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Tag Archive: Larry Lessig

A Challenge from Beth Noveck

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Late last week, after the Sunshine Week Lessig lecture, the always thoughtful Beth Noveck -- law professor and director of both the Institute for Information Law and Policy and Democracy Design Workshop, and friend -- compared the Lessig speech to a June 2007 speech, by open-source-licensing crusader Eben Moglen.

Beth said Moglen is an optimist who is inclined to trust people's ability to collaborate and work together. She wrote that his take on government is revolutionary and evolutionary. Lessig is a pessimist, she says, full of dismay at the state of the body politic, yet wants to preserve the status quo ultimately. (I'm not sure I completely agree with the assessment of Lessig as pessimist but that's not the point I want to make right now.)

Beth says that the best approach is a mash-up of both approaches:"Lessig's orientation toward action and pragmatism with Moglen's boldness of vision." She advocates that we take a whole new look at government institutions and governance, and start using technology to empower citizens in order to fundamentally change the way government works.

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Omidyar Network Invests $2M in Sunlight

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Sunlight is extremely happy to formally announce today an investment of $2 million from Omidyar Network, a mission-based organization established by Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. This is the second such grant Sunlight received from Omidyar Network.

Omidyar Network's investment will support Sunlight's operations and grant-making to organizations that create "Web 2.0" tools that make information about the workings of Congress and the influence of money in politics more accessible to citizens. Since our founding in 2006, Sunlight has awarded more than $3.1 million to organizations who use the Internet to make Congress more open and accountable to the public. Read the full press release here.

We are also pleased to formally announce that Lawrence Lessig, renowned expert in intellectual property and Stanford University Law Professor, has joined our Advisory Board.

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Larry Lessig on Obama

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Larry Lessig blogs today about why he's supporting Barack Obama for President. There are a number of reasons, including this one:

... a commitment to making data about the government (as well as government data) publicly available in standard machine readable formats. The promise isn't just the naive promise that government websites will work better and reveal more. It is the really powerful promise to feed the data necessary for the Sunlights and the Maplights of the world to make government work better. Atomize (or RSS-ify) government data (votes, contributions, Members of Congress's calendars) and you enable the rest of us to make clear the economy of influence that is Washington.

 Here's a link to the entire policy statement by Obama, and another report.

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