University of Pittsburgh
September 17, 2008

Noted Copyright Law Professor Lawrence Lessig to Discuss Influence of Greed and Corruption on American Institutions for Pitt Lecture Series

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Lawrence Lessig, the Stanford University copyright law-guru turned anti-corruption crusader, will delve into the threat of avarice on institutions ranging from universities to the U.S. Congress during the 2008 SFI Annual Lecture at the University of Pittsburgh. Presented by the Sara Fine Institute (SFI) in Pitt's School of Information Sciences, the lecture begins at 3 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Teplitz Memorial Courtroom of Pitt's Barco Law Building, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Lessig will present "A Declaration for Independence," an exploration on the negative influence of money in the United States' most important institutions and the developing movement to counteract it. Lessig is the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He is best known for his work on copyright law, particularly as it regards technology. Lessig recently changed his focus to "non-obvious corruption," in which people in power make decisions in exchange for an indirect gain.

Lessig is the founder of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford. He teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, and the law of cyberspace. He represented Web site operator Eric Eldred in the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court case "Eldred v. Ashcroft," a challenge to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. He has won numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, and was named one of "Scientific American's" Top 50 Visionaries for arguing "against interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online." Lessig is the author of "Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace" (Basic Books, 2000), "The Future of Ideas" (Random House, 2001), "Free Culture" (Penguin Press, 2004), and "Code Version 2.0" (Basic Books, 2006).

Pitt's SFI is dedicated to examining the ways technology impacts interpersonal communications and relationships with family, friends, professional colleagues, governing bodies, health care providers, and educational institutions. Each year, the institute presents a lecture on a leading-edge topic in information and the role of technology. SFI is part of Pitt's School of Information Sciences, which educates students in the information professions, including information science, library and information science, and telecommunications. The curriculum and research activities are focused on people, their information needs, and the technology to manage such information. For more information about the school, visit