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Google Inc. Pledges $2M to Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society

Publication Date: 
November 28, 2006
Source: 
Stanford Law School

STANFORD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stanford Law School today announced that Google Inc. has pledged to contribute $2M to help fund the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at the law school. The Center, founded in 2000 and located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is a public interest technology law and policy program focused on emerging technologies and the law. The collaboration of Google and CIS seeks to establish a balance between the right to access and use information and the ownership of information.

“This is an ideal partnership,” said Larry Kramer, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean. “One that stands to benefit not just our two institutions but also the world around us. The work done at CIS, exploring how to enhance availability of knowledge and information while supporting its producers and owners, addresses one of the most important questions of our time. And Google is unique in private industry for the depth of its commitment to finding fair and workable solutions to this same question.”

"This support from Google will be critical to achieving a healthy balance between copyright protection and creative license. We will use this support to build a network of legal resources to achieve in practice the balance that copyright law and the First Amendment intend," stated Lawrence Lessig, Founder and Director of the Center for Internet and Society, Director of the Fair Use Project and the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law.

Founded in 2000, the Center for Internet and Society is a public interest technology law and policy program focused on emerging technologies and the law. CIS brings together scholars, scientists, and students to study the interaction of new technologies and public policy. CIS is exploring how technology can bring about change and how free speech, innovation, security and privacy are affected by developments in computers, databases, networks, surveillance capabilities, and encryption technologies.

CIS’s work has, in recent years, been focused on intellectual property, free speech, privacy, and security. The IP projects aim to reform copyright and patent regulation, to better conform those necessary tools of information to this information economy. The Center’s most recent initiative has been the Fair Use Project, which seeks to defend “fair use” rights in a digital environment through declaratory judgment actions.

A critical component of the Project’s strategy to help shape the law in this area will be litigation. Anthony Falzone, a leading intellectual property litigator, will serve as the Project’s inaugural Executive Director. “I am thrilled to be a part of this Project, which will bring top-flight representation to artists, scholars, filmmakers and others who typically cannot afford it,” said Mr. Falzone. “We are going to team up not only with top academics and public interest organizations, but also with leading lawyers and law firms, to leverage our resources and magnify our impact. In doing so, we hope to not only level the playing field, but to change the way many owners of intellectual property rights approach fair use issues.”

"Google is pleased to support the important work of Stanford Law School and the Center for Internet and Society," said David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at Google Inc. "The center's efforts in the areas of privacy, security and intellectual property provide forward thinking about issues that have an impact on all Internet users and the technology community at large."

Center for Internet and Society Leadership

Lawrence Lessig is the Director of the Fair Use Project. He is the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, the Founder and Director of the Center for Internet and Society, and chairs the Creative Commons project. Professor Lessig teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, comparative constitutional law, and the law of cyberspace. He represented website operator Eric Eldred in the U.S. Supreme Court case Eldred v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. He was named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries, for arguing "against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online." In 2001, he was listed among the “visionaries” on Business Week’s “e.biz.25,” the magazine’s roundup of the 25 most influential people in electronic business.

Executive Director of CIS, Jennifer Granick, was selected as a “Woman of Vision” by Information Security Magazine in 2003, recognizing the top 25 women in computer security. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Honeynet Project, which collects data on computer intrusions for the purposes of developing defensive tools and practices. The Center’s homepage is located at cyberlaw.stanford.edu.

Anthony Falzone is the Executive Director of the Fair Use Project. An intellectual property litigator with more than eight years of experience, he has represented technology and media clients in a wide array of intellectual property disputes including copyright, trademark, rights of publicity, and patent matters. Prior to joining Stanford Law School, he was as a partner in the San Francisco office of Bingham McCutchen LLP, a leading national law firm.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, and write books and articles for academic audiences, as well as the popular press. Along with offering traditional law school classes, the school has embraced new subjects and new ways of teaching. The school’s home page is located at www.law.stanford.edu.