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Advocate for keeping culture free

26 September 2008

Advocate for keeping culture free

A world-leading cyberlaw expert and advocate of freer copypright laws, Professor Lawrence Lessig, is giving a public lecture at The University of Auckland on 3 November.

His topic is “Keeping culture free: The choices law and technology force us to make about the future of the Internet and the progress of cultures”.

Professor Lessig will review the struggle produced by “copyright wars” and propose the ideals which the law and industry should follow.

He is a Professor of Law at Stanford University and founded its Center for Internet and Society. This body studies how the synergy between new technologies and the law can promote such public goods as free speech, privacy, diversity and scientific inquiry, thereby furthering democratic values.

He has long been a proponent of fewer legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and the radio frequency spectrum, particularly when applied to technology. Foreseeing how a threatened content industry would respond to digital technology he sided with ordinary citizens.

In the courts he has fought the efforts of corporate interests to reign in the likes of Napster, the online music file sharing service, and YouTube. Creative Commons, which he chairs, helps creators protect their works while setting them free for certain uses.

He is the author of the best-selling books Free Culture (2004), The Future of Ideas (2001) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (1999).

Professor Lessig has won numerous awards including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award. He was named one of Scientific American magazine’s top 50 visionaries for arguing “against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online”.

He was invited to New Zealand to give a keynote address at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) conference on 4 November. His topic is “Keeping the outside outside the box: The role of independence in the profession of the librarian, and academy, and the threats that both now face”.
Anyone interested in attending his LIANZA address along with sessions on copyright on the same day should go to

Professor Lessig’s public lecture at the University is organised by the Faculty of Law, the Legal Research Foundation and the Department of Commercial Law in the Business School.

Event: Public lecture on “Keeping culture free: The choices law and technology force us to make about the future of the Internet and the progress of cultures”.

Date: Monday 3 November

Time: 6.30-8pm

Venue: Fisher & Paykel Appliances Auditorium, Owen G Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road. The lecture is free and all are welcome. No bookings.

Contact: Alexandra Sims, 373-7599 ext 84901,


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