Lawrence Lessig. Image: Robert Scoble
Lawrence Lessig, one of the world’s most high-profile internet debaters, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University. He is most well known as the inventor of the alternative copyright “Creative Commons” and for his book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace.
In his book Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Lawrence Lessig shows that the growth of the internet has shifted the balance of power in society from legislators to programmers. He claims that legislation in the US is now formed in two places – on the east coast, where the elected leaders sit, and on the west coast, where IT development takes place.
Lawrence Lessig is active in the movement that advocates free and open source code in IT development and has sat on the board of the Free Software Foundation. In his view, current legislation on copyright online not only obstructs creativity, but also creates mistrust of the legal system among the younger generation. In order to remedy this, he presented a proposal just over 10 years ago for how copyright should be adapted to the internet age.
“His reasoning is extremely interesting for the sociology of law and forms the basis for research conducted in our Cybernorms research group”, says Håkan Hydén, Professor of Sociology of Law at Lund University.
In 2001, Lawrence Lessig founded the not-for-profit organisation Creative Commons with the aim of helping creative individuals who want to share their work under various different conditions.
Lawrence Lessig is not only an online activist and internet debater; he is also Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he is director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.
Lawrence Lessig was presented with his honorary doctorate at Lund University on Friday, 31 May.