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Announcing the hibernation of lessig.org/blog (from the blogs-deserve-a-sabbatical-too department)

So my blog turns seven today. On August 20, 2002, while hiding north of San Francisco working on the Eldred appeal, I penned my first (wildly and embarrassingly defensive) missive to Dave. Some 1753 entries later, I'm letting the blog rest. This will be the last post in this frame. Who knows what the future will bring, but in the near term, it won't bring more in lessig.org/blog.

The reasons are many.

First, as I peer over the abyss of child number 3 (expected in a couple weeks), I can't begin to imagine how I would be able to allocate the time to give this space the attention it needs. I've already fretted about my failure to give this community the time it deserves in REMIX. Things will only get worse.

Second, even if I could, I'm entering a stage of my work when the ratio of speaking to reading/listening/thinking is changing significantly. I've just taken up my role as director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. As announced, this means the launch of a 5 year research project on institutional corruption. While I expect that project will have a critical cyber-presence, I don't want its life to be framed by this blog. The mission, the understanding, the community is different.

Third, even if I could, and even if the work I was doing meant I should, there's an increasingly technical burden to maintaining a blog that I don't have the cycles to support. Some very good friends -- Theo Armour and M. David Peterson -- have been volunteering time to do the mechanics of site maintenance. That has gotten overwhelming. Theo estimates that 1/3 of the 30,000 comments that were posted to the blog over these 7 years were fraudsters. He's been working endlessly to remove them. At one point late last year, Google kicked me off their index because too many illegal casino sites were linking from the bowels of my server. I know some will respond with the equivalent of "you should have put bars on your windows and double bolted locks on your front door." Maybe. Or maybe had legislatures devoted 1/10th the energy devoted to the copyright wars to addressing this muck, it might be easier for free speech to be free.

This isn't an announcement of my disappearance. I'm still trying to understand twitter. My channel at blip.tv will remain. As will the podcast, updated as I speak. I will continue to guest blog at Huffington Post. And as Change-Congress.org enters a new stage, I hope to be doing more there. But this community, this space, this board will now rest.

Thank you to the endless list of people who have helped make this place as it is, or was. Theo and M. David especially. Marc Perkel for his free hosting at ctyme.com for so many years. And thank you especially to the inhabitants of this space, especially the fantastic commentators and loyal backbenchers (Three Blind Mice, you have to reveal yourself now and let me buy you a beer). I have enjoyed this wildly more than I have not (again, I whine in REMIX about the not). And I have been very proud to be responsible for certain bits of content -- especially the guest blogging by the interesting and famous (Howard Dean was a favorite, and I will always be proud that I got Judge Posner to experiment with blogging, leading to his wonderful blog with Gary Becker).

Comments on this post will remain open for a week. And then comments on all posts will be locked.

Thank you to everyone, again.

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Comments (69)

Larry,

As a long time reader of your blog, I will be sad to see it go. Thanks for many years of enlightening posts. You will be missed!

Feross Aboukhadijeh

Sorry to read that you're putting this blog to a rest. It was always a pleasure and made me think :)

Greetings from good old Germany. Wish you all the best!

Andi

Thank you so much for all your interesting insights which you shared with us on your blog.

Best wishes,
Rui

We hope to see you back blogging after a sabbatical! :)

Thanks Larry. This has been the definitive cyberlaw blog. Scholars will continue to mine your old posts for at least the next seven years, and I'll look forward to news of your new projects and achievements.

As one of the many who followed along passively, but intently, I'd like to come out and say thanks and good luck.

Thank you for all you have shared here over the years.

Your presentation style inspired me to do something about where I worked, so I have you to thank (along with a few others :-P) for my new role.

Thanks again and much grace on your head for tomorrow.

Peace,

W

Professor Lessig,

It is with a strong sense of regret knowing that lessig.org/blog will be mothballed. However, it is balanced by the knowledge that you will continue your cyber-presence in some different form. Rebirth and rejuvenation come along in many ways and knowing you'll still be out there, exploring different projects and persuading the masses for change is reassuring.

I'd like to thank you for being the first individual who really got me interested in the ideas surrounding free culture and copyright. My whole dissertation is about copyright and I researched your works as extensively as I could. I will continue to read your titles and pursue the interest that was ignited by it all. Living in the UK we are anticipating the relaunch of Creative Commons UK and I very much hope to be involved in some way.

Thank you for your contributions. Enjoy the arrival of child #3 and best wishes for the future!

Jonathan

Don't wait too long to resume blogging, I can't wait to read about all the corruption!

Thank you sir. You have impacted me personally. Thank you for sharing and teaching us how. Best of luck in the future.

Thanks for teaching us so much through this space.

THANKS for this years shearing with us!

We will follow you, your job alone is not alone, we are there in hour houses with your ideas.

the end of an era...thank you for years of insights at the blog, i have enjoyed. Looking forward to following via other channels. "In a good hour" as we say about impending # 3.

Your blog has been an inspiration to myself and many others. Best of luck with whatever comes next.

Larry,

it's sad to hear it but it's fantastic to read why. Good luck with everything!

Matthias

P.S.: Speaking of workload: shouldn't you be sleeping at this time of day?

Good work Larry. Good luck at Harvard.

Love your work man - wish you the best of the luck for the future.

Good luck with Kid #3 - love your ideas - keep shining!

Congratulations on the third child. You're making the correct decision regarding allocation of time.

My hope is that the Safra Center for Ethics study the relationship between Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and congress. The existing financial mess has origins in the rapid expansion of the CRA during the mid-90's.

Good luck.

Only recently introduced to Mr. Lessig thru several talks on google & elsewhere, Thanks for the well of information & opinion I've discovered. Thanks too for the important work you're doing w/ Change-Congress.org ... and being a real human w/ a growing family!

Your blog was very insightful and I know that whatever new things you attempt will inspire as well. Thank you.

More time for your fiction, too, one hopes! If you in fact are the pseudonymous author of A Tangle of Thorns.

In any case, congratulations and thanks.

Reading this blog is a constant reminder of the wonder of the world we live in. People like you are changing our laws and our culture (and much for the better!) and everyone gets to watch, comment, and participate.

It's like standing next to Luther as he nails his theses to the wall.

Thanks Larry.

August 20, 2009 6:55 AM María Fernanda Arenas:

Dear Sr.,

It is sad to know that decision because the blog was an interesting way to follow your thougths and information. Understandable all the reasons. I am thankful for sharing and teaching us through this space. Congratulations for the news.
All the best!

Sorry to hear it, but I guess it's understandable. One thing...your only link to the "podcast" is via iTunes...not all of us use that. Is that merely a copy of the blip.tv channel, or is there audio-only work available in iTunes that you could possibly add a separate link to somehow?

I'm so sad to see this coming to an end. Its one of my favorite sources for insightful information.

I don't suppose it would be possible to simply disable comments and post links (or have volunteers post) to things you've done elsewhere? That way there would still be a one stop shop for all things Lessig without the overhead of moderating comments etc. :-)

Sorry to see the blog lights dim, but glad that you've got the courage to admit how you want to spend your time. For many folks, their blog becomes a chore they feel they "have" to keep. Good luck on your new ventures.

Professor,

While I've been absent for many years, I'm still shedding a tear for the end of this space, where I spent so many hours that were far more instructive than the college assignments I was avoiding. This was a truly open forum, and it was invaluable in my intellectual development. I hope our paths will continue to cross in the serendipitous manner they have thus far. While it is unfortunate that the world will no longer have this wonderfully accessible window into your current thoughts, I cannot begrudge you the time...your family is infinitely more important. I will remember fondly every correspondence and comment debate. You'll need no luck to succeed in your future endeavors, but I will wish you the best all the same.

Sorry to hear you leaving. All the best!

Thanks for your thoughts over the years. Stay in touch.

Thanks for being generous with your time and thoughts for as long as you were able.

Dear Prof. Lessig,

Alright, it's the first time I leave a comment to your blog, and I believe it's the last time.

I started to read your blog since we've met in Hong Kong last year, although I don't read all of your messages, it's a pity to hear the announcement.

Actually some of your ideas did inspire me and my research in jurisprudence, and I would really like to say thank you to you.

Regards,

KK Lee

Thank you for the seven years of insight, pushes and pulls in noble directions, and for leaving the blogosphere better than you found it.

I'm looking forward to many more years of learning from you, just not in this particular spot.

- David W.

Thanks for the blog and for giving me something to think about. Best of luck with the rest of your endeavors, and thanks also to the guys that helped keep this site up as long as it has been.

Wow - been looking to this blog for insight for years. Thank you for all the food for thought, and you'll be missed in my RSS Reader!

Thank you Lawrence... seven years!
Best regards from Chile.

Understood. Blogging is dead anyway :-(

Regarding twitter, see my column:

"Twitter: sucker's game that boosts elite"

Basically, Twitter is for broadcasting and group-grooming. Now, as you are in fact part of the elite, it may work for you, so keep that in mind.

Congrats - May your future work always be attributed!

Free Culture!

What an inspiration you have been! And, I'm sure, will continue to be!

Thank You!

Congrats! Will look for you on Twitter. Yes, it's time for Three Blind Mice to reveal herself/himself. Have enjoyed the comments over the years!

thanks for all your thoughtful contributions professor!

[at the request of the poster, this entry was removed]

good luck for your future endeavors....

Darn... And so I grab my own little piece of real-estate in the annals of history by placing this comment. Thank you, thank you, thank you Professor Lessig; I hope to continue witnessing your encouraging work for copyright, freedom, ethics and humankind in general.

See you later, Sir! [/subscribes to Lessig Twitter channel]

Dear Professor Lessig,

I was briefly a student of yours at Stanford Law. My only regret is that I did not take more of your classes, or engage in more discussions. I came to issues of remix and Creative Commons somewhat late.

Nonetheless, you have been an inspiration to me. You are an example of what a professor should be, in my mind. I took other copyright classes at Stanford and I found the other professor to be the exact opposite: aloof, condescending, inaccessible. This is truly Stanford's loss.

Wishing you the best in your future endeavors. I will be tuning in...

Dejiridoo

Many of us are still trying to figure out Twitter as well. I have always been a lurker on the site but look forward to seeing more to come on the other channels that you will still publish. Have fun with number 3, hopefully the lessons learned with the first two will make this an easy addition.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Larry:

You are a scholar, a gentleman, and about to be sleep deprived again, for the best of reasons. Best of luck at work, at home, and at play. We can't wait to hear what you have to say, in whichever venue next piques your interest.

Brad

Dear Prof. Lessig
Just today I have found all about you and your work (or mission), after a few Incidents, that made me feel copyright laws are insane today - and hurt the essence of creativity (I am a business and career coach working with artists).
I am trying to catch up on all your ideas and doings.
I am glad I came by your blog just in time to thank you for your insights - and all the great written and filmed inspiring ideas you posted here and all over the net.
I wish you all the best with your family (nothing is more important than that) and your new project.

Sincerily
Taly Bardosh Noy Meir
Israel

Thank you for the 2 best ideas of the last century; thank you for your clear expressions of complex thought; congrats on your growing family and for keeping priorities straight; thank you for creating an idea terrarium in which hope for the future has been seeded and grows.

After seeing live one of your CC presentations in Tokyo,
1. I never missed an entry from your blog
2. I learned how *not* to prepare a boring Powerpoint presentation. Well,...still trying.
Thank you for sharing.

FMatsu
Kamakura, Japan

Good luck at Harvard!

Keep up the good fight. ^_^

Your work has been a source of inspiration and value for several years, but your rationale for taking a hiatus makes perfect sense. Best wishes in your new position.

I hope one day you'll revisit blogging and discover the wonders of a blog host that will do the hard work for you (Buzzword alert: CLOUD COMPUTING). I use Livejournal, along with a large number of sysadmins (people who run stuff themselves at work but realize the value of not doing so), famous authors, techies, and so on. I get about one spam comment per year.

Thanks! I will miss your presence here...
Good luck!

Just to chime in, your work has been a longtime inspiration to me. Thanks for everything you do.

This has been an outstanding blog from the very beginning. Thank you, and best wishes.

Thank you for so much, Mr. Lessig.
Keep up the good fight, we are with you.
And congrats (and good luck!) with your 3rd child.

/Chris

Everyone else, support:

Change-Congress.org

Thanks, Larry, for all the years of brilliance and thoughtfulness. Keep in touch.

-Paul

Thanks for the blogging Larry. I always enjoyed finding an update in my feed reader for this blog. Many blogs I only read as I find time, but this one I always read the day a new post was posted.

I admit I was a bit pissed when I spotted the @Lessig tweet that brought me here; but having read through your post, it seems that, as always, you make a whole lotta sense. Congrats on the third kiddo en route. Paterfamilias is the most prime-time post a man can get; but I hope that you understand Twitter quickly, as it offers a world of potential for lobbing Lessig grenades in micro with baby in hand & ethics aforethought. Well done here, though. Stopping by here never failed to get me thinking hard.

Incidentally, the CAPTCHA I got for this comment reads: "grandchildren's pension"

LOL

Wow. How have you ever found time to keep this blog current with just two children? Oh, well, you're moving on (as you should) to bigger and better things. Good luck.

Thanks. Good luck. Avohay. And keep one step (or many) ahead of the rust.

my hero indeed you are...would be honored to shake your hand someday and meet the mind behind so many intellectually inspiring keynotes

Congrats on the little one and Best of Luck!

August 27, 2009 11:32 AM Melissa Brenneman:

Best wishes in everything, always. Your blog has meant a lot to me. I'll continue to follow your other output streams.

Awww. Now who will champion internet citizen efforts to battle copyright fascists?

Dear Friend Lawrence:

I've been reading and keeping up with posts in lessig.org/blog for some time since its operation. The intriguing ideas, legal theorems, and sensible social contributions in most lines posted onto your blog have inspired many peers and others with an interest in the terra nova of Cybespace and a critical eye on the terra firma of Law. It is my firm belief that through these posts in your blog you've sensed and realized the existence of many friends living all around--at least many more than those posting and/or reading the blog despite their unfriendly stance to you and/or your groundbraking ideas.

Thus, the operation of lessig.org/blog has contributed significantly to the enlargement of the pool of Larry's friends. Wisdom expressed through said blog has turned into a source of happiness lived and sensed through friendship. Being Greek, I could associate your blog with Epicurus (341-270 BC) in the meaning of the following line: "Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship." And I pride in being considered one of your friends.

If not all, at least most of your friends are looking forward to seeing you performing as director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. And joining you by sharing wisdom creatively for the benefit of the commons.