Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Whee! A brief self-intro...

Hello from the East Coast! I'll be your blogger this evening.

First, a brief bio. My name is Luis Villa (that's me on the right, in corporate titan mode first and in more typical me mode second), and I'm a 1L at Columbia, which means really very little, except that currently I'm slaving through the basics of law and that I know, lawyer-wise, virtually nothing (though perhaps a tiny bit more than David :) Between undergrad and this, I spent five years out in the real world, working at a small open source (Linux desktop) startup, and for a brief time as the Geek In Residence at the Berkman Center. It is my hope that these experiences will inform this blog... but maybe it just means I'll rant about free software a bit too much. :)

Secondly, my career goals: I want to help creative people be creative without interference from lawyers, and that means (likely) a real world IP law career, not academia. Probably this would start in tech but ideally would reach broader fields, since I think that the collaborative techniques pioneered in free software will eventually reach out to other fields as well.

Despite not being likely to go into academia, I do have research interests- or maybe 'fields I'm madly curious about', if I'm not going to formally research them :)
  • internet law: while this is a broad field, I'm particularly interested in facets of the field where I feel the internet can still have broad and revolutionary impact. In particular, I'm curious about network architecture and jurisdiction and related issues like speech and governance. Tim Wu (and his 'Who Controls the Internet'), John Palfrey and Susan Crawford (and the Accountable Net), and Jon Zittrain (with his Generative Internet theory), even though I sometimes disagree with all of them, are critical influences here. (Barlow and Lessig too, of course.)
  • peer production: as a participant in peer production, I'm fascinated by collaboration (creativity!), IP law, and the regulation of new modalities of production (inc. monopoly competition and the impact of network effects on peer/non-commercial production). As such, my influences and heroes are Lessig, Moglen, Von Hippel, and Benkler. Without having met each of them, I likely wouldn't be in law school right now.
  • systemic complexity: Lessig taught that 'code is law'; I'm interested in 'law is code'- the comparisons, good and bad, between the complexity of an operating system's code, and the complexity of a legal system's code, are something I'm deeply curious about. I had no sources of inspiration in this regard until I learned there was a whole field of legal complexity- and I learned that from our very own Jim Chen.
So probably the most important thing is, uh, why am I here, anyway? :)
  • I' d like to experiment with group blogging- I've blogged for a long time, but never in a group context- which some folks suggest is a great way to get into law blogging.
  • I'd like to prepare for writing 2L/3L year papers, by blogging good ideas in a legal-academic context and bouncing ideas around with my peers.
  • Most importantly, I'd like to meet some of those peers outside of Columbia- so I'm looking forward to interacting with the rest of the crowd here and with our commenters as we grow a community of readers here.
Anyway, I'm really excited to be here, and I hope I'll be a useful contributor. And maybe I'll even start contributing today... once I finish reading for Torts. :)

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