Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig has spent much of his career focused on technology and the law, and how the two affect copyright. He represented internet publisher Eric Eldred in Eldred v. Ashcroft, wherein Eldred and others challenged the constitutionality of the Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended terms of copyright protection in the United States by 20 years. Eldred lost the case.
Over the last few years, Lessig has proposed several copyright reforms which he says were opposed by special interests in Congress. In 2002, he launched the non-profit organization Creative Commons, which lets people make their work freely — and legally — available for public consumption (allowing us, for instance, to use Flickr images on this blog).
But last April, Lessig switched his focus from copyright issues to another quagmire-y crusade: political corruption. He partnered with Joe Trippi to found Change Congress, which recently launched a political donor strike against congressional candidates who don’t support campaign finance reform.
Lessig is founder of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society. Before joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a Professor at the University of Chicago (where one of his colleagues was Barack Obama). He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.
He is the author, most recently of Remix, and has been a columnist for Wired, Red Herring, and the Industry Standard.
Lessig has agreed to answer your questions, so ask away in the comments section below. As with past Q&A’s, we will post his answers here in a few days.
Addendum: Lessig answers your questions here.