Lessig is a Better, More Fun Law Professor

This is fun. This is what a legal academic should be. Lawrence Lessig didn’t get to Stanford until four years after 1997, my last year there. Then he left for Harvard Law in 2009. For a time he led the Safra Center for Ethics, from 2009 to 2015. Now he is the Furman law professor at Harvard.

Lessig was “the” expert on Internet law until he shifted his focus to political corruption around the time of his return to Harvard. During the time he was so influential in Internet law he helped create the organization of Creative Commons. This eighteen-minute, very entertaining TED talk is about the rationale and legal underpinnings for Creative Commons. Lessig received the 2014 Webby Lifetime Achievement award for co-founding Creative Commons and defending Net Neutrality and the free and open software movement, on which he modeled Creative Commons.

The “button” showing that a Creative Commons license applies.

(A Creative Commons license updates the concept of copyright to allow for non-commercial sharing and re-use of your work. More here.)

Lessig shows his creativity in a less grand but also interesting area, by pioneering a different use of Microsoft’s often-reviled PowerPoint software. Note, during his talk, how he uses PowerPoint to illustrate and complement his ideas rather than to simply repeat what he says orally in projected writing.

At once didactic, illustrative, and inspiring, Lessig shows what a good law professor can (and should?) do. Click the link above to see the TED talk from 2005. (You get to see Jesus singing “I Will Survive.”)