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Lawrence Lessig  

Lawrence Lessig

Sadly, this keynote had to be cancelled due to a last minute family emergency.

Lawrence Lessig biography

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Prior to returning to Harvard, he taught at Stanford Law School, where he founded the Center for Internet and Society, and 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.

Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons and serves on the Scientific Board of AXA Research Fund. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association, he has received numerous awards including a Webby, the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, Scientific American 50 Award, and Fastcase 50 Award.

Cited by The New Yorker as “the most important thinker on intellectual property in the Internet era,” Lessig has focused much of his career on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. His current work addresses “institutional corruption”—relationships which, while legal, weaken public trust in an institution—especially as that affects democracy.

His books include: Fidelity & Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution (2019), America, Compromised (2018), Republic, Lost v2 (2015), Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It (2011), Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (2008), Code v2 (2006), The Future of Ideas (2001), and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999).

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge University, and a JD from Yale.


The Law of the Horse at 20: Phases of the Net

The Internet moves in phases, and we are entering the third in 20 years. In this keynote, using a framework drawn from the Law of the Horse*, I describe the phase we are entering — the surveillance phase — and the threat it presents to society generally, and democracy in particular. Along the way, I offer an understanding of the Net circa 1999, and the phase that followed it, circa 2009. At each stage, our inability to govern has been a significant liability. In the phase we are entering, it will be devastating.

* Lawrence Lessig. The Law of the Horse: What Cyberlaw Might Teach, Harvard Law Review 113, 501-549, 1999.

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