QUT free public lectures in May

Professor Julie Cohen – Copyright and Creativity

In March, I posted notice of a free public lecture by Professor Julie Cohen of Georgetown University and Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School 2009. Professor Cohen will be speaking on Copyright and Creativity. The lecture will be held on Monday 25 May 2009 from 5:00pm-6:30pm in the Gibson Room (Room Z1064), Level 10, Z Block of QUT’s Gardenspoint Campus. See my earlier post for more details. RSVPs were offficially required by 30 April 2009, but late RSVPs will be accepted if you are interested in attending.

Professor Lawrence Lessig – Change Congress and Regulatory Transparency: CHANGE v2: What changes will Obama need?

On Friday 29 May 2009, Professor Lawrence Lessig will give a free public lecture in the Banco Court, Law Courts Complex, 304 George Street, Brisbane. The lecture will be chaired by Justice Douglas of the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founder of the School’s Center for Internet and Society. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, he was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a Professor 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. Professor Lessig’s career has focused on law and technology, especially as it affects copyright. He was one of the founding members of Creative Commons. Professor Lessig teaches and writes in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, and the law of cyberspace.

In this public lecture, Professor Lessig will talk about the project he (and others) launched in 2008 called Change Congress. Its purpose is to persuade members of congress to rely for funding on citizens’ contributions rather than big donations from special interests. The organisation considers that funding by corporate special interests has caused members of congress to favour these interests, undermining the integrity of the legislative process and resulting in legislation that may harm the public interest. Change Congress V1 proposed a multi-tiered program to achieve reform. It planned to enlist the support of house representatives, encourage citizen contribution pledges, garner suppoer for sympathetic politicians, and track the relationship between representatives and lobbyists. V2, announced on 9 January 2009, has simplified this program by encouraging private donors to pledge to withhold donations from congress members who won’t opt-in to the Change Congress system. V2 aims to abolish the culture of big private donations and free legislators from the grip of special interests. The aims of Change Congress are consistent with Barack Obama’s goal to achieve a transparent political culture that restores public trust. Its success may be critical to Obama’s hopes for enlisting congressional support for ambitious reforms to solve domestic and political crisis.

The free public lecture will be held on Friday 29 May 2009, in the Banco Court, Brisbane. There will be refreshments from 5:30pm, with the lecture commencing at 6pm and concluding at 7pm. Please register by 22 May 2009 to qutlawpubliclectures@qut.edu.au. Registered attendees may claim 1 CPD point for the Qld Bar Association and Qld Law Society. The program is available here [PDF].