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Code: Version 2.0 Paperback – Bargain Price, December 30, 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Lessig] is fast emerging as the nation's most original thinker in the new field of cyberspace."

"A book that's sometimes as brilliant as the best teacher you ever had, sometimes as pretentious as a deconstructionists' conference."

"In this remarkably clear and elegantly written book, [Lessig] takes apart many myths about cyberspace and analyzes its underlying architecture."

The "alarming and impassioned" book on how the Internet is redefining constitutional law, now reissued as the first popular book revised online by its readers.

"A remarkable work on the philosophy of this new medium, his latest book asks all the big questions about the role of government, commerce and the invisible hand of technology in shaping life as it is increasingly lived online."

"Lawrence Lessig is a James Madison of our time, crafting the lineaments of a well-tempered cyberspace. This book is a primer of 'running code' for digital civilization. Like Madison, Lessig is a model of balance, judgement, ingenuity and persuasive argument." -- Stewart Brand --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford Law School and founder of the school’s Center for the Internet and Society. After clerking for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, he served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Yale Law School, and Harvard Law School before moving to Stanford. He represented the web site developer Eric Eldred before the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Eldred, a landmark case challenging the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. His other books are Free Culture and The Future of Ideas. Lessig also chairs the Creative Commons project and serves on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In 2002 he was named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (December 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465039146
  • ASIN: B000WCNW4C
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,937,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school's Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Lessig serves on the Board of Creative Commons, MapLight, Brave New Film Foundation, The American Academy, Berlin, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries.

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
You can download this book at no charge in pdf format from Lessig's site.
3 Comments 131 of 137 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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If you take Web 2.0 at all seriously then, whatever your political or philosophical persuasion, Larry Lessig's Code: Version 2.0 is a compulsory read. My own political and philosophical persuasion is considerably different from Lessig's and consequently I don't entirely agree with either his conclusions or the weight he attaches to some of his concerns, but I still take my hat off to his methodological and philosophical achievement: Code: Version 2.0 presents a novel and undoubtedly striking re-evaluation of some fundamental social, legal and ethical conceptions and makes an entirely persuasive case that our traditional, deeply-held, and politically entrenched ways of looking at the world simply aren't fit for purpose any more.

Intellectually, this is therefore an extraordinary, eye-opening, paradigm shifting, challenging, exhilarating read. (I note some previous comments that this is a book for lawyers: I'm a lawyer, so perhaps that explains my enthusiasm, but this is no ordinary legal text, and should be of interest to anyone with a political, philosophical or scientific bone in their body.)

Lawrence Lessig charts, with a fair bit of technical specificity, the technical and epistemological grounds for thinking that the internet revolution (and specifically the "Web 2.0" revolution) is as significant as any societal shift in human history. Generally, this is not news for people in the IT industry - who deal with its implications day to day - but for our legal brethren, who tend of be of a conservative (f not technophobic) stripe, this ought to be as revelatory (and revolutionary) as Wat Tyler's march on London. Now we have a hyperlinked, editable digital commons, the assumptions with which we have constructed our society need to be rethunk.
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Professor Lessig describes how managing copyright for the digital age will have an impact upon every individual in the future. As we develop and share digitial content how we protect or even abuse copyright will determine if the Internet and other digital technologies will improve information for the global citizen. We stand at the door of one of the greatest era in history, however, how we use and protect digitial information will determine how history will judge our efforts for generations to come. Lessig's book gives us the foundation to build upon and will be up to each individual to determine the final outcome.
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Before Larry Lessig began teaching a course on "cyberlaw" in the 1990s, few people knew this awkward term for "regulation of the Internet." But Lessig, now a professor at Stanford Law School, has always kept close to the bleeding edge of technology. He started programming in high school and later helped the U.S. Supreme Court go digital. Even this book's development shows the author's geek //bona fides:// He revised it using a "wiki," a software platform that allows multiple users to edit the text simultaneously via the Web. While the book's details have changed a bit since the first edition, Lessig's main point is the same. Because of its design, the Internet is perhaps the most "regulable" entity imaginable and, unless its users are careful, it will morph into something that diminishes, rather than enhances, liberty. Moreover, trying to keep the Internet "unregulated" is folly. While this book is sometimes bloated and repetitive, we find that it is still required reading for anyone who cares about the social impact of the most important technology since electrification.
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Code Version 2.0 (CV2) is a compelling and insightful book. Author Lawrence Lessig is a very deep thinker who presents arguments in a complete and methodical manner. I accept his thesis that "cyberspace" has abandoned its tradition as an ungovernable, anonymous playground and risks becoming the most regulated and "regulable" "place" in which one could spend any time. This position has been strengthened by recent news events, such as the White House's "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) that outlines this vision to reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities through the use of trusted digital identities." Lessig maintains that code is making such regulation possible, and anyone who cares about privacy and freedom needs to start paying attention.

Another interesting theme the author discusses involves the nature of decision making in the US Constitution. When encountering a difficult case, it's not enough to think in terms of original intent or expanding beyond the Constitution. Justices must resolve questions not necessarily considered when the Constitution was written. For example, regarding the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against "unreasonable searches and seizures," did the Founders include the amendment because searches and seizures as practiced in their time were burdensome? If searches and seizures were not a burden (such as one might argue is the case with digital inquiries), does that invalidate the Fourth Amendment with respect to digital searchers? Or, must one interpret the Fourth Amendment as meaning the Founders sought to protect privacy in any circumstance, and the burden applies regardless of the nature of the search? Before reading CV2 I thought about such questions in much more naive terms.
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