January 08, 2010
Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam on January 8 for his well-known efforts to foster informational and cultural liberty on the Internet.
A prolific writer, Lessig is the author of five books: “Remix” (2008), “Code v2” (2007), “Free Culture” (2004), “The Future of Ideas” (2001), and “Code, and Other Laws of Cyberspace” (1999). Among other projects, he launched the successful Creative Commons Project, which was instrumental in setting the international standard for online open content licenses.
At Harvard, Lessig is the faculty director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics. This past fall, he launched a major five-year project examining the causes and effects of institutional corruption.
In addition to his teaching, research, and writing, Lessig has also represented clients in several high-profile cases involving the Internet. He represented Web site operator Eric Eldred in the groundbreaking case Eldred v. Ashcroft, challenging the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.
In 2006, Lessig was elected as a fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is on the board of the Creative Commons project, MAPLight, Free Press, Brave New Film Foundation, Change Congress, The American Academy, Berlin, and iCommons.org. He is on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation and LiveJournal, and has held board positions at Public Knowledge (Washington, D.C.), Electronic Frontier Foundation (San Francisco), and RedHat Center for the Public Domain.
Lessig was named to the National Law Journal’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers” list in 2000 and in 2006. A past fellow of the Center himself (1996-97), he has also been a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (1999-2000).
He holds a law degree from Yale Law School, an M.A. in philosophy from Trinity College at Cambridge University, and a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in management from the University of Pennsylvania. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court.