Tag Archives: Lawrence Lessig

Join Lawrence Lessig’s New Hampshire Rebellion January Walk

From Lawrence Lessig:

On the morning of January 11, the anniversary of the death of my friend, Aaron Swartz, and at the place where the voting in America’s 2016 presidential election will start, Dixville Notch, we will begin the second of three walks across the state of New Hampshire.

We will also be honoring Doris “Granny D” Haddock who walked from LA to DC at the age of 88 because she understood the biggest obstacle to solving any important issue in America today — regardless of political viewpoint — is the role of money in politics.

Politicians believe America doesn’t get this. We’re walking to prove them wrong: https://walk.nhrebellion.org.

For eleven days — January 11th through 21st — we will walk across New Hampshire with hundreds of citizens demonstrating that New Hampshire and the nation want to know how our elected leaders are going to end the corrupting influence of money in politics. We demand a solution. And we’d like your help.

Please join us in New Hampshire and walk with us: https://walk.nhrebellion.org or volunteer: http://www.nhrebellion.org/volunteer.

If you can’t join the walk, you can still support us other ways:

– Register as a virtual walker: https://walk.nhrebellion.org

– Support my walk: https://walk.nhrebellion.org/lessig

– Donate your Twitter and Facebook accounts:        https://donateyouraccount.com/nhrebellion

– Read about last year’s walk and share with your friends:

Join us. Support us. And please spread this idea.


New Good Fight On Lessig’s MayDay PAC; After the Elections

What $10 million buys you in U.S. politics

(November 11, 2014) Mayday SuperPAC, Lawrence Lessig’s anti-corruption moonshot, lost nearly all of its races in the 2014 midterm election. Does that mean it failed? Did Politico’s screamer headline, “How to waste $10 million,” tell the whole story? Or does the shadow of money in politics extend beyond mere wins and losses?

Professor Lessig and the Progressive Campaign Change Committee’s Adam Green take us behind the vote tally and into the heart of the campaign-finance darkness for part 3 of The Good Fight’s Mayday 2014 trilogy.

Creative Commons Licenses Are An Elegant “Hack”

lisareinHow to Celebrate Aaron Swartz’s Legacy? Go to a Hackathon This Weekend

By Lisa Rein, Coordinator of Aaron Swartz Day, for Takepart.com

Remember to RSVP for tonight’s event if you want a spot. I’ve also printed a small amount of limited edition posters. (Many thanks to artist
Ryan Junell!) They will be given away to at least the first 150 people who arrive.

It’s been really hard to watch this story unfold over this last year. At first it seemed like perhaps Aaron’s actions had crossed some kind of legal or ethical boundry. However, now, after more than a year of careful analysis, the evidence suggests that Aaron most likely was not breaking any laws at all. He was just doing something innovative and unexpected. This is one of the main reasons we need to protect young innovators like Aaron from misguided government prosecution in the future.

I was Creative Commons’ first technical architect, a job I got upon meeting law school professor Lawrence Lessig at a conference in Washington D.C. in 2001. When I told him that I was an XML geek who’s obsessed with copyright law, he closed his laptop and said that he had a job for me. When he explained what that entailed—expressing licenses in RSS, a simple XML format usually used for news feed syndication—I said that it couldn’t be done, that it was too simple of a format and copyright law was too complex.

Aaron showed me a way to do it. I knew him from his online activity, so I was sure he was the right person to help me—even when I found out that he was only 15.

His viewpoint towards simplicity influenced our entire online model. We decided to create a simple deed, in non-legalese, saying what a license meant. (Our lawyers still created lengthy legal documents for each license, using existing copyright law, to cover all the legal protections we wished each license to afford.)

Our team created a web site where a person could answer a series of yes or no questions to pick a license. At last, our dance of simplicity was complete. With Aaron’s help, Creative Commons licenses have become a truly elegant hack.

Lawrence Lessig, Aaron Swartz, and the Super PAC to end Super PACs

The Good Fight #25: Lawrence Lessig, Aaron Swartz, and the Super PAC to end Super PACs (How challenge and tragedy inspired a mega-plan to fight money in politics)

Right about the time that Aaron was launching the campaign against SOPA, he was founding “The Flaming Sword of Justice” podcast (what would become “The Good Fight”), with Ben Wikler.

This episode covers how Aaron told Lawrence Lessig that he needed to go a different direction in life, and drop the copyright fight to fight corruption in politics.

From the show (at 11:09):

Ben Wikler: How did you start thinking about this broader fight?

Lawrence Lessig: In every one of my books, I had sort of pointed to this fact, and left it to the side. Even the first book, Code, I was like “here’s what the right policy would be, but, you know, forget it.” And then, as I was writing my last book on copyright, a book called “Remix,” I was in Berlin, and Aaron came to attend the Chaos Computer Conference. He came to visit me at the center where I was, and we had a long talk.

Ben: What year is this?

Lawrence: It was 2006. And so Aaron, you know, sort of said “How do you ever think you’re going to make any progress on these issues so long as there’s this corruption in the way that our political systems works? And I remember being kind of miffed because I wanted to be excited about what I was doing and he was basically the pouring cold water of reality on the fight.

Because, it’s true. We weren’t going to make any progress. But I defensively sort of said to him, “Look, you know, it’s not my field Aaron. I do internet policy, copyright. I’m not going to write a book about corruption of congress. It’s just not my expertise. And he said “Yeah, I get it, as an academic. But as a citizen. It’s your field as a citizen…”

…I was incredibly vulnerable to him. He was someone who I felt I had worked with for a long time. I’m not his father, but it was kind of relationship like that. And so, when your son says to you “Why can’t you’re not as good as you’re supposed to be?” It’s hard to say “because I can’t. It’s not my job.” I thought, “what is my excuse?” Did I really envision the next ten years of my life tweaking and perfecting the argument to show why copyright shouldn’t be extended. And I thought, “OK fine. I’ll give it up. I’ve got tenure. I’ll have money to feed my family. So yes, Aaron, you’re right. That’s what I should do, and that’s what I’ll do.

Lessig’s MayDay PAC Fights Fire With Fire – 1 Day left!

We’re a little more than 2/3 of the there (shooting for $5 million by July 4 is the goal). But there’s still time!


If you’re just sitting down to this now – that’s great! Here’s a short article that will get you up to speed quickly:

Fighting Fire With Fire: Super PAC Raises Money to Reform Campaign Finance

By Isabel Weisz for Takepart.com

From the article:

Lessig’s Mayday PAC is crowdsourcing donations in an attempt to revamp the system and change the way campaigns and elections are funded.

Mayday is also dubbing itself the Internet’s Super PAC, ready to defend the Internet from “a steady stream of threats and challenges to a free and open Internet,” according to the site. Those threats include net neutrality, SOPA and PIPA, and other regulatory issues…

By Friday we’ll see if the MayDay PAC hits its $5 million goal and is on track to end all super PACs with this new super PAC.

Here’s the timeline. The goal is to raise $5 million by July 5. The MayDay PAC aims to get campaign finance reform–minded candidates elected in 2016 and then help them get fundamental reforms passed. If the MayDay PAC succeeds, it hopes to have big money and corporate influence out of politics by 2018—and we might need to rename that date America’s New Independence Day.

MayDay PAC: The PAC to end all SuperPACs