Prof. Zittrain’s Book Party, Fri. April 11

Prof. Zittrain’s bookThis Friday April 11 2008 Professor Jonathan Zittrain of the Oxford Internet Institute will be previewing his book “The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It” in NYC. The event, which is in the form of a discussion, is presented by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, Jeffrey Cunard and Bruce Keller, partners at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, & Big Think. Susan Crawford, Visiting Professor at Yale Law School, will join the discussion. Yale University Press are the publishers of the book.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT IS NOW FULL. IF YOU HAVEN”T RECEIVED A POSITIVE RESPONSE TO YOUR RSVP DO NOT ATTEND! IT WILL BE VIDEOTAPED AND AVAILABLE HERE AFTER THE EVENT. A LARGER NYC EVENT IS PLANNED FOR APRIL 16.

About the Book
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North Korean radios that are altered to receive only the official stations. Cars that listen in on their owners’ conversations. Digital video recorders ordered to self-destruct in viewers’ homes thanks to a lawsuit against the manufacturer thousands of miles away. Jonathan Zittrain’s extraordinary book pieces together the engine that has catapulted the Internet ecosystem into the prominence it has today—and explains that it is sputtering precisely because of its runaway success. With the unwitting help of consumers, the Internet is on a path to a lockdown, a closing off of opportunities and innovation.

Zittrain explains that the Internet and much of what is built on top of it is “generative”—it welcomes change from anyone, anywhere. The benefits of generativity are innovative output (new things that improve people’s lives), and participatory input (the opportunity to connect with other people, work with them, and express oneself). But security issues online, like viruses, spyware, and invasions of privacy, will see this generative infrastructure replaced by fashionable “tethered appliances,” including iPods, iPhones, Xboxes, and TiVos. These devices are not generative—they can’t be modified easily by users, even as they are continuously regulated and controlled by their makers. Zittrain offers an accessible discussion of the looming problems of an “appliancized” future and provides a set of visionary solutions to help stop it.

More at Amazon: <http://www.amazon.com/Future-Internet-How-Stop/dp/0300124872>.

About Jonathan Zittrain
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Jonathan Zittrain is the Jack N. & Lillian R. Berkman Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, where he co-founded its Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and the Chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University.

Praise for the Book
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“This book is fundamental. It will define the debate about the future of the Internet, long after we haven’t stopped it. Absolutely required reading.”
Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Stanford Law School, Author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace and The Future of Ideas

“This remarkably researched and highly entertaining book is a must-read. Zittrain’s analysis is first-class and should be widely heeded by leaders from all sectors of society.”
Dr. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum

“Zittrain provides a compelling account of the changes that have shaped the Internet and where it is heading. His assessment of the future of communications, collaboration, and privacy provides important food for thought for everyone who will shape – or be shaped by – the future of this technology.”
Brad Smith, General Counsel, Microsoft Corp.

“The most compelling book ever written on why a transformative technology’s trajectory threatens to stifle that technology’s greatest promise for society. Zittrain offers convincing road maps for redeeming that promise.”
Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law Harvard Law School

“A superb and alarming discussion, from one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts of the Internet. Zittrain explains how the glorious promise of the Internet might not be realized and points the way toward reducing the current risks. Absolutely essential reading.”
Cass Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, The University of Chicago Law School, and co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

About the Berkman Center
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The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School is proud to celebrate its tenth year as a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Running through the 2007-2008 academic year, the celebration includes an event and distinguished speaker series; major releases of books by Berkman projects and people; a culminating conference – “The Future of the Internet” – on May 15-16, 2008; and a gala on May 16.

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