The Legacy of Lessig

On Tuesday night, a group of us had a nice little side-event/chat on “the legacy of Lessig” (blurb here). This session – which was my proposal and my only real organisational contribution to the variety of ‘self-organised’ events – took its lead from Lawrence Lessig’s statement: Required Reading – the next 10 years. In that statement, which was a longer version of a speech, Lessig sets out his ‘new direction’ in research. Our challenge in our discussion was to review his work in cyberlaw, copyright etc and consider this new direction, and reflect on how we use Lessig’s work in our own research. All sorts of disciplines were represented in our discussion group.

We were particularly delighted to have Prof. Charles Nesson in the room. Nesson (aka Charlie or indeed Eon, the Dean of Cyberspace), founder of the Berkman Center and the person to whom the first edition of Code (Lessig’s first book) is dedicated, is a remarkable teacher and scholar and shared some reflections, ideas and funny stories with us. (I should note that he also taught a larger group how to play – and think about – poker that same evening). Towards the end, Jonathan Zittrain joined the conversation and chipped in with his own thoughts on Lessig’s new work on ‘corruption’ and more. The discussion ranged from the future of the Creative Commons movement to the status of cyberlaw in the law school to the importance of the Eldred case to the importance of politics and governance and (of course) the connection between all of the above and the game of poker….

Thanks to all who attended and contributed. It was a fun, controversial and educational discussion.

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