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Lawrence Lessig
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Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and founder of Rootstrikers, an activist network opposed to corruption in government.

Lessig has authored numerous books, including Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress -- and a Plan to Stop It and One Way Forward: The Outsider's Guide to Fixing the Republic. He serves on the Board of Creative Commons, MapLight, Brave New Film Foundation, The American Academy, Berlin, AXA Research Fund and, and on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries.

Lessig holds 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. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school's 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.

Entries by Lawrence Lessig

Something Is Going Right: Net Neutrality and the FCC

(39) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 11:46 AM

Imagine that when you plugged something into an electrical outlet, the outlet queried the device and demanded identification. Was it a Sony TV or Panasonic? Was it a Dell or an Apple? And then based on that identification, different levels of quality or reliability of electricity were served at different...

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We Should Be Protesting, Too

(80) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 8:46 PM

This week, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents turned out to protest China's plan for bringing democracy to that city. Rather than letting voters pick the candidates that get to run for chief executive, Beijing wants the candidates selected by a 1,200 person "nominating committee." Critics charge the committee...

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What New Yorkers Can Do About Money in Politics

(10) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 5:57 PM

There's a meme spreading fast through the tubes of the Internets about what explains Governor Cuomo's refusal to debate Zephyr Teachout. Here's one tweet:

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Aaron's Walk: The New Hampshire Rebellion

(29) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 11:22 AM

A friend of Social and Internet Activist Aaron Swartz describes the movement his life has inspired:

A year ago tomorrow, Aaron Swartz left. He had wound us all up, pointed us in a million directions, we were all working as hard as we could, moving things forward....

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"They Know We Know It." Get Politicians On The Record About Corruption

(71) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 11:46 AM

"There's another challenge that we must address and it is the corrupting force of the vast sums of money necessary to run for office. The unending chase for money I believe threatens to steal our democracy itself."

No, that's not a quote from the President Obama's State...

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Prosecutor as Bully

(236) Comments | Posted January 13, 2013 | 9:01 AM

(Some will say this is not the time. I disagree. This is the time when every mixed emotion needs to find voice.)

Since Aaron Swartz's arrest in January, 2011, I have known more about the events that began this spiral than I have wanted to know. Aaron consulted me as...

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What the Hell Is Being a Moderator For?

(374) Comments | Posted October 21, 2012 | 12:00 PM

For the first time in as long as we can tell, neither candidate for president is addressing one of the top 10 issues that Americans believe should be a priority for the next president. Indeed, not just one issue, but two.

Since 2000, Gallup has been asking Americans to...

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The No Lobbying Pledge

(27) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 4:10 PM

There are campaigns that attack the enemy directly -- think the British, in formation, Redcoats smartly cleaned. And then there are campaigns that attack indirectly -- think of a virus, passing on a handshake, entering the body at the next sneeze. Rootstrikers has launched a campaign of the latter sort,...

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The Great Promise of Super-PACs

(97) Comments | Posted December 20, 2011 | 8:30 AM

There's a certain terror to the life of a Member of Congress that, with all their pomp and pretense, it's easy to miss. This terror is new. No one yet knows precisely how to tame it. And it may ultimately prove to be the single most important motivator to real...

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One More Try: The Rules Versus the Game

(16) Comments | Posted October 27, 2011 | 3:57 PM

[Dave Zirin has replied to my response. This issue about strategy is critical and important. Let me try one more time.]

Still missing the point. Let me try, Mr. @EdgeofSports, one last time. This time with a sports metaphor:

Imagine you're a...

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A Reply to the @EdgeofSports: Who Exactly Are the 99%?

(291) Comments | Posted October 26, 2011 | 10:14 AM

Sometime-HuffPost blogger, and Nation contributor Dave Zirin has written a brilliant barn-raising response to my last HuffPost piece. Please read all of it, but here's the bit I want call out. Zirin states: "But by going to Occupy sites and arguing for a Tea...

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Something More Than Polarization

(314) Comments | Posted October 25, 2011 | 11:00 AM

At the end of September, I helped organize a conference at Harvard about the idea of calling a(n Article V) constitutional convention. The event was co-hosted by the Tea Party Patriots. And although that organization has not endorsed a convention, there are many conservatives and libertarians who do...

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A Letter to the #Occup(iers): The Principle of Non-Contradiction

(448) Comments | Posted October 12, 2011 | 3:03 PM

Like a fever, revolutions come in waves. And if this is a revolution, then it broke first on November 4, 2008, with the election of Barack Obama, second, on February 19, 2009, with the explosion of anger by Rick Santelli, giving birth to the Tea Party, and third,...

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#OccupyWallSt v2: What Cross-Partisanship Must Mean

(1051) Comments | Posted October 7, 2011 | 12:38 PM

I'm a liberal. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe gays should be free to marry. I believe that society has an obligation to help the worst off. I believe public education should be free and fantastic. The government should not be allowed to spy on me,...

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#OccupyWallSt, Then #OccupyKSt, Then #OccupyMainSt

(1059) Comments | Posted October 5, 2011 | 5:48 AM

It is way too early, and perhaps even a bit crazy, to see an American Spring in the growing protests on Wall Street. Yet. But there is no doubt that if there is one place in America that these protests should begin, it is there, and it is now.

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Report from the Conference on the Constitutional Convention

(345) Comments | Posted September 30, 2011 | 11:25 AM

The Tea Party Patriots came to Harvard and it was, well.... a little bit boring.

We've been taught to believe not only that Americans can't achieve consensus around key issues, but that we can't even tolerate each other enough to carry on a meaningful debate....

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The Good Soul Howard Schultz: Exploiting an Addict Rather Than Ending an Addiction

(117) Comments | Posted August 25, 2011 | 11:12 AM

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has joined a small but important group of business leaders who believe it right to use their personal influence to make government work better. In a letter to colleagues and friends, Schultz pledged to end his contributions to political campaigns "until [politicians] strike a...

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A Conference on the Constitutional Convention

(407) Comments | Posted August 10, 2011 | 11:11 AM

Two hundred and twenty four years ago, people of radically different views put aside those differences long enough to save this Nation. America was on the brink of collapse. Its first constitution was an unmitigated disaster. Only a radical, and some say illegal, reform could restore the promise of the...

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An Open Letter to North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue: Support Community Broadband

(221) Comments | Posted May 20, 2011 | 6:09 AM

Dear Governor Perdue:

On your desk is a bill passed by the overwhelmingly Republican North Carolina legislature to ban local communities from building or supporting community broadband networks. (H.129). By midnight tonight, you must decide whether to veto that bill, and force the legislature to take a...

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On the Significance of the Roemer Announcement

(180) Comments | Posted March 3, 2011 | 8:18 PM

Mark McKinnon -- the Republican campaign consultant who helped create George W. Bush, and who for a time ran John McCain's campaign -- and I don't agree about much. We do agree about the need for fundamental reform of the way campaigns are funded. About a year ago,...

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