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Building the Change Congress Movement

Building the Change Congress Movement

Lawrence Lessig

10 years into the Berkman Center and 5 years into Creative Commons, former Berkman Center Faculty Director and current crusader against congressional corruption Lawrence Lessig returned to Cambridge.

Professor Lessig spoke about his new effort: Building the Change Congress Movement. This talk is co-sponsored by Harvard College Free Culture.

From the Change Congress site

Change Congress is a movement to build support for basic reform in how our government functions. Using technological and internet tools, both candidates and citizens can pledge their support for basic changes to reduce the distorting influence of money in Washington. The Change Congress community will link candidates committed to a reform with volunteers and contributors who support it.

Change Congress organizes citizens to push candidates to make four simple commitments: 

1. No money from lobbyists or PACs
2. Vote to end earmarks
3. Support publicly-financed campaigns
4. Support reform to increase Congressional transparency

A reception in the rotunda of Austin West will follow the talk.


Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the school's Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a Professor 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.

For much of his career, Professor Lessig focused on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. He 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. His current academic work addresses a kind of "corruption."

He 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."

Professor Lessig is the author of Code v2 (2007), Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). He is CEO of the Creative Commons project, and is on the board of MAPLight and the Sunlight Foundation. He has served on the board of the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Public Library of Science, and Public Knowledge. He was also a columnist for Wired, Red Herring, and the Industry Standard.

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.


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