In a foreword to the Freesouls book project, Lessig makes an argument in favor of amateur artists in the world of digital technologies: "there is a different class of amateur creators that digital technologies have ... enabled, and a different kind of creativity has emerged as a consequence."WEB,weblink Freesouls - Foreword by Lawrence Lessig,, Lessig is also a well-known critic of copyright term extensions.

Net neutrality

File:Lessig-Wales-20070615.jpg|thumb|Lessig and Jimmy Wales at the iCommons iSummit07 in DubrovnikDubrovnikLessig has long been known to be a supporter of net neutrality. In 2006, he testified before the US Senate that he believed Congress should ratify Michael Powell's four Internet freedoms and add a restriction to access-tiering, i.e. he does not believe content providers should be charged different amounts. The reason is that the Internet, under the neutral end-to-end design is an invaluable platform for innovation, and the economic benefit of innovation would be threatened if large corporations could purchase faster service to the detriment of newer companies with less capital. However, Lessig has supported the idea of allowing ISPs to give consumers the option of different tiers of service at different prices. He was reported on CBC News as saying that he has always been in favour of allowing internet providers to charge differently for consumer access at different speeds. He said, "Now, no doubt, my position might be wrong. Some friends in the network neutrality movement as well as some scholars believe it is wrong—that it doesn't go far enough. But the suggestion that the position is 'recent' is baseless. If I'm wrong, I've always been wrong."CBC NEWS. Google accused of turning its back on net neutrality. December 15, 2008.

Legislative reform

Despite presenting an anti-regulatory standpoint in many fora, Lessig still sees the need for legislative enforcement of copyright. He has called for limiting copyright terms for creative professionals to five years, but believes that creative professionals' work, many of them independent, would become more easily and quickly available if bureaucratic procedure were introduced to renew trademarks for up to 75 years after this five-year term.Drew Clark. Software Freedom Fighters. The National Journal 33(30), July 28, 2001.Lessig has repeatedly taken a stance that privatization through legislation like that seen in the 1980s in the UK with British Telecommunications is not the best way to help the Internet grow. He said, "When government disappears, it's not as if paradise will take its place. When governments are gone, other interests will take their place," "My claim is that we should focus on the values of liberty. If there is not government to insist on those values, then who?" "The single unifying force should be that we govern ourselves."Elinor Mills. Domain games: Internet leaves the U.S. nest. InfoWorld Daily News. October 13, 1998.

Legal challenges

{{external media | width = 210px | align = right
| headerimage=(File:Lawrence Lessig (10).jpg|210px)
| video1 =Q&A: Lawrence Lessig (58:48), C-SPANWEB, Q&A: Lawrence Lessig, C-SPAN, November 21, 2011,weblink March 26, 2013,
| video2 =Larry Lessig: Laws that choke creativity (19:08), TED talksWEB, Larry Lessig: Laws that choke creativity, TED (conference), TED talks, November 15, 2007,weblink March 26, 2013,
| video3 =TEDxNYED – Lawrence Lessig (19:07), TEDx talksWEB, TEDxNYED – Lawrence Lessig, TED (conference), TEDx talks, March 6, 2010,weblink March 26, 2013,
}}{{See also|Eldred v. Ashcroft}}
From 1999 to 2002, Lessig represented a high-profile challenge to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Working with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Lessig led the team representing the plaintiff in Eldred v. Ashcroft.NEWS,weblink Lawrence Lessig's Supreme Showdown, WIRED, 2018-10-11, en-US, The plaintiff in the case was joined by a group of publishers who frequently published work in the public domain and a large number of amici including the Free Software Foundation, the American Association of Law Libraries, the Bureau of National Affairs, and the College Art Association.In March 2003, Lessig acknowledged severe disappointment with his Supreme Court defeat in the Eldred copyright-extension case, where he unsuccessfully tried to convince Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who had sympathies for de-regulation, to back his "market-based" approach to intellectual property regulation.Lessig Backs Away From Copy Fights In Courts, Congress. Washington Internet Daily 4 (42). March 4, 2003.In August 2013, Lawrence Lessig brought suit against Liberation Music PTY Ltd., after Liberation issued a takedown notice of one of Lessig's lectures on YouTube which had used the song "Lisztomania" by the band Phoenix, whom Liberation Music represents.WEB,weblink Lessig v. Liberatino Music – Complaint, United States District Court, Electronic Frontier Foundation website, August 22, 2013, February 28, 2014, NEWS, Record Label Picks Copyright Fight—With The Wrong Guy, Laura Sydell,weblink, September 27, 2013, September 28, 2013, Lessig sought damages under section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which holds parties liable for misrepresentations of infringement or removal of material.WEB,weblink 17 U.S. Code § 512 – Limitations on liability relating to material online, Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute, February 28, 2014, Lessig was represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Jones Day.WEB,weblink Liberation Resolves Copyright Issue with Lawrence Lessig, Admit 'Mistakes' Were Made,, Billboardbiz, February 28, 2014, February 28, 2014, Brandle, Lars, In February 2014, the case ended with a settlement in which Liberation Music admitted wrongdoing in issuing the takedown notice, issued an apology, and paid a confidential sum in compensation.WEB, Twórca Creative Commons wygraÅ‚ sprawÄ™ o bezprawne skasowanie filmu z YouTube'a,weblink, February 28, 2014, WEB,weblink A Win For Fair use After Record Label, Copyright Lawyer Settle, NPR, All Tech Considered, February 27, 2014, February 28, 2014, Sydell, Laura,


In October 2014, Killswitch, a film featuring Lawrence Lessig, as well as Aaron Swartz, Tim Wu, and Edward Snowden received its World Premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Editing. In the film, Lessig frames the story of two young hacktivists, Swartz and Snowden, who symbolize the disruptive and dynamic nature of the Internet. The film reveals the emotional bond between Lessig and Swartz, and how it was Swartz (the mentee) that challenged Lessig (the mentor) to engage in the political activism that has led to Lessig's crusade for campaign finance reform.NEWS, von Busack, Richard, Breaking the Internet: Killswitch Screens at Cinequest,weblink February 25, 2014, February 25, 2015, Metro Silicon Valley, NEWS, Swegles, Fred, Battle for Internet Control Fuels O.C. -produced Movie,weblink April 14, 2015, April 16, 2015, Orange County Register, In February 2015, Killswitch was invited to screen at the Capitol Visitor's Center in Washington DC by Congressman Alan Grayson. The event was held on the eve of the Federal Communications Commission's historic decision on Net Neutrality. Lessig, Congressman Grayson, and Free Press (organization) CEO Craig Aaron spoke about the importance of protecting net neutrality and the free and open Internet.NEWS, Grayson, Alan, Grayson Screen Award Winning "Killswitch" Documentary,weblink February 23, 2015, Congressman Grayson's House of Rep Official Web Page, yes,weblink" title="">weblink February 27, 2015, mdy-all, NEWS, The Price That You Pay for Rocking The Boat,weblink March 27, 2015, Huffington Post, Congressman Grayson states that Killswitch is "One of the most honest accounts of the battle to control the Internet -- and access to information itself." Richard von Busack of the Metro Silicon Valley, writes of Killswitch, "Some of the most lapidary use of found footage this side of The Atomic Café". Fred Swegles of the Orange County Register, remarks, "Anyone who values unfettered access to online information is apt to be captivated by Killswitch, a gripping and fast-paced documentary." Kathy Gill of GeekWire asserts that "Killswitch is much more than a dry recitation of technical history. Director Ali Akbarzadeh, producer Jeff Horn, and writer Chris Dollar created a human centered story. A large part of that connection comes from Lessig and his relationship with Swartz."NEWS, Gill, Kathy, Lawrence Lessig at 'Killswitch' Seattle Premiere: Money, Politics, and the Battle for the Internet,weblink June 5, 2015, GeekWire,

The Electors Trust

In December 2016 Lawrence Lessig and Laurence Tribe established The Electors Trust under the aegis of EqualCitizens.US to provide pro bono legal counsel as well as a secure communications platform for those of the 538 members of the United States Electoral College who are regarding a vote of conscience against Donald Trump in the presidential election WEB,weblink Lessig, lawyers to offer support to anti-Trump electors, Cheney, Kyle, Politico, December 5, 2016, January 25, 2017,

Money in politics activism

File:Jack Abramoff and Lawrence Lessig at "In the Dock" 2011 (2).jpg|thumbnail|right|Lessig having a discussion with former lobbyist Jack AbramoffJack AbramoffAt the iCommons iSummit 07, Lessig announced that he would stop focusing his attention on copyright and related matters and work on political corruption instead, as the result of a transformative conversation with Aaron Swartz, a young internet prodigy whom Lessig met through his work with Creative Commons.WEB, Lessig, Lawrence,weblink Required Reading: the next 10 years (Lessig Blog),, 2007-06-19, 2011-01-23, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 16, 2011, This new work was partially facilitated through his wiki, Lessig Wiki, which he has encouraged the public to use to document cases of corruption.WEB,weblink Lessig's blog July 29, 2007 11:55pm, yes,weblink" title="">weblink October 15, 2012, Lessig criticized the revolving door phenomenon in which legislators and staffers leave office to become lobbyists and have become beholden to special interests.NEWS, Lawrence Lessig, How to Get Our Democracy Backdate=February 8, 2010 accessdate = 2011-12-14, 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 Representative Tom Lantos.WEB,weblink Draft Lessig – Change Congress,, 2011-01-23, Later that month, after forming an "exploratory project", he decided not to run for the vacant seat.WEB, Lessig, Lawrence,weblink On why I am not running (Lessig Blog),, 2008-02-25, 2011-01-23, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 16, 2011,


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".NEWS, Previous post Next post,weblink Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig Bets 'Wikipedia' Approach Will Transform Congress | Threat Level from,, 2008-03-20, 2011-01-23, 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.WEB,weblink Sunlight Foundation Webcast,, 2011-01-23, He is a board member of, a nonprofit research group illuminating the connection between money and politics.Change Congress later became Fix Congress First, and was finally named Rootstrikers.Who We Are {{webarchive|url= |date=December 23, 2011 }}, RootstrikersAbout Us {{webarchive|url= |date=January 11, 2012 }}, Rootstrikers In November 2011, Lessig announced that Rootstrikers would join forces with Dylan Ratigan's Get Money Out campaign, under the umbrella of the United Republic organization.Rootstrikers and United Republic, Lawrence Lessig, United Republic, November 16, 2011 {{webarchive |url= |date=December 19, 2011 }}About Us, United Republic {{webarchive |url= |date=February 7, 2012 }} Rootstrikers subsequently came under the aegis of Demand Progress, an organization co-founded by Aaron Swartz.

Article V convention

File:Lawrence Lessig 2.jpg|thumbnail|Lessig speaking before Change Congress and the Sunlight FoundationSunlight FoundationIn 2010, Lessig began to organize for a national Article V convention.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, February 6, 2010, Call a Convention, Call a Convention, 2011-01-23, He co-founded Fix Congress First! with Joe Trippi.About, Fix Congress First! In a speech in 2011, Lessig revealed that he was disappointed with Obama's performance in office, criticizing it as a "betrayal", and he criticized the president for using "the (Hillary) Clinton playbook".NEWS, Lawrence Lessig, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, Google, YouTube, Huffington Postdate= November 16, 2011 weblink >accessdate = 2011-12-13, Lessig has called for state governments to call for a national Article V convention,LAWRENCE LESSIG >TITLE = REPUBLIC, LOST: HOW MONEY CORRUPTS CONGRESS—AND A PLAN TO STOP IT GOOGLE, YOUTUBE, HUFFINGTON POST >QUOTE = (SEE 32.06 MINUTES INTO THE VIDEO) URL = HTTPS://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=IK1AK56FTVC WORK=LESSIG BLOG, V2Tea Party Patriots' national coordinator,Conference on the Constitutional Convention, Harvard University, September 24–5, 2011 in Lessig's October 5, 2011, book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It,Lessig, L. (2011) weblink" title="">Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It (New York City: Hachette/Twelve) excerpt and at the Occupy protest in Washington, DC.Tackett, C. (October 19, 2011) "Could #OccupyWallStreet Become a Constitutional Convention?" Discovery / Reporter Dan Froomkin said the book offers a manifesto for the Occupy Wall Street protestors, focusing on the core problem of corruption in both political parties and their elections.Froomkin, Dan (October 5, 2011) "Lawrence Lessig's New Book On Political Corruption Offers Protesters A Possible Manifesto" Huffington Post An Article V convention does not dictate a solution, but Lessig would support a constitutional amendment that would allow legislatures to limit political contributions from non-citizens, including corporations, anonymous organizations, and foreign nationals, and he also supports Public financing of campaigns>public campaign financing and Electoral College (United States) reform to establish the one person, one vote principle.Hill, Adriene (October 4, 2011) "Campaign finance, lobbying major roadblocks to effective government" {{webarchive>url= |date=July 13, 2012 }} Marketplace Morning Report (American Public Media)

New Hampshire Rebellion

The New Hampshire Rebellion is a walk to raise awareness about corruption in politics.Lawrence Lessig, "Why We're Marching Across New Hampshire to Honor Aaron Swartz", The Atlantic, January 10, 2014. The event began in 2014 with a 185-mile march in New Hampshire.Jennifer Harper, "Restless grassroots: New Hampshire 'Rebellion' declares their state is not for sale" (Inside the Beltway column), Washington Times, December 25, 2014. In its second year the walk expanded to include other locations in New Hampshire.John Koziol, "NH Rebellion Marching Its Way to Concord for Reform", New Hampshire Union Leader, January 17, 2015.From January 11 to 24, 2014, Lessig and many others, like New York activist Jeff Kurzon, marched from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire to Nashua (a 185-mile march) to promote the idea of tackling "the systemic corruption in Washington".{{citation needed|date=January 2015}} Lessig chose this language over the related term "campaign finance reform," commenting that "Saying we need campaign finance reform is like referring to an alcoholic as someone who has a liquid intake problem."{{citation needed|date=January 2015}} The walk was to continue the work of NH Native Doris "Granny D" Haddock, and in honor of deceased activist Aaron Swartz. The New Hampshire Rebellion marched 16 miles from Hampton to New Castle on the New Hampshire Seacoast.Flore Vasseur, "The New Hampshire Rebellion: Larry Lessig's Long Walk", The Medium, December 15, 2014. The initial location was also chosen because of its important and visible role in the quadrennial "New Hampshire primaries", the traditional first primary of the presidential election.

2016 presidential candidacy

Lessig announced the launch of his presidential campaign on September 6, 2015.On August 11, 2015, Lessig announced that he had launched an exploratory campaign for the purpose of exploring his prospects of winning the Democratic Party's nomination for president of the United States in the 2016 election.NEWS,weblink Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig is exploring a long shot presidential bid,, August 11, 2015, August 11, 2015, Merica, Dan, Lessig pledged to seek the nomination if he raised $1 million by Labor Day 2015. The announcement was widely reported in national media outlets, and was timed to coincide with a media blitz by the Lessig 2016 Campaign. Lessig was interviewed in The New York Times and Bloomberg. Campaign messages and Lessig's electoral finance reform positions were circulated widely on social media.Toussaint, Kristin (August 11, 2015) "Harvard law professor wants to be president—for one day", Retrieved August 11, 2015 His campaign was focused on a single issue: The Citizen Equality Act, a proposal that couples campaign finance reform with other laws aimed at curbing gerrymandering and ensuring voting access. As an expression of his commitment to the proposal, Lessig initially promised to resign once the Citizen Equality Act became law and turn the presidency over to his vice president, who would then serve out the remainder of the term as a typical American president and act on a variety of issues. In October 2015, Lessig abandoned his automatic resignation plan and adopted a full policy platform for the presidency, though he did retain the passage of the Citizen Equality Act as his primary legislative objective.He announced the end of his campaign on November 2, 2015.WEB,weblink The 2016 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet, Graham, David, 2 November 2015, The Atlantic, 2 November 2015,

Electoral College reform

In 2017, Lessig announced a movement to challenge the winner-take-all Electoral College vote allocation in the various states, called Equal Votes.NEWS, Perry, Douglas, Electoral-college reform would have defeated Donald Trump; now some Republicans back effort, seek action before 2020,weblink 5 October 2017, The Oregonian, October 3, 2017, Lessig is counsel for plaintiffs in Baca v. Colorado Department of State, an electoral law case in Colorado.

Awards and honors

In 2002, Lessig received the Award for the Advancement of Free Software from the Free Software Foundation (FSF). He also received the Scientific American 50 Award for having "argued against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online."WEB,weblink The Scientific American 50 Award, Scientific American, January 13, 2016, Then, in 2006, Lessig was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.WEB,weblink Eight scholars elected to academy of arts and sciences,, 2006-04-24, 2011-01-23, In 2011, Lessig was named to the Fastcase 50, "honoring the law's smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders."WEB,weblink Fastcase 50, January 13, 2016, Lessig was awarded honorary doctorates by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University, Sweden in 2013 and by l'Université Catholique de Louvain in 2014.WEB,weblink Honorary Doctor at the Faculty of Social Sciences 2013, December 19, 2013, yes,weblink" title="">weblink December 19, 2013, WEB,weblink Fête de l'université 2014 - Doctorats honoris causa, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 30, 2014, mdy-all, Lessig received the 2014 Webby Lifetime Achievement award for co-founding Creative Commons and defending net neutrality and the free and open software movement.WEB,weblink The Webby Awards Gallery, 2014, 2014-04-30,

Personal life

Lessig was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, the son of Patricia, who sold real estate, and Lester L. "Jack" Lessig, an engineer.WEB,weblink Wired 10.10: Lawrence Lessig's Supreme Showdown,, WEB,weblink Lessig, Lawrence,, He grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.In May 2005, it was revealed that Lessig had experienced sexual abuse by the director at the American Boychoir School, which he had attended as an adolescent.WEB, Heilemann, John,weblink Lawrence Lessig and John Hardwicke Fight Sexual Abuse and the American Boychoir School,, 2005-05-21, 2011-01-23, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 9, 2009, Lessig reached a settlement with the school in the past, under confidential terms. He revealed his experiences in the course of representing another student victim, John Hardwicke, in court.WEB, Lessig, Lawrence,weblink living with ghosts (Lessig Blog),, 2005-05-25, 2011-01-23, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 16, 2011, In August 2006, he succeeded in persuading the New Jersey Supreme Court to restrict the scope of immunity radically, which had protected nonprofits that failed to prevent sexual abuse from legal liability.WEB,weblink Hardwicke v. American Boychoir, Lessig is married to Bettina Neuefeind, a German-born Harvard University colleague. The two married in 1999.WEB,weblink The Paul Revere Of The Web, Timothy J. Mullaney, March 6, 2000, Bloomberg, He and Neuefeind have three children: Willem, Teo, and Tess.WEB,weblink Personal Life - Lawrence Lessig: A Biography,, 2015-08-12, yes,weblink" title="">weblink September 24, 2015, mdy-all,

Notable cases


  • Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999) {{ISBN|978-0-465-03913-5}}
  • The Future of Ideas (2001) {{ISBN|978-0-375-50578-2}}
  • Free Culture (2004) {{ISBN|978-1-59420-006-9}}
  • (Code: Version 2.0) (2006) {{ISBN|978-0-465-03914-2}}
  • (Remix (book)|Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy) (2008) {{ISBN|978-1-59420-172-1}}
  • Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It (2011) {{ISBN|978-0-446-57643-7}}
  • (One Way Forward| One Way Forward: The Outsider's Guide to Fixing the Republic) (2012) {{ISBN|978-1-61452-023-8}}
  • Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How to End It (2013, CC-BY-NC) {{ISBN|978-1-937382-34-6}}
  • Republic, Lost: The Corruption of Equality and the Steps to End It (2015) {{ISBN|978-1-4555-3701-3}}
  • America, Compromised (University of Chicago Press, 2018) {{ISBN|978-0-226-31653-6}}
  • Fidelity & Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution (Oxford University Press, 2019) {{ISBN|9780190945664}}


  • (The Internet's Own Boy|The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz), 2014 documentary film
  • Killswitch, 2015 documentary filmNEWS, Grayson, Alan, Grayson Screens Award-Winning "KILLSWITCH" Documentary,weblink February 25, 2015, US House of Representatives, yes,weblink" title="">weblink February 27, 2015, mdy-all,

See also



External links

{{sisterlinks|d=Q217790|n=no|b=no|v=no|voy=no|m=no|mw=no|wikt=no|s=Author:Lawrence Lessig|species=no}}{{Bibliowiki|Lawrence Lessig}}
  • WEB, Official website,,weblink (includes Curriculum Vitae and Lessig blog 2002–2009)
  • WEB, Official blog,,weblink Lessig Blog, beyond 2009
  • WEB, Harvard Law School Faculty Directory,weblink Lawrence Lessig,
  • {{Dmoz|Regional/North_America/United_States/Government/Elections/President/2016/Candidates/Larry_Lessig}}
  • WEB, Official campaign website, Lessig 2016,weblink yes,weblink September 10, 2015, mdy-all, (Presidential Campaign site)
  • {{C-SPAN|Lawrence Lessig}}
  • {{IMDb name|2163781}}
  • {{TED speaker}}
  • WEB, Youtube,weblink Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, Lawrence Lessig,
  • NEWS,weblink Bill Moyers, Lawrence Lessig: Big Brother's Prying Eyes,
  • WEB,weblink The Electors Trust, Lawrence Lessig,
  • WEB, One Person One Vote, Equal Votes US,weblink (Electoral college reform website)
{{Lawrence Lessig}}{{Open navbox}}{{United States presidential election, 2016}}{{Authority control}}

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