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James Boyle is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School and founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Professor Boyle was one of the original Board Members of Creative Commons, which works to facilitate the free availability of art, scholarship, and cultural materials by developing innovative, machine-readable licenses that individuals and institutions can attach to their work. He served as a board member from 2002 until 2009, the last year as Chairman of the Board. He was also a co-founder of Science Commons, which aims to expand the Creative Commons mission into the realm of scientific and technical data, and ccLearn which worked to promote the development and use of open educational resources. He has served on the board of the Public Library of Science. In 2003 Professor Boyle won the World Technology Network Award for Law for his work on the public domain and the "second enclosure movement" that threatens it. In 2010 he was awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Pioneer" Award and named as one of five expert advisors to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property. He is the author of Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society, and the editor of Critical Legal Studies, Collected Papers on the Public Domain and Cultural Environmentalism @ 10 (with Larry Lessig.) He has also written a distressing number of articles on intellectual property, internet regulation and legal theory both for scholarly journals and the popular press. His more recent books include Bound By Law, a co-authored "graphic novel" about the effects of intellectual property on documentary film, The Shakespeare Chronicles, a novel, and The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. From 2005-2011 he wrote an online column for the Financial Times. He is now working on a comic book called Theft!: A History of Music on musical borrowing and the forces that have tried to shape it.
This is a very special, heartfelt memorial document for a very special individual. I knew Keith when we were art students at Wayne State University in Detroit. It was obvious that he was extremely talented, and shared his talents abundantly.
Even though he had been gone from the Metro Detroit area for many years, we still followed his career and spoke of him with reverence; his sculptures, graphic works, and performances became a part of Detroit Art lore, even though he was in in early 20's at the time. The prodigy that Keith was didn't instill any jealous thoughts or feelings, instead, his example spurred us on. And still does.
His passing hit us like the impact of the proverbial Mack Truck. The news spread like wildfire around the Detroit community, and to Detroiters around the country. With every private conversation about Keith that took place, another decidedly Aoki Anecdote was shared. I am proud to have a remembrance included in this memorial document.
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The book, produced by Duke Law Professor Jamie Boyle, with Duke's Jennifer Jenkins and Balfour Smith, offers remembrances of UC Davis Law Professor and graphic artist Keith Aoki, who passed away from a terminal illness this year. There are remembrances from John Perry Barlow and countless law professors across the country, in fields such as intellectual property and critical race theory. The book includes a dazzling array of Twitter messages, including one from Larry Lessig, on the day of Keith's passing. And it includes some great cartoons done by Keith, as well as art from his early years. A beautiful tribute from a few of the many who loved Keith.
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