American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1Name:  Dr. Lawrence Lessig
 Institution:  Harvard Law School
 Year Elected:  2007
 Class:  3. Social Sciences
 Subdivision:  304. Jurisprudence and Political Science
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1961
Perhaps the world's leading scholar of law and the Internet, Lawrence Lessig is an expert on the effects of new digital technologies on traditional assumptions about copyright and constitutional law. His dazzling contributions to public debate about the balance between ownership of intellectual property and freedom of ideas extend beyond the academy. Author of three pioneering books and numerous articles on ideas and innovation in cyberspace, he is also the founder of Creative Commons, an international consortium of artists, scholars and writers who agree to allow others to use their work more broadly than ordinary copyright permits. In updating his now-classic book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, he invited readers to contribute to the editing process itself, expanding the definition of a commons from physical space to the world of ideas. Lessig was a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society before he was appointed professor of law at Harvard Law School and director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard 2009 to 2015. He is currently Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Dr. Lessig previously served on the faculty of Harvard Law School, where he was the Berkman Professor of Law, and he has also taught at the University of Chicago. 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. 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. Professor Lessig is the author of The Future of Ideas (2001), Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999), Free Culture (2004), Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop It (2011), and America, Compromised (2018). He 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. Lessig 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." He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2007.
Election Year
2007 (1)