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Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute. She is a member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain Technologies at the World Economic Forum, and co-founder of the Internet Governance Forum’s dynamic coalitions on Blockchain Technology (COALA). Her fields of interest focus on legal challenges raised by decentralized technologies, with a particular focus on blockchain technologies. She is investigating the new opportunities for these technologies to enable new governance models and participatory decision-making through the concept of governance-by-design. Her book, “Blockchain and the Law,” was published in 2018 by Harvard University Press (co-authored with Aaron Wright). 

Academic career:

Primavera obtained a Master degree in Business & Administration from the Bocconi University of Milan, and a Master degree in Intellectual Property Law at the Queen Mary University of London. She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Florence, where she explored the legal challenges of copyright law in the digital environment, with special attention to the mechanisms of private ordering (Digital Rights Management systems, Creative Commons licenses, etc). During these years, she spent two months at the University of Buffalo in New York and one year as a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. Primavera is now a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS), where she founded the Institute of Interdisciplinary Research on Internet & Society ( Primavera was a former fellow and current faculty associate at the Berkmain-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Online activities:

Primavera is involved in many organizations promoting free culture and p2p collaboration:

  • Since 2007, she participated to the activities of COMMUNIA’s thematic network for the promotion of the public domain. As the project came to an end, she co-founded the International Communia Association for the promotion and the preservation of the digital public domain (
  • In 2010, she joined the Open Knowledge Foundation as the coordinator of the Public Domain working group, through which she actively contributed to the making of the Public Domain Calculators ( By the end of 2012, she established the French chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which she is currently coordinating as one of the board members.
  • In 2011, she became the legal expert for Creative Commons France, working on translating, explaining and promoting the use of Creative Commons licenses in France.
  • In 2016, she joined the stakeholder board of the P2P Foundation, an international organization which studies the impact of peer-to-peer technology on society.

Primavera also participates in many international organizations related to Internet governance:

  • She is the co-founder of the Internet Governance Forum’s dynamic coalitions on platform responsibility; network neutrality; and blockchain technology.
  • She is the director and co-founder of the international COALA organization ( which promotes the use of blockchain technologies for the social good.
  • Since 2014, she has become part of the larger community of the World Economic Forum. She was a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software & IT Services (2014-2015) and she is currently a member of the Global Future Council on Blockchain Technologies at the World Economic Forum (2016-2017).

Research interests:

Primavera has been working for many years now on the legal challenges and opportunities of online decentralized technologies, with particular focus on peer-to-peer networks, mesh networking technologies, and more recently blockchain technology.

Her current research is looking at the legal challenges raised and faced by blockchain-based applications, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. She is currently investigating the concept of “governance-by-design” as it relates to these new online architectures, with a view to understand whether the use of these technologies could lead to the establishment of new distributed governance models —combining regulation by code, contracts and social norms— that might serve as a complement or a supplement to the law.

Primavera is also exploring the legal challenges of collaborative peer-production online. She is investigating the different conceptions of value created by online peer-production communities, and how such value can be used as a means to support and encourage the process of commons-based peer-production. In this regard, she ha been working on a European-funded project (P2Pvlaue) aimed at creating tools to facilitate the governance of online communities, and to increase the productivity of commons-based peer-production platforms.

Recent publications:

De Filippi, P., Wright, A. (2018) Blockchain and the Law: The Rule of Code. Harvard Academic Press.

De Filippi, P., Lavayssière, X. (2017) « Blockchain technology : toward a decentralized governance of digital platforms ? » in Bollier, D. & Grear, A. (eds.) The Great Awakening 

Swan, M. & De Filippi, P. (2017). Toward a Philosophy of Blockchain in Metaphilosophy. Vol. 48, Issue 5. Wiley

Davidson, S., De Filippi, P., Potts, J. (2017). Blockchains and the economic institutions of capitalism. In Journal of Institutional Economics.

De Filippi, P. & Loveluck, B. (2016). The invisible politics of Bitcoin: governance crisis of a decentralized infrastructure.  Internet Policy Review, Vol. 5, Issue 4.

De Filippi, P. & Hassan, S. (2016). Blockchain Technology as a Regulatory Technology: From Code is Law to Law is Code. First Monday, special issue on ‘Reclaiming the Internet’.

De Filippi, P., (2016). The interplay between decentralization and privacy: the case of blockchain technologies, in Journal of Peer Production, Issue n.7

De Filippi, P., Troxler, P. (2016), From material scarcity to artificial abundance – The case of FabLabs and 3D printing technologies », in van den Berg B. & van der Hof S. (eds.), 3D Printing : Legal, philosophical and economic dimensions. T.M.C. Asser Instituut  

Belli L., De Filippi P. (eds) (2015) Net Neutrality Compendium: Human Rights, Free Competition and the Future of the Internet, Springer.

De Filippi, P., Bourcier, D. (2015), HADOPI – a case of legislative serendipity, in Derrick Cogburn (ed.), The Turn to Infrastructure in Internet Governance. Palgrave-Macmillan.

De Filippi, P. (2015), Translating Commons-based Peer Production into metrics : Towards Commons-based Crypto-Currencies, in David Lee Kuo Chuen (Ed.), The Handbook of Digital Currency. Elsevier

De Filippi, P., Tréguer, F. (2015). Expanding the Internet Commons : The Subversive Potential of Wireless Community Networks, in Journal of Peer Production, Issue n. 6

De Filippi, P. Vieira, M. S. (2014). The Commodification of Information Commons : The Case of Cloud Computing. Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. . Vol XVI, p. 102

De Filippi, P., Hassan, S. (2014), Measuring Value in Commons-based Ecosystem : bridging the gap between the Commons and the Market, in Lovink, G., Tkacz, N. (eds.) The MoneyLab Reader. Institute of Network Cultures, University of Warwick

Gracz, K., De Filippi, P. (2014) : Regulatory failure of copyright law through the lenses of autopoietic systems theory, in International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 2014, 0, 1-33. Oxford University Press.

De Filippi, P. (2014). Bitcoin: a regulatory nightmare to a libertarian dream. Internet Policy Review, 3(2).

Online videos:


Apr 23, 2018 @ 4:00 PM

Blockchain and the Law

The Rule of Code

Blockchain technology is ultimately a dual-edge technology that can be used to either support or supplant the law. This talk looks at the impact of blockchain technology of a… More

Apr 15, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

Ethereum: Freenet or Skynet ?

Primavera De Filippi, Berkman Center Fellow

Ethereum: smart contracts, distributed autonomous organizations, and the law. Can the dreams of an autonomous decentralized society be implemented through the tyranny of code? More

Oct 24, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

Cyberscholars Working Group

Presenters will include: Samuel M. Kleiner, Yale Law Schol, Information Society Project More