August 28, 2008  ·  Lessig

On your way to legal academics? Need some time to write, as you do some good? The Stanford CIS (fresh off of a string of incredible victories) needs a new fellow with a particular fondness for the First Amendment and IP. Specs in the extended entry below.

Stanford Law School Announces Center for Internet and Society and
Stanford Constitutional Law Center Joint Fellowship

The Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society (CIS) and The
Stanford Constitutional Law Center (CLC) announce a new joint
fellowship for the study of the intersection of copyright and
constitutional law. We are looking for an inaugural fellow to work
with faculty and staff from both Centers on range of research and
litigation projects addressing the relationship between the
Constitution’s Copyright Clause, the First Amendment and the Fair Use

The primary responsibility for the fellow will be to work on current
CIS Fair Use Project litigation. In addition, the Fellow will also
be an active part of the CIS and CLC communities, attending lectures
and symposia, assisting with Center activities and working with
students on related projects. The Fellowship will provide significant
opportunity for the pursuit of individual research and scholarship in
preparation to enter the academic teaching market. The fellowship
position is offered for one year with the opportunity for renewal.

About the Centers

The CIS is a leading center for the study of the relationship between
the public interest, law and technology. Deploying scholarship,
symposia, advocacy, or litigation as necessary, we focus on areas
where new technologies and old laws intersect and ask whether changes
in either are appropriate. CIS was founded by Professor of Law
Lawrence Lessig and is headed by Executive Director Lauren Gelman.

The Fair Use Project (FUP) is a new CIS initiative launched in 2006
and lead by Executive Director Anthony Falzone. The FUP’s mission
is to clarify, define and expand the bounds of fair use primarily
through litigation. The FUP also develops and promotes fair use
education and counsels creators, such as documentary filmmakers on
appropriate uses of copyrighted works.

The Stanford Constitutional Law Center, founded in September 2006 by
former dean Kathleen M. Sullivan and Derek Shaffer ’00, grows out of
the long and distinguished tradition of constitutional law
scholarship at Stanford Law School. The Center seeks to carry on that
tradition in a variety of ways-academic conferences, public lectures,
policy research projects, and pro bono litigation-aimed at gathering
consensus and advancing constitutional norms both domestically and
internationally. Stanford law students, particularly those enrolled
in a Constitutional Law Workshop, are intimately involved in all of
the Center’s activities.

Applicant Requirements:

2-5 years of post-law school civil litigation experience with
substantial experience in constitutional law (preferred) and
intellectual property (required) matters;

Excellent writing and analytic skills;

Demonstrated ability to direct litigation of impact cases; and

Demonstrated ability to work in a self-directed and entrepreneurial

The position is for 12 months, with the possibility of renewal for a
second twelve months. The start date is September 2008, although this
may be flexible depending on the right candidates availability.
Salary will be approximately $40,000 per year, with benefits.

Preferred submission deadline is September 8, 2008, however
applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Applicants MUST apply online via the Stanford Jobs website

Search “Job number 31382″

Applications may also be submitted by email to the following address:
Gelman [at]

For more information about the CIS and the FUP, please visit here.

For more information about the Stanford Constitutional Law Center,
please visit our website.

August 28, 2008  ·  Lessig

Obama has famously (and rightfully) refused money from lobbyists and PACs. After he became the presumptive nominee, the DNC did the same. But both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee still accept money from lobbyists and PACs.

As this issue of reform is (sadly) increasingly invisible in this campaign, we at Change Congress are launching a campaign to get the Dems to be consistent about this.

Ideally, the DSCC and DCCC should follow Obama’s lead, and swear off lobbyists & PAC money. Or at the very least, both should promise to do so if the Republicans do.

We’ve started a petition. Please help spread it.

August 26, 2008  ·  Lessig

The Democrats have a HD broadcast of their convention, but only on some platforms, through a Microsoft product. Those fortunate enough to own the most modern technology (and (contrary to the norm) fortunate enough to have fast broadband) can get full convention coverage.

The rest of America (to the extent they care, and the point may be related) are stuck with broadcasters coverage. From NPR to the networks, “coverage” means some ridiculous unprepared interview with a party has-been, while a prepared speech by someone currently significant is being given in the background. (e.g., Jim Leach, former GOP Congressman from Iowa, speaking in the background as NPR interviews Walter Mondale. Leach’s speech was fantastic. Mondale’s, well, you get the point.)

Please, networks, and especially, NPR, can you please just cover the convention — both the Democratic and Republican. Obviously, it is party propaganda. But it is also American politics. It is ridiculous that the only people who actually get to see what each party believes it should say are those who are at the Convention, or those with powerful computers and fast technology.

August 25, 2008  ·  Lessig

As I said about my McCain on Technology video, the opening graph is not well defined. Others said the same thing. Neither are the data provided. If I had all the time in the world, I would correct both in the video. I don’t. So here’s a clarification:

I am using a hybrid of the ITU data (2000-2007) and OECD data (1997-1999) in my analysis, but only the latter in the chart. You can see a spreadsheet with both here. The numbers (#5, #22) refer to the U.S. ranking for broadband penetration over that period. OECD doesn’t have exactly the same analysis, but because there are relatively few countries with broadband penetration of any significance, it is easy to calculate that broadband penetration for the US goes from #2 to #22 from 1997 through 2007.

The Communication Workers of America have a new site and study to bolster the embarrassing state of US broadband quality. You can download their 50 state survey here. Far as I can tell, the simplest explanation for broadband speed is this: How close are you to DC regulators. The closer you are, the better your broadband. Not a perfect predictor, but pretty good.

August 20, 2008  ·  Lessig


Free Press (and others) alleged that Comcast was blocking the BitTorrent application. We’ve known for sometime the result in this case (because of the weird practice of the FCC to release the results of an order without necessarily releasing the order). But at the crack of dawn (California time) today, the Commission released its 34 page order.

It is fantastically well done. So much so that I felt compelled (in that weird lawyer like way) to blather my own 5 pages of thanks in a letter to the Commission that will be mailed today.

August 19, 2008  ·  Lessig

A reaction to McCain’s recently announced technology policy. (Stupidly unclear in the video: the initial graph is U.S.’s global ranking in broadband penetration — so starting high (#5) in 2000, and declining to #22 by 2008. The rankings are based on OECD data.)

There’s also a version at YouTube (but please watch in “high quality”).

(I resisted the cheap shot “[sic]” at “and free to chose among broadband service providers.” Will someone please get them to fix this?)

[Update: Here’s a slightly edited transcript of the video (which steals Michael McDaniel’s brilliant title)

August 13, 2008  ·  Lessig

As if the decision upholding free licenses wasn’t enough for one day, a New York Supreme Court (the highest trial court in New York) has denied Yoko Ono an injunction to stop the distribution of a film that uses a clip of Lennon’s Imagine. Wonderfully, the Court explicitly refuses to follow the 6th Circuit’s “no de minimis” rule sound recordings, and holds that there is fair use under New York’s common law copyright regime. Read the more good news here.