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Tech Missionary Shifts Focus

Publication Date: 
June 23, 2007
The New York Times
Dan Mitchell

"Nobody has done more than Lawrence Lessig to help people understand the profound effects of technology on the laws governing intellectual property," writes Dan Mitchell of the New York Times. Mitchell continues:

But now, Mr. Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, is leaving the building, or at least the room. “I have decided to shift my academic work, and soon, my activism, away from the issues that have consumed me for the last 10 years,” he announced this week on his blog ( and last week in a speech at the iCommons Summit in Croatia (available via

His new mission, for at least the next decade, he says, is to combat the influence of money on politics, which yields bad laws — and not just the bad laws governing intellectual property.

“Politicians are starved for the resources concentrated interests can provide,” he wrote. “In the United States, listening to money is the only way to secure re-election. And so an economy of influence bends public policy away from sense, always to dollars.”