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Leading Copyright Expert Will Shift Focus to Corruption

Publication Date: 
September 26, 2007
Source: 
Daily Journal
Author: 
Craig Anderson

The Daily Journal covered Professor Lawrence Lessig's Constitution Day lecture on corruption--the first public presentation of his new research direction. Lessig and Dean Kramer are quoted in the story:

Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law professor and one of the nation's most prominent intellectual property experts, attempted Tuesday to explain his decision to move away from the field in which he made his reputation to focus on researching and combating corruption.

In a much anticipated speech in Palo Alto that was streamed live on the Web, Lessig said, "I invite you to see this as the beginning of a conversation that I plan to have with you for the next 10 years."

Then he blasted politicians from President Bush, who he said deserve to be impeached, to the Democrats in Congress he said failed to challenge Bush.

But Lessig also attacked corruption that he said warps public discussion about everything from federal nutrition guidelines to studies of new pharmaceutical drugs, all because of money and career ambitions.

"In this system of good people, how does the system become corrupt?"

...

His new intellectual venture has the enthusiastic support of Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer, who says legal studies need to be about more than judges and court rulings.

Kramer said Lessig's plans are somewhat risky, because it is not clear whether the professor will be able to establish new ideas and solutions to topics that have been in debate since the time of the ancient Greeks. "If anyone can, Larry can," Kramer said.

"The best scholars do that," Kramer said Tuesday. "You don't want to spend your career adding incrementally to what you've already done."